"An independant Kurdistan is not only a necessity, but a birthright stemming directly from the right of peoples to self-determination. "
Well, I seem to be in a distinct, albeit august minority. I look forward to the day Kurdistan holds it's referendum on legal seccession from Iraq. My clock says about seven years from now. The only reason that it wouldn't happen is if Iraq becomes a flaming multi-cultural success. That doesn't seem likely. Moreover, as I've mentioned numerous times, Kurds have never been closer to the reality of their own nation. They won't forsake that opportunity
Where Turkey to TRULY display some diplomatic acumen, they may actually support the creation of a Kurdish state. I firmly believe that, for a variety of excellent reasons, this would neuter the PKK within Turkey. A new Kurdish state would have little cause to provoke Turkey by continuing sanctuary and support for the PKK movement. It would endanger the nascent emergence of a redoubt for the Kurdish diaspora. The PKK might be viewed as a distraction from the primary and logical objective of consolidating a Kurdish state surrounded by enemies. Finally, land-locked Kurdistan would need an outlet for it's trade, presumably to include oil from Kirkuk, Mosul, and Irbil. The Turks may well represent the best avenue to the global market for these goods and materials, particularly compared to the Iranians, Russians, Iraqi Sunni/Shias, and Syrians. The economic windfall alone would merit serious thought by reasonable Turks looking for a viable path forward.
Should the U.S. government enter into an agreement with a new Kurdish government to secure it's status in exchange for certain basing and other undisclosed "rights", I can't imagine America doing so without the caveat of active suppression by the Kurdish government of PKK operations and facilities on Kurdish soil. Our presence would be an enormous incentive to the Kurdish government to aggressively pursue the suppression of the PKK. Doing so would effectively neuter the PKK's ability to operate within Turkey. Without sanctuary in Kurdistan, the PKK within Turkey is at the mercy of the Turkish Army.
America's presence, finally, would end this nonsense about Turkish conquest of Kurdistan. The consequences to Turkey on too many fronts-from E.U. status to the possibility of a direct military confrontation with the U.S. would not justify the risk.
It's high time that reasonable Turks everywhere begin to understand the opportunities that lay before them. There CAN be a way forward for Turkey and Kurdistan. Given that the Kurds will likely vote to secede, it's time for Turks of good will to begin imagining how this very likely reality can be turned to their advantage. The ways to do so are simply to numerous to ignore.
It's high time that reasonable Turks everywhere begin to understand the
opportunities that lay before them. There CAN be a way forward for
Turkey and Kurdistan. Given that the Kurds will likely vote to
secede, it's time for Turks of good will to begin imagining how this
very likely reality can be turned to their advantage. The ways to do
so are simply to numerous to ignore.
FJV, you evidently don't understand that the CURRENT and legal Iraqi constitution provides for a Kurdish secession referendum no earlier than ten years from approval. That was nearly three years ago. Sometime around 2014 I'd expect a vote to secede from Iraq unless things change dramatically for the better. Even then, Kurdish national aspirations are so prevalent and enduring that they would likely choose to secede anyway.
The only serious questions that I'd have is whether the United States would agree to guarantee Kurdish sovereignty and what the actual territorial demarcations shall include (i.e. Kirkuk, Mosul, Irbil and the surrounding energy-rich locales). The second matter will cause serious bloodshed, and perhaps open warfare between Iraq and Kurdistan. While the constitution provides for a Kurdish referendum, it seems that the actual territory which defines "Kurdistan" is subject to much dispute and will likely be resolved by force of arms unless the United States mediates the division. Needless to say, we would hardly be honest brokers at that point, as the partition of Iraq will constitute a diplomatic failure by the United States to stabilize and make successful a greater Iraq.
OTOH, our presence in Kurdistan would render null the likelihood that Kurdistan would be denied these aforementioned areas. Kurdistan MUST have Kirkuk, Mosul, and Irbil oil/nat'l gas to be a viable economic player. Without, and Kurdistan is a perpetual pauper-state and makes no sense as a nation. With Shia control of the southern Iraqi fields and Kurd control in the north, little remains for the Sunni. Our presence in Kurdistan would likely mean open civil war in the south between Shia and Sunni militias, unless they were to magically reach an accomodation that would facilitate their combined assault upon the Kurds. Most unlikely of all.
No. A deft hand by the United States and Iran finds inself dragged into the civil war between Sunnis and Shias of whatever remains of Iraq. That would be no laughing matter for the mullahs in Tehran. Iraq could easily become the ideological and military battlefield of the internecine rivalry within Islam between the Shias and Sunnis-with America comfortably sitting on the "sidelines" in Kurdistan.
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