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It’s time for a free and independent Kurdistan

It’s time for a free and independent Kurdistan

Why not?

The Kurds out number Palestinians several times over, and unlike Palestinians, have a real ethnic and cultural distinction from surrounding Arabs (and in Turkey, Turks). But for Europeans drawing lines on maps and Turkish national ambitions, there should have been an independent nation for the Kurds decades ago.

There currently is a de facto Kurdish republic in northern Iraq and an emerging autonomous region in Syria. Might these developments lead to a Kurdish nation?

The Times of Israel asks the question, Is a free Kurdistan, and a new Israeli ally, upon us?:

The Kurds are the world’s largest stateless nation, numbering well over 30 million spread across Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, according to figures in the CIA Factbook, though exact population numbers are hard to pin down. Iraq’s 6 million Kurds have achieved the greatest measure of independence; they run the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, within the federal Iraqi system since 2005 (though de facto autonomy began after Saddam’s army was forced out of the region during the 1991 Gulf War). But despite a booming economy and striking freedom of action, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq still has presented no concrete plans for independence.

Will it be Syria’s Kurds who lead the way toward a Kurdish state?

The answer to the question is, of course, complex.

Kurds who run the autonomous region in Iraq and increasingly in Syria are loathe to adopt an explicit plan of independence for fear of angering the national governments. Turkey has indicated an intention to intervene if an independence movement grows even in neighboring countries, and Iran certainly would not stand for its Kurdish region breaking away.

It’s not hard to understand why these countries are afraid, looking at a map of the Kurdish region:

(Kurdish Population Map via Global

(Kurdish Population Map via Global

If the Palestinians, a group which did not gain a distinct identity until after Israel reclaimed the territory illegally occupied by Jordan in 1967, are on the path to nationhood in one form or another, why not the Kurds?

When will the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States speak up for the inalienable rights of the Kurdish people to a free and independent Kurdistan?

Or are “inalienable rights” only applicable to ethnic minorities in areas controlled by Israel, and for groups hostile to Israel’s existence?


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Kurds don’t hate Jews and promise the destruction of Israel, so there will be no support in the U.N. for a Kurdish state.

A nitpick: there is already a Kurdish nation, just no Kurdish state (yet).

But who knows what may come of the instability in the region?

legacyrepublican | August 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

There has to be a whey to free the Kurds.

Sorry, I have been wanting to say that for so long ….

Kurdish population is growing much more quickly than Turks and want a country of their own. The Turks do not want to give up part of their country. I suspect we are in for decades of friction if not open warfare.

Chopping off part of Iraq, (another created nation), could have been an option but I suppose that we blew that didn’t we?

It could still be a start an if regime change were to occur in Turkey, then the possibility could become a reality..

Humphreys Executor | August 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

As long as Turkey is a NATO ally, I assume that would make any effort by the US to support Kurdish independence nigh on impossible.

I suspect the Kurdistan will have to become anti-Israel once they see which way the wind is blowing.

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ did an episode with the Kurds in northern Iraq shortly after the war.

Ballsy, to say the least.

It was a fascinating look into their culture. Clearly a people that have no desire to stay on a 7th century footing.

Worth watching.

Iraqi Kurds are more pro-American—and pro-Bush in particular than just about…anywhere else. And it should be pointed out that since the beginning of hostilities in Iraq, there have been exactly zero coalition deaths or injuries in Kurdish areas off the country. Whatever your feelings about the rightness or wrongness or strategic value of invading Iraq, it is very hard to see present day Kurdistan and not be happy for them.

Michael Totten, in one of his books on Irak, spoke about how the Kurdish area in Irak was separate. And, arabs weren’t allowed in at all. Totten had been traveling with an Iraki friend, when at the entrance gate he was told his friend could not accompany him inside. In Iraki-Kurdistan there are two separate leaders. Because one part has oil. And, the other doesn’t.

The Kurds are very fierce about protecting their areas. And, yes. They are close to Israel. There was even some ability, Israel had to interfere with an underground nuclear site that was very sophisticated. With help from the Kurds, there was an Israeli Mossad mission, where they got explosives inside, underground, and blew the whole thing up. (Years ago.)

