there is something unique about sitting in denmark, a country that welcomes passengers and travels with the greeting of welcome to the happiest country on earth, and waiting on a plane to take me to iraq. granted, i am going to the kurdish north, an island of stability within the realms of chaos and failing state authorities, where even the armed security forces drop their weapons and more than that sell them on the street as they are fleeing the scene as armed militias take over the strongholds of mosul, the second largest city in iraq. but with heat boiling up around the kurdish regional government, i cannot help but go over all my back up plans again and again. just recently an american friend who is currently on the ground in erbil pointed out three possible options out: 1) get a commercial plane, 2) a us-evacuation and 3) cross over the border to turkey on foot. i have to say, there is indeed something surreal for a central european citizen like myself to know that one is about to travel to a place where the second best option for getting out of a problem would be a us evacuation. particularly since the option of crossing the turkish border in the north is not the optimal case either as the turkish military is currently fighting the pkk in a heavy armed combat in just these areas.
let’s me just say inshallah and hope that i won’t need any of the above options. especially since my own countr does not have any official representation in iraq anymore and i am hence left to the mercy of the european consulates or the usa embassy. and while i am curious to know whether these bonds of european brotherhood or declarations of the international community are actually working outside of diplomatic statements and political bubbles, i am not sure if i dare to hope for a proof.
in any way i am sure to face an interesting ten days ahead of me. i take comfort in the fact that the kurdish armed forces, the peshmerga, are knowingly the strongest force in iraq, trained and well equipped in weapon systems b the united states and others, and even more than that, that they are deriving from centuries of guerilla warfare themselves which, according to iraqnews should give them a significant advatage over the islamic militia isil/isis. it is only a small naggin voice in the back of my head that reminds me about the fact that this posts the biggest piece of work the prior-guerilla- and now-official state forces of the kurdish regional authorities have faced so far. it is now up to them to proof that kurdistan is indeed capable of putting its political divisions aside when it comes to the maintainance of security and stability in the country. inshallah.