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.

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71 thoughts on “Kurdistan

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  • arsalan

    Israel will demand oil from the Kurds. They will claim they will support them in their independence. But as soon as Kurdishtan gets in the way of making a few pennies, Israel will dump the Kurds and their Kurdishtan.

    Zionists have no honour.

    Israel pretends to be the lesser evil. As a means of us seeing it for what it is. It pretends to be colonialists. But it is far worse because colonialists ruled others. While Israel slaughters and expels. They pretend to be apartheid. But they are not. Aparthied South Africa wanted Blacks to live as second class citizens while Israel doesn’t really give Palestinians the right to live.
    The only nation you can compare Israel to is Nazi Germany.
    But even then Israel compares unfavorably to Nazi Germany because Hitler abolished the reichstag. While the Zionists of ISrael vote for every evil act ISrael does.

  • teo68

    it’s really amazing how you all ppl, many of you don’t even live in that region, discuss what is right and what is wrong for the ppl who actually happen to live in those lands. why don’t we just give every ethnic group in the world a piece of land, preferably the lands that were taken from them. perhaps the european americans can start giving back the lands they stole from the native americans to show a goodwill and an example?! oh, you find this absurd? but it is totally making sense to you to take lands from iran, turkey, syria and iraq and give it to the kurdish people? yeah, right.
    smart ppl know that this is all artificial and an agenda to dominate this region. simple and sad as that. i hope it blows in their hands just like crimea did. all in all, in the end it is always those ppl in living there in those lands pay for it in blood.

  • arsalan

    The Kurds have land in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Each and every Kurd in those countries have full citizenship and all the rights enjoyed by Non-Kurds. Kurds are not Palestinians without passports. Kurds do not loss the right of return if they ever go on vacation outside of their villages.
    Lets not pretend that Kurds live under Zionism where someone from another continent can come over and take his home in which is family has lived for generations.

    We should work for the rights of Kurds in the countries in which they live. Instead of carving out a country out of many countries where Kurds will be able to take the rights away from others.

  • Mary

    An interesting comment by Robert Fisk.

    ‘So, that’s what Isis has been up to

    While the Iraqi army supposedly fights back against Isis, it’s worth remembering that the cities at either end of the Islamists’ new self-proclaimed caliphate – Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – have historic links which precede the post-First World War Anglo-French Mandates that divided them with a Syrian-Iraqi frontier. I’m indebted to a short but enlightening monograph by John McHugo (chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine) which points out that “in 1919-20… the separation of Iraq from Greater Syria was still only a division between occupation zones. Aleppo had stronger links and greater fellow feeling with Mosul than with Damascus.”

    Both, says McHugo, were cosmopolitan, merchant cities “which had been trading partners for hundreds of years, if not for millennia, along the Silk Road, and there was no natural frontier between them.” ‘


  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Arsalan, while taking on board all you say, and agreeing with much of it, should Kurds have rights to the oil around Erbil, or should they (in the teeth of history) come to an agreement with the artificial entity of Iraq? Seems to me that a liberal democracy permitting equal rights to all is pretty far off as far as Iraq is concerned, while the semi-autonomous Kurds are a bit closer to that ideal.

    I agree, this does not address the position of Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran. Where what you said makes sense, given tolerance from the State concerned and a willingness to accept the State on the part of the Kurds. Neither of which can be taken for granted.

  • arsalan

    Oil in any land belongs to the people who of that land.

    To say it belongs to the Kurds(Including Kurds that live in the Pakistan and Russia), and not Arabs and Turks that live in Erbil borders on Zionism.

    And no one including the Kurdish Nationalists would say its ownership ends with the boundery of the oilfields.

    The key issue is, the borders of the country.
    Should it be kept as what Sykes Picot drew after WW1?
    Or how the Zionists and colonialists and Zionists would prefer, a further chop up of the middle East resulting in even smaller petty nations that fight more wars over their tiny borders?
    Or what I am calling for, a reversal of Sykes Picot.
    Not a new colonialism with new borders and a new set of wars caused by them.
    But a return to what was there before.
    A return to the Khilafah. And the oil will belong to all the people within it, Kurds, Turks Arabs and Persians.

