Cliff Kindy Iraq Blog

Current entries are related to Cliff Kindy's fourth Iraq trip, beginning in October 2007. The blog archives contains letters from Cliff's third Iraq trip in 2004-5.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In Suleimaniya!

Oct 30 2007 Letter

Dear Friends, Family and All Good People,

I am in Suleimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan. Peggy and I flew out of Chicago October 25 and caught up with Anita and Michele in Amman the next evening. We flew here just over a day later. Hills and mountains ring Suleimaniya (Suly) and about an hour to the east is the Iranian border. Then we are about 100 kilometers from Kirkuk, one of the oil capitals of Iraq.

The Jordan Times had two interesting articles that caught my attention as we passed through Jordan. The first article reported that global oil wells will be producing half of the present level in 2030. The second article highlighted the propaganda buildup for the invasion of Iran by the United States. Both of these issues are having an impact on Kurdistan.

Kirkuk is set to hold a vote on whether the Kurdish region or the central Sunni region of Iraq will have control of Kirkuk. The vote is to take place in December after a census, but it seems unlikely that the latter will happen soon.

The Iranian issue is losing prominence in this area because of the increasing focus on the struggle between the PKK and the Turkish military on the northern border of Iraq. Today the military recruiters were active in the center of this city. We heard the martial music and correctly interpreted what was happening.

Our visas are still in limbo as we wait for the directorate to send our acceptance letter to the airport, so we can get our passports back! A new step in the process is that the Directorate of Awqaf (Religious Trust) and Religious Affairs approves, or rejects, our applications for visa extension to facilitate the process.

Anna just reported to us that the dam on Dokan Lake will cut back its electric production this winter and we will have many more hours without power, unless the hotel chooses to turn on the generator. It may be a dark season. Presently we have about twelve hours of electricity each day, including what we receive from the generator.

Another issue facing this region is the influx of internally displaced persons from the south and center of Iraq. The Iraqi Red Crescent estimates there are about 160,000 displaced into the three governates of Dahuk, Erbil and Suleimaniya. This city of over one million people has received about 100 Christian families and more than doubled the Christian population. The public schools are running three shifts and student numbers are about 40 in each class. It is a big effort for the schools. There are both Kurdish and Arab schools, because most of those displaced to the Kurdish area are Arab speakers.

This part of the Kurdish area is very Kurdish. I have not seen Iraqi flags. I have heard that English is the second language to Kurdish, rather than Arabic. There seems to be a clear movement toward autonomy, if not independence.

Since the issue is less visible here, all of you just make sure the US administration cannot pull off the invasion and bombing of Iran.

Peace and joy to each of you!



Blogger Murray Lumley said...

Hi Cliff: I just read your latest blog. Good to hear that you all travelled safely. We're thinking and praying about you all. Murray

12:19 AM  
Blogger Murray Lumley said...

Hi Cliff:
I copied this from the 'Uranium News', one item on the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) website November 5 -
CPT (including me) was present at this Algonquin First Nations blockade (80 km north of Kingston, Ontario) of a potential uranium mining site during September and part of October.
All the best, Murray


UN First Committee Passes Depleted Uranium Resolution in Landslide Vote

Late last night the UN First Committee passed, by an overwhelming majority, a resolution highlighting concerns over the military use of uranium.

The resolution entitled 'Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium'1 was passed by 122 votes to six at the UN First Committee in New York; with 35 abstentions. The resolution urges UN member states to re-examine the health hazards posed by the use of uranium weapons.

The resolution was drafted by the Movement of Non Aligned States and submitted by Indonesia. It requests that states and international bodies submit a report on DU to the UN General Assembly during next year's session; depleted uranium weapons will also feature on the Assembly's agenda. A second vote confirming the resolution will take
place early next year.

"This is a good result for our campaign," said ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir. "States around the world are no longer content to accept the claims by the users of these weapon systems that exposure to uranium dust is not linked to ill health. The last few years have seen great advances in our understanding of the health hazards posed by depleted uranium and it's high time that the international standards caught up with this research."

The vote comes after a year of intense campaigning by ICBUW and its member organizations, and follows calls by the European Parliament for a ban.2 In March this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to introduce a domestic ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapon systems.3 The decision by Brussels to take this step sent a clear message to all NATO members and users of uranium weapons that the continued use of chemically toxic and radioactive weapon systems is incompatible with international humanitarian legal standards.

How the voting went:

For: 122 countries (including Japan)
Against: 6 countries (US, UK, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic,
Abstentions: 35 countries

Full text (select your language of choice):


2007-10-30 17:05:00

TICABOO, Utah - Canadian mining company Uranium One Inc. (TSX:UUU) that bought a mothballed uranium mill in southern Utah has now acquired the entire private community.

Toronto-based Uranium One bought the town for its housing. The property includes mobile home and recreational vehicle parks, the infrastructure for a housing subdivision, a restaurant and convenience store. The deal even came with a boat.

Wyoming-based U.S. Energy Corp. had owned the mill and town and sat on the assets for more than two decades, waiting for the uranium market to rebound. It operated the mill for less than three months in 1982, when the market crashed.

It sold the mill for US$6.6 million and stock in Uranium One, plus the promise of royalties. The price for the town was $2.7 million.

"Housing is in limited supply in this area," said U.S. Energy chief executive Keith Larsen, "and Uranium One has recognized the importance of owning a fully developed Ticaboo town site to accommodate its employees as it prepares the Shootaring Canyon Mill for full production."

Only half a dozen homes have been built at Ticaboo, but Larsen said numerous sites in the mobile-home park are filled by employees of Dennison Mines, which operates a mine about 13 kilometres away. Other employees stay regularly at a local motel.

The demand for housing is expected to emerge when Uranium One wins approval from the Utah Division of Radiation Control to resume mill operations.

"We'll be starting from scratch, so we'll need to hire a work force," said Chris Sattler, senior vice-president of investor relations for Uranium One. "This town site will provide our work force with a cheaper form of accommodation."

Uranium One has operations in Kazakhstan, South Africa and Australia, and was eager to expand into southern Utah because of its relatively high grade of uranium deposits. Also, Utah is a hedge against political instability in less-developed countries.

Ticaboo is a Paiute word meaning "friendly."

8:14 PM  
Blogger Brennzn said...

Murry, please consider that nuclear does not always mean weapoins. Of course, nuclear war is on a significant magnitude greater than throwing sticks and harsh words which World Wars 1 & 2 would be in comparison. Uranium will power electricity generation and de-salinization without the environmental and concomitant ecological problems of petroleum/oil. Organized religions have propagated too many people on this planet. Which will be the death of civilization?


9:28 PM  

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