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Kurdish Independence Referendum on September 25th Raises Threats from Turkey, Iraq

Kurdish Independence Referendum on September 25th Raises Threats from Turkey, Iraq

The White House also wants the Kurds to cancel the vote

http://youtu.be/JJixFm1vCxM

The Kurds have been working toward an independent Kurdish state for many years, and they will finally vote on their independence on September 25, 2017.

Writing in 2014, Professor Jacobson noted:

We’ve been writing about the lack of a free and independent Kurdistan for years, It’s time for a free and independent Kurdistan.

While the Palestinian agenda has dominated every international forum, the much more populous and ethnically distinct Kurds have been mostly ignored.  In part, this is because the Kurds span several nation states created by colonial powers after the implosion of the Ottomon Empire.  Turkey particularly has threatened war if a Kurdish nation emerges.

In part it is because creating an independent Kurdistan does do not serve a political purpose of snuffing out the only Jewish state in the region.

EuroNews reports:

The parliament of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region has approved a plan to hold a referendum on independence on September 25th.

Parliament reconvened in Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

An overwhelming majority of the Kurdish lawmakers taking part backed the plan.

Some lawmakers wore Kurdish flags and rose to clap and sing the national anthem after the vote.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long-supported an independent Kurdish state.

Watch this video from 2014:

Citing concerns about continued efforts against ISIS, President Trump’s administration—like Obama’s before him—does not support an independent Kurdish state.  The Trump administration has demanded that the Kurds cancel their independence referendum in favor of further negotiations.

Politico reports:

The Trump administration demanded in unusually strong terms Friday that Kurdish leaders in Iraq cancel a referendum on independence set for later this month, saying it was “distracting” from the military effort against Islamic State terrorists.

The White House statement came hours after the parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan voted to go ahead with the referendum. The developments are the latest in an intensifying campaign, some of it waged on Capitol Hill, over whether the Kurds should hold the vote. It’s an especially sensitive issue because the Kurds are critical U.S. allies in the anti-terrorism fight in Iraq and Syria, providing ground troops that have scored numerous successes.

“The United States does not support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intention to hold a referendum later this month,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday. “The United States has repeatedly emphasized to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat [the Islamic State] and stabilize the liberated areas.”

The Sept. 25 referendum is advisory — meaning Iraqi Kurds will vote on whether they support creating an independent Kurdish state, giving their leaders a mandate to start negotiating an exit. It is expected to result in a “yes” for independence.

The New York Post has more on the Trump administration’s stance against pursuing a free and independent Kurdistan at this time:

So why has the US been going all out to stop the Kurds from voting? On Friday, a White House statement flatly demanded the referendum be called off.

It boils down to a fear that Kurdish independence would be a distraction from the war on ISIS. The Kurdish Peshmerga troops have been the most effective land force in the Western-led push to destroy the Islamic State.

That fight is finally succeeding. But since Turkey, Iran and especially the government of Iraq bitterly oppose Kurdish independence, the US has treated the referendum as a threat to a successful conclusion to the campaign against the terrorists.

That’s why Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asked the Kurds to delay their vote for independence. Other US officials are also working to pressure them to once again put off their hopes.

. . . .  Turkey, Iran and the Shia-dominated government of Iraq have a common interest in repressing Kurdish hopes for independence. That’s why seeking to put off the Kurds with vague promises about the future won’t work.

Instead of pledging to keep an Iranian-dominated Iraq united, Trump needs to seize this chance to put Tehran on the defensive on one front, while also pushing hard to roll back the nuclear deal and curbing their terror and missile outrages.

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Comments

THESE people are who we should be supporting for independence!

Unlike Palestinians these guys have actually crafted a working State!

Unlike Palestinians these people ACTUALLY want to rule themselves (and not kill the juice!).

Unlike Palestinians these people HAVENT brain washed their children to hate and kill the juice on sight!

Unlike Palestinians these people actually have a thriving, vibrant culture and want to live in peace!