    When it comes to Turkey, Syria and Iraq reuniting, and whether Kurdishstan should exists as a single unit within it with control over the oil there. I don’t really have an opinion on the issue as long as all citizens have equal rights to the wealth of the land what ever they label themselves as.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    To say it belongs to the Kurds(Including Kurds that live in the Pakistan and Russia), and not Arabs and Turks that live in Erbil borders on Zionism.

    Indeed it does, and I hope you don’t think that’s what I’m saying. But to clarify, let’s say “the citizens of a hypothetical state in the predominantly Kurdish area of Iraq”. Which would seem at least possible.

    The key issue is, the borders of the country.
    Should it be kept as what Sykes Picot drew after WW1?
    Or how the Zionists and colonialists and Zionists would prefer, a further chop up of the middle East resulting in even smaller petty nations that fight more wars over their tiny borders?

    What Sykes-Picot did was to establish some autocratic rulers over bits of the Ottoman Empire. This worked, sometimes, because the rulers were at least from the local majority. Jordan and Saudi survived, for instance, and the Gulf states are still governed by the descendants of local tribal leaders. When the autocrats failed to hang on, there was and is trouble. I don’t see retaining the territorial divisions that work as altogether a bad thing. Or colonialism, necessarily.

    You say, small rival states are a recipe for conflict: true (though I don’t think the little Gulf states are violent to each other). So is a large and unwieldy central administration failing to balance its policy – an extremely hard thing to accomplish – between diverse and historically opposed regions. And a Sunni caliphate would always have to contend with its Shi’a citizens, more especially since the West has been enlarging the division as hard as it can since 2001. ‘Religious’ idiots are always with us (and see Northern Ireland).

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Or as colonialism, I should have said. Though as to colonialism, the periods the region or a good part of it was peaceful and reasonably law-abiding were, arguably, under the Roman and Ottoman Empires…

  • arsalan

    You will get conflict if you had a Sunni Khilafah or a Shia Khilafah.

    I similar type of conflict that results from the race based states you have now.

    When you have a state dedicated to one people, and not the other people that share that state you will have conflict.

    The way to resolve this is the state belonging to its citizens, Shia, Sunni, Muslim and non-Muslim. And the sate not favoring one ethnicity over another, and never interfering in personal acts of worship.

    People only mind when they disagree with a law that interferes with their personal lives, issues which the state has no business interfering with.
    When it comes to state issues, such as taxes and expenditures. People are willing to tolerate things even if they would have preferred to do things differently as long as justice is served. Even if that justice is influenced by another school of Islamic law.

    Jordan and Saudi Arabia survive due to the guns of the rulers. The Saudi family didn’t take power by the consent of the people. They took power by killing, and keep power by killing. The Ruling family of Jordan took power by the British killing and installing them in power and supplying them with what ever they need to stay in power when ever the people of Jordan attempt to remove them.
    These two countries are ruled by two families. Not by the consent of the people.
    And the same thing applies to all the other Arab countries.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    The way to resolve this is the state belonging to its citizens, Shia, Sunni, Muslim and non-Muslim. And the sate not favoring one ethnicity over another, and never interfering in personal acts of worship.

    Big ask, Arsalan. Would you say the UK belongs to its citizens? I mean, I’m all in favour of that as a solution, but it was you who wanted A return to the Khilafah. (above), and the obvious difficulty with that is that it presupposes that one or the other major branch of Islam, probably the Sunnis, will be making the laws. Which would not be a good idea in Iraq, where there is a lot of bad history and a Shi’a majority. I, as a pessimist, think your ideal is unrealisable: that tribalism would trump democracy, and everyone would be back where they started, with strongmen like the Sauds in charge.

    What the Middle East needs to do IMHO is rapidly to become a lot more cynical about religion. When religion is less central to existence, states can concentrate on real issues, and I think this is maybe what happened in the West over the last century or two. While it doesn’t guarantee peace, it at least removes a frequent and poisonous cause of war.

  • arsalan

    Khilafah will be more acceptable to the Shia population than the American impossed system Iraq has now. Or the Bathists system that proceded it or the British Impossed Monarchy that proceded it.

    People are more inclined to tolerate rules influenced by a different branch of Islam than rules that ignore Islam. As long as the state does not dictate on how they should practice their individual acts of worship.
    But that is the key issue here. There isn’t really a difference between the shia interpretation on how to run a state or the Sunni. We do keep our hands in different places during the standing position of prayer. But when it comes to how to run a country there isn’t really more of a difference between schools of Islamic thought as there is within them.

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