O petróleo, os curdos e os chineses, numa relação pouco divulgada na imprensa brasileira. Vale a pena destacar alguns trechos:
…it was recently disclosed that already in 2004 the KDP that controls much of northwestern Iraq, discreetly signed a deal with Norway’s DNO Company to drill for oil near the border city of Zakho, without Baghdad’s knowledge, let alone approval. DNO subcontracted the building of the oil drilling rig to the Chinese (unlisted) Great Wall Drilling Oil Company “that copied the latest American model.” Imported from China, the 30-floor tall rig was erected in 90 days and is capable of drilling 6,000 meters deep. This is the first rig in Kurdish Iraq since the 2003 war and the first in Iraq built by an international company in 20 years (The Globe, November 8, 2005). Drilling was launched on November 29, 2005, reportedly providing Nechirvan Barzani, prime-minister of the Kurdish northern government, with an occasion to vow: “There is no way Kurdistan would accept that the central government will control our resources […] The time has come that instead of suffering, the people of Kurdistan will benefit from the fortune and resources of their country.” Similar oil ventures are being explored with other foreign companies in other parts of Kurdish northern Iraq (Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2005).
Beijing’s overtures toward the Kurds, who are treated as an almost independent nation, undermine its own policies and contradict its own principles on separatism. In no way would Beijing permit another country to treat China’s Uyghurs, Tibetans or Mongols likewise and sympathize publicly with their plight, invite their leaders, send delegations, hold negotiations, or sign agreements with them behind Beijing’s back. Importantly, China’s Kurdish policy does not mean that the Chinese are interested in Iraq’s disintegration, hoping to benefit from a new and independent Kurdish state. In addition to unleashing regional instability that would be detrimental to China’s interests, Kurdish independence would encourage other separatist movements (notably the Uyghur and the Tibetan) to fight for the same cause. On the other hand, complete Kurdish dependence on the “new” Iraq would render complete control over the north (and its oilfields) to not only Baghdad but, furthermore, to Washington. Thus the existing situation in northern Iraq, with increased Kurdish autonomy within a weak Iraqi state is, under the present circumstances, optimal for Beijing’s interests and conforms to its views on limited self-determination.
Simples assim. O que faltou no Iraque? Talvez duas coisas: (i) federalismo (efetivo) e (ii) privatização massiva do petróleo (o risco de que o Iraque se transforme numa Venezuela não é tão pequeno…).