But no…lets keep supporting Palestinians.

“On Friday, a White House statement flatly demanded the referendum be called off. It boils down to a fear that Kurdish independence would be a distraction from the war on ISIS.”

=====

Dear DC Swamp & DJT its latest convert, Long ago we learned that chewing gum while walking down the street are quite do-able.

    davod in reply to fscarn. | September 18, 2017 at 11:23 am

    This is perfectly understandable. They don’t want their main front line fighters heading off to the voting booth (pun). More to the point. The State Department wants no referendum until State ensures Sharia Law is predominant in the new constitution.

Just like in so many other instances where Trump could have shown courage and leadership, he has taken the swamp’s position. This is about a people who were divided and merged with other people not of their choosing after WWII. Just like the US, they seek independence from those who oppress them. If Trump had stood with our staunchest and bravest ally in the Middle East he would have looked like a courageous defender of independence and freedom. Instead, he hangs with the likes of Turkey and Iran. He whiffed, as usual.

Time for another Middle Eastern re-alignment. Turkey is bad, Syria is bad, Iran is bad, Iraq is indeterminate. The only ones who have been responsible there have been the Kurds.

Tillerson and the obama holdovers are doing Trump no favors
Kurds are the only success story in the ME. Especially for women

    gonzotx in reply to gonzotx. | September 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Success as in Muslim and pro women pro Democracy, of course, Israel holds her own in a vast swamp of ME Muslim Terrorists who only want to wipe her off the face of the world.

4th armored div | September 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

Trump and realpolitik.

this one aspect which i do not like.
he was on the right side before becoming prez.

too bad.

I spent a week in Instanbul back in 1995. I asked the question at a dinner/gathering of several promenient locals what their thoughts were of the kurdish people/ independence / etc. At the time, I had very limited knowledge and was asking the question to obtain some base information, – with no pre-determined bias, ie just to get some basic education.

The response was overwhelmingly that all to turkey should remain the country of turkey regardless if inhabitats were turkish, kurdish, syrian, iranian or irish or german. There was also a very pronounced dislike of the kurds. From those comments, it appeared that the kurds were considered a lower caste.

That being said – There is some merit to creating a separate kurdish country. When the Ottoman empire was disolved post WWI, with Attaturk (sp error) and the British mandate creating the borders for syria, jordan iraq, did not do a good job of drawing the borders based on nationality, etc. therefore it would make sense to create new country for the kurds.

When the WH issues a counterintuitive demand like this, offering vague reasons for it, it’s likely that the real reason is something entirely different. Captain Hawkins smells a rat.

Maybe on the 25th, the Kurdistan people can vote for independence. And then on the 26th the people of Alabama will vote for independence from the swamp by voting for Chief Justice Roy Moore

The problem with an independent Kurdistan is that none of the countries in which the Kurds live want it. So, the Kurds would have to secede from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. This would likely cause the governments of those countries to use force to stop such a secession. Remember what happened in the US in 1861.

There are very real reasons why the US should not support this initiative, at this time. If something can be negotiated, in the future, which the nations which would lose territory to a Kurdish nation can live with, fine. Otherwise, I have no desire to go to war with Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran to support the Kurds.

The only thing that surprises me is that the Kurds waited this long.

When I was in Iraq I actually traveled between Iraq and Kudistan a few times dealing with contractors.

It was kind of funny to me. The Iraqis acted blatantly arrogant and superior to the Kurds, but the Kurds were the ones that actually had their shit together. They had modern, relatively well trained and maintained facilities and personnel, and the Iraqis were a shitshow of run-down, corrupt and incompetent leadership.

The day Turkey screwed W Bush on the Iraq invasion, I said he should retaliate by publicly supporting a Kurdish state in the Kurdish parts of Iraq, pointedly without demanding that it renounce territorial claims on Turkey.

The one good idea Joe Biden had was to partition Iraq. There’s no good reason that country should exist, and we could have gained a Shi’ite ally to set up against Iran.

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