Kurdistan 71


An independent Kurdistan is a difficult sell because it is supported by such horrible people – Benjamin Netanyahu and every far right Republican in the US you can think of. Tony Blair is probably holding back on his endorsement until offered a huge consultancy fee or preferential access to “commercial opportunities” in the country.

Nevertheless, I supported self-determination for the Kurdish people long before the Western attacks on Iraq and I still do so now. That is support for a Kurdistan uniting the Kurdish lands of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Western Iran.

(The exception is the isolated Kurdish population of North East Iran, who are geographically far separated from the other Kurdish lands. The North East Iranian Kurdish community were deported there by the Shah in the early nineteenth century to form a barrier against Turkmen incursion).

The history of discrimination and abuse suffered by the Kurdish people is best known as it applies to Turkey, but in fact has been true in all four countries both recently and historically. The independence of Iraqi Kurdistan would almost certainly increase pan-Kurdish sentiment. This would be an undeserved difficulty for the current Turkish government, which has done a great deal more than its military backed predecessors to reduce discrimination and persecution. Neither Iran nor Syria would ever peacefully accept the loss of Kurdish lands.

The neo-con dream is to create a pro-American little state out of Iraqi Kurdistan that provides American bases, oil contracts and pro-Israeli support in the Middle East. There is no doubt that both the current degree of Iraqi Kurdish autonomy and the new push for an independence referendum are American inspired. But the neo-cons are not nearly as clever as they think they are, and have started processes which they have no hope of controlling. I very much hope to see an independent Kurdistan, and I hope to see it grow. Once established I expect to see Kurdistan in short order kick out the Americans and declare support for the Palestinians.

There is another persecuted people in the region who are distantly related to the Kurds. The subjugation and persecution of the Baloch is a direct result of the British invasion of Kelat in 1839. I also hope to see a free Baluchistan, combining both the Pakistani and Iranian colonised Baloch lands.


71 thoughts on “Kurdistan

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  • Rehmat

    Let us not forget, like Palestine and Syria, Kurd land was fragmented by the British and French colonialists after WW I.

    Netanyahu, Peres and Lieberman don’t support an independent Kurdistan because they love Kurds, as there are over 50,000 Kurd Jews living as second-class citizens in Israel. They want Iraqi Kurdistan to be independent so Israel can use KRG as launching pad to destabilize Syria, Turkey and Iran through Kurdish minorities in those countries.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/07/02/peres-israelis-love-kurdistan/

  • arsalan

    I think a lot of people here including Craig and people who disagree with Craig have forgot one fact.
    There is a difference between what the Neocons and Israel say they want and what they really want.

    The NeoCons say they want an independent Kurdistan that they can use as puppet state. That it will be stable and peaceful and most importantly. It would be very very secular, western and Zionist.

    They say they want the above. And people often believe they actually want it. They just assume that the neocons cant see such a thing is impossible. And attempt it will result in huge civil wars that will destablise the middle east.

    What I am saying is the Neocons and Israel can see just what we see.
    They know what we know. They can pradict what we predict.
    They know attempting it it will cause civil wars and destruction just as we know it.
    Just as they knew the invasion of Iraq will cause the mess that is there now.
    They said different, but they knew the facts as as we know the facts.

    The difference between us and them, is they wanted the mess that is in Iraq now. They new the invasion will cause what it caused. They just saw the mess as a good thing.
    Just as they believe the mess that would be caused at an attempt to redraw maps is a good thing.

    Divide and Rule, work in when the British did it in India. And it works now when Israel and the NeoCons do it in the Middle East.

    When all those brown people fight each other in Iraq and Syria, they can’t fight Israel.
    If the fighting spreads to Turkey and Iran even better for the NeoCons and Israel.
    And if it spills over in to America and the UK. What does Israel care?
    It is the Job of the UK and America to protect Israel not the other way.
    And as far as the NeoCons are concerned. Not terrorist on America or the UK are not such a big deal. Their all their loyalty is with Israel, even if they pretend to have a dual loyalty. It isn’t America and Israel they serve. It is only Israel.

  • Phil

    Arsalan

    You credit the establishments with way too much puppet mastery abilities. And you are arse over tit with Israel which is just another outpost of empire not the dog.

  • Resident Dissident

    Phil

    “a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing” I think another appeaser got there first.

