June 1, 2004: Kurdish political party targeted in Iraq bombing

On June 1, 2004 a car bomb tore through the Baghdad offices of the Kurdish political party PUK, killing 26 and wounding several others.

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – The Kurds have long been the losers when it comes to their own land: their campaigns for one have often invited violence.

Nationalism is a funny thing, isn’t it? I mean, I get that many people choose to identify themselves, at least in part, by the particular flag that flies on official buildings in their land. That feeling can range from ‘meh’ to ‘USA, USA, USA!’

As a Canadian, and one who identifies very strongly as one, I get this. I think I understand why nationalism is such a draw for so many. It serves to differentiate us from others in the end. It makes us stand out.

One definition of Canadian: not American! (Photo: Photo Phiend on flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Nevertheless, this is not the only way in which groups elect to say ‘here is who we are’. Others use religion, or gender, or language, or ethnicity. At times some of these are all jumbled up.

Take the Kurds

Often described as the single largest ethnic group WITHOUT a nation, the world’s Kurds number somewhere between 25 and 35 MILLION and inhabit an area that straddles the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. And many Kurds have been itching for their own country for decades.

Sometimes that itch has led others to ‘teach the Kurds a lesson’.

On this day in 2004

A car bomb tore through the Baghdad offices of the Kurdish political party PUK, killing 26 and wounding several others. A huge crater was created in the ground at the entrance to the PUK building–close to the “Green Zone” compound in the Iraqi capital city.

The Kurdish people have the right of self-determination like every other nation in the world.

Jalal Talabani

A lot of people seem to disagree with Mr. Talabani. Kurdish attempts at statehood have all failed, although the current situation in northern Iraq is about as close as they have come to their own place. I fear, however, that there is still too much opposition to their desires, in part because of the aforementioned nations which are loth to give territory to the Kurds.

And so the violence will continue.

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

Leave a Reply