In the northern highlands of Iraq, army patrols move openly today through country where they would not have dared venture three years ago.

New housing, schools and factories are going up a distant artillery shot from what used to be guerrilla strongholds.

Kurdestan - home of 2 million Iraqi Kurds, the country's largest minority - is quiet today.

"At the moment, there is no longer a revolution," says Naim Hadad, a member of the ruling Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council.

The rebellion that once tied down much of the Iraqi army ended in 1975, when the shah of Iran abruptly cut off the CIA-supplied military aid and food that he had been funneling to the Kurds.

The Iraqis quickly took advantage of the opportunity and launched an all-out attack against Gen. Mullah Mustafa Brazani and his troops of the Pesh Murga (those who face death).

Some 50,000 Kurds fled across the border into Iran, which like Turkey also has a sizeable minority of these non-Arabic Moslems who have long dreamed of an independent homeland.

Barzani also fled, and finally made it to exile in Washington.

Thousdands of Iraqi Kurds have since been moved out of Kurdestan - away from its potentially vulnerable oil fields - and relocated to "secure" areas of southern iraq.

Sitting in his Baghdad office, Hadad - like most Iraqi leaders - is sensitive to questions about the Kurds, and particularly about widespread charges of human rights violations.

He quickly turns to details of the government's plans to pump millions of dollars into developing the northern "autonomous region" - as Kurdestan is known here today.

Hadad also charges that the CIA is still providing clandestine support for the Pesh Murga - arranging for relocation of its troops in the United States where they keep alive the dream of an independent Kurdestan.

An embittered Barzani, however, sees the American role differently.

"The shah could not have sold us out as he did if he did not have the blessing of America," Barzani says. "Whatever oppression the Kurds are under in Iraq. I blame America for not raising its voice."