  • Tony M

    An aspect worth looking at is at what point in time and history did these areas largely peopled by Kurds become part of Turkey proper, rather than additions acquired as part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s expansion. In 1917, in WW1 Turkey, on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary but by then thinking only of itself, was still ‘enemy’ and the taking of Turkish controlled and occupied Palestine from Turkish forces was promoted by some to be a massive undertaking requiring up to a million troops, who began being withdrawn from the frontline in France as the mud-months approached. This weakening of the allied forces in the west was underway as Russia’s November ’17 Bolshevik revolution overthrew the previous revolutionary regime of earlier in the year and seen the massacre of the Czar and family, and Russia exiting the war, freeing many Germans who could move from the defunct eastern lines to the west and who now became assertive and had an advantage in France, before the novelty of fresh American troops, dauntingly ‘green’, cheerful, motivated and equipped, could arrive, and Allied troops preparing to or moving to Palestine could be turned around and become operational again.

    As in the end the taking of Palestine was less of a battle and more of a triumphalist procession, as far from massing for a slog of a fight, the Turkish forces more or less withdrew, whilst the allied position in France had been made more precarious and the slaughter there re-intensified. In that sense Palestine then was as much a part of Turkey as the Kurdish areas of Turkey are today, both outposts of the long-vanished Turkish Empire, some being severed whole such as Palestine, Jordan and another: Kurdistan (Land of the Kurds), soon after losing chunks to the newly-fashioned Syria and Iraq.

    It is possible if the Bolshevik Revolution hadn’t happened and Russia had continued fighting Germany, sufficient allied troops would have made it to Palestine, spared from France, for the Allied forces – in the end at a loose end as Palestine fell before a pea-shooter – to chase the Turks even out of the Kurdish areas of modern-day Turkey, probably with Kurdish help, which would have given Sykes and Picot a far larger canvas, a real fear which could explain Turkey’s desire to concede the peculiar allied designs on Palestine, an allied obsession which had calamitous side-effects in France and could have cost and lost them the entire war. Turkey fortuitously ending their war against the allies before their ‘home’ turf, particularly the Kurdish areas, became the battleground.

    A Kurdistan now or not is a tough call, no clear right and wrong positions emerge, but self-determination and self identity are clear inalienable rights, though if there is merely an ethnic basis for forming an independent political entity, that is out of favour, counter to the unstoppable tide of human history and is infinitely problematic as chaos, not good order, is the goal of almost every powerful outsider recommending it.

  • Resident Dissident

    Tony M

    That last para made me think of this

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

    My enemy’s friend is my enemy is what I think you were trying to say. Perhaps you might wish to explain what exactly in which direction the “unstoppable tide of human history” is going as normal tides go backwards and forwards, and leaving aside the impact of global warming tend to end up in exactly the same place.

  • Fool

    About whether it is colonialist / right or wrong to involve yourself in struggles to unpick Picot Sykes: there is much I don’t know about and before I read James Barr’s eye opening A Line in the Sand when it came out in 2011 I didn’t know anything about Picot Sykes and the incredible story of how it came about). I either didn’t know about it because there is much I don’t know about it or because it was a conveniently forgotten detail. I thought hang on this is great here is an establishment produced book (during the research the author was a visiting fellow at St Antony’s) which displays some of our warts. I like the book in the same way as Norman Davies’s work – it says wake up and look at this. However, since I read it I begin to hear more and more all the time about the need to unpick Picot Sykes, its even easily discussed on the Today programme – I can’t but conclude there has been a bit of an agenda for a while.

    In any event if you do create artificial boundaries and then try to change them 98 years later you have obviously got a lot more there than the unpicking of a stitch. Is there anyone competent to do that?

  • arsalan

    Phil

    I don’t believe Israel is an outpost of Empire. Instead I believe Israel claims to be an outpost of empire.
    Israel Pretends to be an outpost of Empire and the Zionist supporters of Israel use this lie to get people in Europe and America to support Israel.

    I don’t believe like some Anti Semites that Israel is a puppet Master able to control everything in the rest of the world. Again I believe Israel pretends it has this ability to scare its enemies.

    But many supporters of Israel have a lot of Power in Europe and America. And these people do not have duel loyalty as they pretend to do. All of their loyalty is to Israel.
    These are the chearleaders for war.
    All that matters in anything they call for is “Is it good for Israel”.
    These people pretended that the invasion of Iraq would be good for America and the UK. They pretended it was about stealing oil. But the UK and America made no money from the invasion. Oil costs more to steal than it does to buy. This wasn’t a misscalculation by the neocons. It just wasn’t that much of an issue. What they were after was the destruction of Iraq, because that was good for Israel.
    attempting to create a Kurdishstan by chopping bits of half a dozen countries will not result in what they pretend to believe it will result in. But that does not matter, the wars and instability it causes will be good for Israel. And that is all that matters to them.

