December 14, 2008  ·  Lessig

Andy Oram has a fantastically compelling piece about why it is important to support Creative Commons.

Let’s keep the momentum going, and [make] sure they can continue to lay the groundwork for a public domain that becomes increasingly important for innovation in a tight economy and for political engagement in a newly aroused community-minded public.

  • mike doak

    I read a very poor article as a direct “write’ from Mr. Massaud Barzani, of the iraqi kurdistan province, and it was so self~serving, i could not believe it!! The scenario: I read the article, was at first, very, very impressed, then went to Wikipedia, and wanted to know more about he and the Kurdistan province, it’s history, and what they had to say…. it appears Mr. Barzani has plenty of nepotism, and a kickback scheme for almost everything, of 20% to he and his family; pay the money, or do not get the contract, or even a sniff of any business…. he has even imprisoned many, many businesmen, who are entered into some (Black Hole”, where they never return, once arrested…. The message is: “Play ball, or we’ll keep you jailed, of starve your business, to death…. Seems like an article that someone should have been able to comment on, or react to, or go around, without going to jail for, but which appears to be just the ticket…. Far too many have disappeared, though….; the WSJ should not have just printed this, and never addressed opposing viewpoints….

    Here are the links, and articles; you judge for your self:

    Massoud Barzani
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Masoud Barzani


    President of Iraqi Kurdistan
    Assumed office
    June 14, 2005
    Vice President Kosrat Rasul Ali


    Born August 16, 1946 (1946-08-16) (age 62)
    Mahabad, Iran
    Political party Kurdistan Democratic Party
    Religion Sunni Islam
    Masoud Barzani (Kurdish: مسعودبارزانی, Mesûd Barzanî) (born August 16, 1946) is the current President of the Autonomous Kurdish Government in Iraq and the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Barzani was born in Mahabad, Iran, during the rule of the Republic of Mahabad. He has five sons and three daughters.

    Masoud Barzani succeeded his father, the former Kurdish nationalist leader Mustafa Barzani, as the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in 1979. Working closely with his brother Idriss Barzani until Idriss’ untimely death, Barzani was able to continue the Kurdish guerilla struggle through the trying years of the Iran-Iraq War. For much of this time, the Iraqi Kurdish leadership was exiled to Iran.

    With Saddam Hussein’s defeat in the first Gulf War, the Kurdish dissidents were able to retake much of the traditional homeland of the Kurds in Iraq. However, as Iraqi forces regrouped they pushed Barzani’s fighters along with other groups and scores of civilians to the mountains bordering Iran and Turkey. Thousands of Kurds died under heavy fire from Iraqi gunships and many more faced imminent death from starvation and exposure, when the United States-led allies stepped in to open up a no-fly zone over the region during Operation Provide Comfort. This led in 1992 to the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish zone in northern Iraq under the control of the two dominant Kurdish political parties, the KDP led by Masoud Barzani and the PUK led by Jalal Talabani. This zone incorporates the three governates of Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulimeniyah.

    Barzani led the KDP in establishing a government in Iraqi Kurdistan with the PUK. After the invasion of Iraq he became a member of the Iraqi Governing Council and was the president of the council in April 2004. He was elected as the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region by the Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliament in June 2005.[1]

    In his presidency Mr Barzani has established several institutions in the Kurdistan Region to develop its emerging democracy, strengthen alliances and improve the decision-making process. In January 2007 he established the Kurdistan Presidency Council, which includes the Deputy President (Mr Kosrat Rasul Ali), the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Kurdistan National Assembly, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region.

    Mr Barzani also helped to form the Council of Kurdistan Political Parties which he chairs and includes the figureheads of the following political parties in Kurdistan: Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kurdistan Toilers Party, Kurdistan Democratic Socialist Party, Kurdistan Islamic Union, and Islamic Group of Kurdistan.