The other thing to realize is though Israel is small, it is adept at all the languages. There are Jews that speak Farsi. Others that speak Kurdish dialects. And, this is because there are Israelis who came to Israel from all of these areas. And, there’s trade, back and forth.

The big Kahuna right now is what has been going on in Syria. Which the saud’s wanted to rip out of the Assad’s family’s hands. Didn’t happen.

We can also suspect that Benghazi was an arms depot where Libyan missiles and all sorts of guns and munitions were trans-shipped to “rebels” in Syria. Until that “corrodor” blew up one night. And, what was actually going on remains a big American “secret.” Was Hillary right? “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE?”

Russia isn’t about to lose. And, the Kurds have held their own against Turkey, Syria, the rebels. And, Russia.

If there are any missteps at all, they belong to Israel’s willingness to appease Kerry, and release 104 murderers as a “good will gesture.” The word games Americans are playing are just appalling.

Richard Aubrey | August 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I believe I’ve read reports that Iran’s arab population is far below replacement birth rate, while the Persians are expanding and the Kurds even more so. Might be a good idea for the mullahs to pre-emptively let the place go without fighting, since, not letting the place go is guaranteed to cause trouble.

Subotai Bahadur | August 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm


Musson | August 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

Kurdish population is growing much more quickly than Turks and want a country of their own. The Turks do not want to give up part of their country. I suspect we are in for decades of friction if not open warfare.

Genocide is part of the standard Turkish playbook. Ask the Armenians. In order to maintain Turkish power they will try to wipe out the Kurds, everywhere.


Humphreys Executor | August 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

As long as Turkey is a NATO ally, I assume that would make any effort by the US to support Kurdish independence nigh on impossible.

If we were looking at American policy from an rational pro-American viewpoint [think Lord Palmerston, “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”] we would be questioning just how much of an ally Turkey really is, NATO or not. Over the last decade, how often has Turkey ended up in support of the US -v- how often have they sided with those who are opposed to the US? However, we have to note that the American government is itself not pro-American and is in fact as anti-American as they can get away with. Thus they will oppose any Kurdish statehood, and ignore any Turkish genocide.

David R. Graham | August 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

In the mid-to-late 2000s, US Soldiers toured Kurdish Iraq without weapons. No harm came to them. They were warmly welcome. Kurds speak an Indo-European language. As do Afghans. Arabic is not one such. Hebrew and Arabic are Semitic languages. Kurds illustrate Islam, as do many in India and Central Asia. Arabs illustrate mohammedanism, an idolatry of a man and a book. Americans have an – I believe – lethal ignorance of the distinction between a religion, such as Islam, and an idolatry, such as mohammedanism.

I don’t know when the Kurds will gain nationhood, but I do wonder when that map maker will find out the USSR is no more. (well, we know they really are still there, they just use a different name)

The Kurds need to claim a heritage in Jerusalem. That will solve their statehood problem.

The Kurds don’t want to destroy Israel, don’t hate Jews, like Americans, and have a real ethnic identity that goes backmore than about sixty years. And anyone thinks they’re going to gain support for independence? From whom?

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Alex Bensky. | August 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

    They have a long history of terrorism. They imprison their women & a mid 2000s discrete survey in Kurdistan shows higher levels of FGM than expected.

    But I do like kefir & have some I process now. They also do good street goat kebabs.

BannedbytheGuardian | August 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

Also never ever going to get any land from Georgia , Armenia or Azerbaijan. These cultures are every bit as ancient as Kurds & pretty determined to survive intact.

Iraq would be their best bet. Within the Syrian civil war there has been no known assistance to the Syrian Kurds. This area is benefitting simply because Assad is busy elsewhere,

Knowing all the facts – if one was to back the Kurds – it would be better to put in less dorky spies. Those Rei outfitted hikers were soooooooo lame.

This was the failure of the Gulf War strategy. Had we taken two more days to destroy the Revolutionary Guard, Saddam could not have stayed in power. With swift action, we could have helped establish a Kurdish state, which would immediately attract the Kurdish bordering areas of Turkey and Iran to annex into. We might have changed the balance of power with our support of a new Kurdistan, with a people both inclined to ally with us and industrious enough to prosper in desolate lands.

The Kurds have been oppressed by Turkey, Iraq, and Iran from the drawing of national lines which left them parceled out among the winners.