  • Tony M

    Yes Resident Dissident, that is the same essay that was obliquely pointed out to you (not by me) when you hit us with your “defecating all over the memories of our descendants who fought tooth and nail blah blah blah […]”. I’m quite surprised you’ve linked that as I don’t see its relevance to my last paragraph above, or to anything much and I’m surprised too that you would bring it up as you couldn’t have looked more foolish last time it had an outing. Admitting the possibility that English is your second language and you have no first, perhaps it stung a little, that was the intention as your comments have an air not of dissidence, but of fearful compliance, of internalised media stenographer orthodoxy, in which facts are malleable inconveniences, just repeating the super-abundant disinformation that lies all around, already discarded discredited waste and noise and from which you select your tawdry wares and try sell it back to us tainted and used.

    The analogy is not the subject, I’ll leave you to your marine charts, tide as some irresistible action is the clear intent, what matters is the increasing contact and interface, interaction between diverse peoples, in peaceful constructive, creative ways, which is something only fools or madmen could ever hope to arrest or stop, but they keep trying all the same.

  • Resident Dissident

    Tony M

    You clearly missed the points about pretentious diction and verbal false limbs. My crime against the English language of confusing ancestors and descendants appears relatively minor set against yours of multiple adjectives and of not knowing when to end a sentence.

    You have still not answered the question about in which direction the unstoppable tide is flowing. Or at least not in words that a normal Englishman could understand.

  • Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    RD; Your chastisement of those who fail to address the salient point in question is like Blair disrespecting Khaddafi for pandering to his vested interests.

    Really. Your image in the mirror must elude you.

  • Resident Dissident

    Ben

    I am accused of many things but hiding my views on any subject is not usually one of them.

  • Laguerre

    Well, if the Kurds do go for independence, they’re going to be on very short commons. I finally saw the figures for oil revenue yesterday. The KRG was receiving $540 million a month as their share of national oil revenue, principally from southern Iraqi fields. So far they have managed to sell a total of $54 million worth of oil through the pipeline through Turkey.

    All that prosperity the Kurds show off in Erbil is going to disappear in a puff of smoke. I too am in favour of Kurdish independence, but we’re going to have another basket-case economy. That’s why the Kurds spend their time talking up the new supposed oil-fields. It is unlikely that they are enough to compensate for the lost revenue from Baghdad.

  • Mary

    Kyrgyzstan Needs Unity

    by Sufyan bin Uzayr / July 5th, 2014

    Recently, Kyrgyzstan commemorated the fourth anniversary of the violence that shook its southern part back in 2010. Back then, over 100,000 Uzbeks had to leave Kyrgyzstan and seek refuge in Uzbekistan in the aftermath of the riots.

    It all started as a simple brawl between groups of Kyrgyz and Uzbek youngsters in a casino in the city of Osh. Shortly thereafter, it took the form of a full-fledged ethnic violence. A lot many issues were highlighted by the incidents of 2010: Kyrgyzstan’s ever-subtle struggle for power and resources between the elites of Bishkek and their southern counterparts from Osh and Jalalabad, and the acute economic inequality between different communities, especially in the southern region of the country.

    Going Back to 2010

    April 2010 witnessed a revolution in Kyrgyzstan that eventually led to the elimination of the then President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Since Bakiyev was a southerner, the Kyrgyz elites of the north saw this as an opportunity to re-establish their control over the country, and for that matter, they sought and gained support from the Uzbek community too.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/07/kyrgyzstan-needs-unity/

    ~~~~

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almazbek_Atambayev
    Atambayev has repeatedly presented himself as a pro-Russian politician. He has announced Kyrgyzstan’s entry into the Customs Union, promised to secure the withdrawal of the American base from the country in 2014, and spoken of the need for closer economic relations with Russia, which temporarily employs about 500,000 citizens of Kyrgyzstan.;[21] however, he also expressed his wish to achieve greater economic and energy independence from it.[22]

    In early 2012 Atambayev travelled to Moscow, where in his meeting with Medvedev he called http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/07/most-effective-agents-of-oligarchs/for the $15 million owed by Russia to Kyrgyzstan for their use of the Kant airbase.

    ~~~~~
    Kyrgyz president attacks UK for ‘hosting a guy who robbed us’
    by Maxton Walker – 14 Jul 2013 – President Almazbek Atambayev demands return of Maxim Bakiyev, son of former leader, for allegedly stealing millions.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/14/kyrgyzstan-president-atambayev-maxim-bakiyev

  • arsalan

    Mary, I never heard of
    Oded Yinon
    But have heard of Greater Israel.
    What ever you call it, I believe it is more a Zionists Fantasy than an objective they are working towards.
    Why?
    Most Zionists are atheists. They don’t believe in a single word of their religious scriptures. They know their so called history is all made up even though they don’t like to admit it.