    As President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani has made official visits to several countries including: meeting with US President George Bush at the White House (25 October 2005), UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street (31 October 2005), The Pope at the Vatican (14 November 2005), Italian Prime Minister Belrescuni in Rome (13 November 2005), King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh (13 March 2007) and King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman (19 March 2007). [2]

    The Barzani family are often accused of corruption and nepotism, and members of the family are found in many leading positions in the KDP-controlled parts of Kurdistan . The Barzanis are known to have amassed a considerable fortune after 1991, owning or controlling a large number of businesses, including the KOREK mobile phone company, several department stores and a chain of hotels. A recent estimate puts the Barzani family fortune at 2 billion USD. [3]

    [edit] Bibliography
    Masoud Barzani.Masoud Barzani
    Masoud Barzani with Ahmed Ferhani (2004). Mustafa Barzani and the Kurdish Liberation Movement. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0312293161

    [edit] References
    ^ see [1], [2] and [3])
    ^ [4]
    ^ Is Iraqi Kurdistan a Good Ally? – Middle East Forum

    [edit] External links
    Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Masoud Barzani
    Kurdistan Region Presidency website
    2002 BBC profile
    The Misrule of Massoud Barzani
    Retrieved from “”

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    with Zawya membersRSS News FeedNews on your browser WSJ(5/20) Column: Iraq’s Barzani: We Are Making Progress

    Email Print Text Size Comment on this article

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    By Nechirvan Barzani
    (Editor’s Note: Mr. Barzani is prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq.)

    While the media offers mostly images of violence, and many Americans have grown weary of the war in Iraq, I bring hopeful news to Washington this week as I meet with the administration and members of Congress.

    Since 2003, we have built the Kurdistan Region as a model for democracy and a gateway for development for all of Iraq. We are willing partners in this transition toward an Iraqi government that is representative of all its people. Through our peshmerga forces, we provide some of the most effective units against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We Kurds are committed to a federal, democratic Iraq at peace within its borders and with its neighbors.

    We are working with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi leadership in Baghdad on the difficult issues facing our country. Our relationship with Iraq’s federal government has never been better. And progress is being made on an oil law, the status of disputed territories, the proper role for Iraq’s neighbors to play, and on relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey.

    First, the oil law. We will now start negotiations using a draft drawn up in February of 2007. We’ll also establish a process to send the national oil law, the revenue sharing law, and the laws concerning the Iraqi National Oil Company and the Oil Ministry in Baghdad to parliament as one package — to be voted up or down.

    New oil contracts will be approved based on agreed-upon guidelines. The oil exploration contracts the KRG has already signed won’t present a problem, because they were negotiated based on the highest standards of transparency.

    There is also progress in settling the status of Kirkuk and other disputed territories. Previous Iraqi regimes expelled Kurds, Turkmen and Christians from Kirkuk, and gerrymandered provincial borders to change its demography. Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution establishes a legal process to remedy this injustice. We are encouraged that the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General is helping to develop a proposal regarding the implementation of Article 140.

    As we resolve internal issues, we also understand the importance of a peaceful relationship with all our neighbors, based on mutual respect and noninterference in internal affairs.

    To that end, we will continue reassuring our neighbors that a federal Iraq is not a threat. But we will also continue to encourage our neighbors to do what they can to stop terrorists from infiltrating Iraq.

    We think it is imperative that Middle Eastern states send their diplomatic representatives to Iraq, and for these states to proactively prevent terrorists from slipping across their borders. Unprovoked and recurring bombardment of the Kurdistan Region by Turkey and Iran must stop.

    There has also been a historic step forward in KRG-Turkish relations. On May 1, I represented my government in the first high-level, official bilateral meeting with Turkey. Held in Baghdad, the meeting was conducted in a cordial atmosphere, and both sides stressed similar views on a wide range of issues. We reiterated to our Turkish colleagues our commitment to good neighborly relations, which is underscored by the growing Turkish investment in the Kurdistan Region. Our talks also focused on the need for practical steps and continued dialogue on all outstanding issues, including the problem of the PKK.

    We Kurds understand and share America’s frustration with the pace of political progress in Iraq. We are doing all we can to create security, stability and prosperity. While progress has not come fast enough, Iraq remains a worthy cause.

    As Americans debate the future of the U.S. role in Iraq, allow me to say that America’s mission remains vital to the stability and security of our region. A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces could be calamitous. We welcome a U.S. presence in the Kurdistan Region as part of any redeployment of forces.

    The Kurdish people of Iraq suffered under Saddam Hussein. And we fought and died along side Americans to liberate our country. There is no ambiguity about the depth of gratitude that Kurds feel for America’s sacrifices in Iraq. Americans who have been killed or wounded in Iraq are heroes to me and to all of Iraq’s Kurds. We will never forget what you have done for us.