Skip to comments.Kurdish independence now being supported by … Turkey?
Posted on 06/18/2014 11:28:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Via Ace and HuffPo, I’m suspicious that a story potentially this big has been confined so far to a Kurdish news outlet. If you’re looking for signs of an impending partition of Iraq, which all of entire western media is, they don’t come any bigger. Where’s the Drudge siren?
A few days ago, I tweeted that with Iraq in chaos, the Kurds might as well declare independence and upend the regional table entirely, to which maybe 50 people instantly replied, “What about Turkey?” Well, what about them?
The Kurds of Iraq have the right to decide the future of their land, said Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday.
The Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in, Celik told Rudaw in an interview to be published soon…
In case Iraq gets partitioned, said Celik, the Kurds, like any other nation, will have the right to decide their fate.
Celik believes that Iraq is already headed towards partition thanks to Malikis sectarian policies.
Is that diplomatic nonsense being pushed by Turkey to a foreign outlet, obscuring the fact that they’d surely bomb the new Kurdistan to smithereens if it declared independence and gave Turkey’s Kurds a reason to revolt? Or has Turkey come around on the idea of a Kurdish state? Believe it or not, this may be on the level. Moe Lane points to this recent piece at Time mag about the Kurds’ secret weapon as Iraq melts down: Namely, oil. Iraq’s Sunnis and Shia could spend the next 20 years fighting over territory in the west and south; in fact, the country’s biggest refinery was seized by Sunni “militants” just this morning. If you want a steady flow of Iraqi oil, your best hope is for the country’s most stable group to break away, grab the oil assets it can, and keep the tap open. In fact, there’s already a pipeline from Kurdistan to Turkey. Erdogan’s simply protecting his investment.
He’s also worried about Iranian expansionism, first in Syria via Tehran’s Shiite proxy Assad and now in Iraq as Maliki and the Shia gear up to face ISIS. Kurdistan’s peshmerga are an obvious partner for Turkey against Iran on the one hand and Sunni jihadis on the other. In fact, Kurdish troops may be the best military force in Iraq right now. Peter Galbraith:
Kurdistans military, called the peshmerga, is ideally situated to combat ISIS. The Iraqi Armyor what is left of itis hundreds of miles from Mosul; the peshmerga hold the Kurdish eastern half of the city. Although ISIS readily routed the Iraqi Army from the west bank, it chose not to tangle with far more formidable Kurds. President Obama can only order air strikes if he has good intelligence, controllers who can identify targets and troops who can follow up on the ground. Only the Kurds can do this…
Today, Kurdistan and Turkey are the closest of allies. Turkey is Kurdistans most important trading partner and Turkish companies are the largest investors in Kurdistan. Turkish intelligence and military officials consult regularly with their Kurdish counterparts. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a close personal relationship with KRG President Massoud Barzani and a poisonous one with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In advance of Turkish elections, Erdogan and Barzani jointly addressed a large public rally in Diyabakir, the largest city in Turkeys Kurdish southeast and Kurdistan is playing a constructive role in support of Erdogans effort to make peace with Turkish Kurdish rebels.
Credit the Kurds with brilliant strategic thinking in making nice with Turkey after the U.S. invasion in 2003. They’ve wanted a state for 100 years; they knew there’d eventually be an opportunity once the Sunni and Shia started tearing each other’s eyes out; and they knew who the big obstacle in the region was to their ambition. They convinced Turkey to invest in Kurdish independence, economically and militarily, and now it’s going to pay off. Well done.
The obvious play here for the White House, as Galbraith notes, is to back the Kurds in independence, no matter how much crow the U.S. might need to eat for resisting the partition of Iraq until now. Kurdistan is famously pro-American as it is; offer them official diplomatic recognition and that’ll only ripen further, replete with help in stomping out ISIS. If they want to seize an oil field or two or 10 in the process, no one’s going to object, least of all Turkey. We’d finally have a real partner and a strong military ally in the region at a moment when Iraq and Syria look like they’re about to become the most target-rich environment on earth for the U.S. military. It’s a no-brainer.
I’m not surprised. Turkey does not want another flood of Kurdish refugees coming back into Turkey. They finally got rid of them and want it to stay that way.
Not sure if anything has changed radically - Turkey has made friendly noises about Kurdistan in the past but not with regard to ceding any Turkish territory. If that has changed we do have a big story. BTT
I know a few Kurds living here in NYC.
They are the type of Muslims who are NOT VERY OBSERVANT ( they don’t even pray 5 times a day, and don’t even bother reading the Koran ).
I say that’s a good thing. The further you are from that book, the better you are.
Yes the Kurds seem to have it half way together. They don’t make their women wear a body bag either.
It looks like but it's competing against the no-brainer in the WH.
A these guys are as fickle and loyal as a group of 15 year olds. And about as dependable
All for the same reasons too
They support independence for Iraqi-Kurdistan only. When Iraqi Kurdistan becomes independent and cross border incursions into Turkey become “intolerable,” Turkey will invade and occupy it.
The Kurds are a hedge against ISIS, Iran, Syria and all.
Although most of them are Muslims, Kurds are pretty free and tolerant on religion. By and large, they’ve gotten along with religious minority Kurds well in recent times. That’s one difference between them and other factions in the Middle East.
The Kurds have suffered a lot under Saddam Hussein ( Remember, when over five thousand of them were gassed by Saddam’s Chemical Weapons when Papa Bush was President? Ever wondered where those WMD went to? ).
Anyway, the Kurdish area is probably the most STABLE, PEACEFUL and RELATIVELY better off region in what is still known as Iraq.
They are also the ones who are willing to FIGHT for their area ( note how they repelled the ISIL advance in Kirkuk ).
If I were in charge (OK, finish your laughter first and hear me out ), I would start talking to the Kurdish leaders about the plan for independence. I’ll tell them to prepare and organize for this and prepare to DEFEND themselves.
Then I would tell Maliki this — YOU WANT THE US TO DEFEND YOU AND YOUR SHIA? Here are our requirements:
1) Let the Kurds have their country.
2) Get rid of your Islamic constitution, and set up a secular state
3) Recognize Israel
4) Break off ties with Iran.
If Maliki says NO, then tell him: “Fine, have it your way. Goodbye”.
I would then head off to the Kurds and help THEM defend themselves.
I agree. I have always thought the Kurds should have their own sovereign country.
And Saddam Hussein supported the Kurds in Turkey.
Well it looks like the Kurds have played their cards well, not only within Iraqi politics, but Turkish and Iranian as well. Bravo! They have some real strengths with languages and connections in their neighboring countries, which are seen in their superb intelligence collection/analysis and their diplomatic effectiveness.
I will repeat what I said on another thread - they should adopt the Swiss model of universal male service in the military reserve until age 60, and extensive fortifications along invasion routes.
Every Summer Swiss men report to their local Reserve units, practice their marksmanship, and stare down the same valley that Dad and Grandpa did, wargaming how they would deceive, trap and kill any invader. Then they fill out their construction requests for the next year, to further improve their positions.
When neighbors are making their war plans, it just always works out to be easier to go around Switzerland than to try and go through it.
Looks like a plan for denazifying Iraq, Syria and Iran. ;-)
Here are some details.
Denazification, cumulative review. Report, 1 April 1947-30 April 1948.
The thought occurred to me today was that Turkey should annex Kurdish Syria and Iraq and then allow a semiautonamous zone including Turkish Kurds
I was thinking So Dam Insane mustard gassed the Kurds.