    Yes they would love to control naughbering countries. But, for them why stop at naughbering? They try to control what they are able to, whether naughbering or very far away.

    Israel is not able to control Gaza and the West Bank in the way they would like. They do not have the people to spread any further. They are not able to get enough Jews to have a Jewish majority in the land which they have now. That is why they want to declare Gaza and parts of the West Bank with large numbers of Palestinians are an independent state, completely controled by Israel but with none of the rights.

    I don’t believe Israel does what it does to expand.
    I believe it does it to survive.
    For Israel to survive the Arabs must die.
    Israel needs war to survive. It needs threats to its existance. It needs antisemitism.
    Why?
    How else can ISrael Get JEws to move in, and not leave unless they can scare Jews with Antisemitism. That is why the same people that support ISrael are the ones supporting Nazi groups.
    If the Arab world was unified and didn’t face civil wars, they could turn their guns on Israel. Israel knows this, so supports what ever will result in wars between Arab/Muslim countries and civil wars within them.
    Israel needs Arab countries to threaten ISrael. So a Zionist middle east is not what they really want even though they say they do. If there was peace in the middle east one day their will be civil war in Israel in the next.
    Why?
    There is nothing holding Israel togeather except the threat. ISrael is full of people who have nothing in common. Athesists and Religious extremists. PEople from many different countries. Communists, fascists and capitalists. The only thing stopping them from killing each other is the need to kill Arabs. And even with the need to kill Arabs and the fear of being killed by them, they bearly manage to avoid violnce between themselves crossing the line to civil war.

  • Phil

    Arsalan
    “All that matters in anything they call for is “Is it good for Israel”.”

    So what was the “their” priority before 1948?

    By lending Israel special significance you are buying into another illusion fostered to create more division and to divert you away from more complex realities.

    Israel is just another nasty, oppressive country.

  • arsalan

    Phil
    That statement refers to the NeoCons.

    Yes there are other nasty people working for other empires.

    But for the NeoCons Israel is all that matters.
    It matters more to them than their idiology.
    That is why they are Neo.
    Many of them used to be socialists and even hard core communists.
    Well at least they used to pretend to be, just as they pretend to be capitalists now.
    They will pretend to be anything, so long as it is good for Israel.

    What I am saying is nasty people are not made of just one united camp.
    They have many camps.
    The Zionists pretend to be part of other peoples groups, to get others to help them.
    Such as the Oil stealing camp. But afterwards, what the people who help Israel find is they get nothing back for all they do for Israel.
    And Israel and its supporters do not care, as long as it was good for Israel.

    There is no honour between thieves as far as Israel is concerned. They will get other thieves to help them. But wont lift a finger to help others.

  • Phil

    Arsalan

    Over riding self interest is not unique to Israel. Nor deception. Not lack of honour.

  • arsalan

    True.

    My point was Israel is not an American outpost. They just pretend to be.

  • Phil

    OK I see. Sorry I was unclear in my post by what I meant by “empire”.

    I do use it loosely because I am happy with some ambiguity. However, I do not mean America. I do not mean to imply it is any one state or homogenous entity at all. I call it the empire because it is easily preceded by “evil” and resonates to the Star Wars generation and Scientist dub fans. 🙂

    It could be the security/military/industrial/government complex or corporate states or western banking mafiosas but really it is all of these and more. Probably best described as capitalism.

  • Phil

    I can also see that Israel hams up it’s subservience to the US. Clearly things are not that simple.

    However, I do hold that US support for Israel, and thus Israel, would end tomorrow if Israel did not serve to divide the region so the capitalists can control and make money from resources.

  • arsalan

    My point is the US Israel relationship is not a symbiotic one where both benefit. It is a peracetic one where only Israel benefits.
    Israel likes to disguise it as a symbiotic one. But that is a lie.

    Yes Israel will end if America didn’t fill it with money.
    But that is the same as a flea dying when it can’t suck blood from a dog.

  • arsalan

    One day Israel realised the cost of buying a tank is more than the price of bying a congressman. And when you buy a congressman you can get as many tanks as you like for free, when he approves millitry aid. You can also get many times as much as you paid for him, in the form of other aid.

  • Yonatan

    “I expect to see Kurdistan in short order kick out the Americans and declare support for the Palestinians.”

    An interesting prediction. Israel has been helping the Kurds for years. The oil exported from Kurdish areas of Iraq is shipped to Israel. In those circumstances, I wouldn’t bet on the second part of the prediction.

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