Kurdistan as a state?




 
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March 8th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 

Topic: Kurdistan as a state?


Should the Kurds have their own state? Why or why not? What are the potential consequences for the US politically and for US military operations within Iraq and the Middle East if allowed?

This would be a good poll, but I would rather set it up to incite good discussions.
March 8th, 2004  
Gunner13
 
 
OK, sounds like a very good topic for discussion (wonder if we have any actual Kurds availalbe to weigh in on this???)

I vote NO as that would only further Balkanize the region (and one Balkans is enough for ANY planet!!!!!). Granted that a lot of countries in the Middle East (and other places) are/were artificial political constructs, but Iraq is supposed to have a fairly strong national identity and chopping off the area where the Kurds live would not help much (not to mention what it would do to the stability of Turkey adn Iran).

I wouldn't think anyone would wnat MORE conflict in the that region, as its explosive enough!
March 8th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 

Topic: what


what happend to the whole- self definition thingy...? They are not Iraqis...
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March 8th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
Iraq is supposed to have a fairly strong national identity
It has been my experiences that Iraq has virtually no national identity. There are Tikritis, Karbalis, Samarii, Ramadi and many other such clans but aren't really any Iraqis. No one every called themselves "Iraqi". Each clan has an area it calls its own and will try to take from those who have other area. Added to that, you have Shiite and Sunni muslims, Yazidi ect ..within the clans increasing an already deep rift between these groups. There are six different clans within the Trikrit area, and none of them particulary care for the other. It is like that in all areas of Iraq.

The latest information out of Iraq about the "compromise arrangement" in the constitution, IMO, bodes poorly for the long-term stability of the region. It is my impression that al-Sistani and his Shia majority have been given official assurances in the law itself that while individual liberties will be protected, no laws will be allowed which are contrary to Islam. This is an enormous contradiction, and I am afraid it will not be long before these two, antithetical and competing bases at the root of the law come to loggerheads. This constitution is a political timebomb, designed more to make the deadline while appeasing as many parties involved than to provide a basis for stable, enduring governance and rule of law.

Would an independent Kurdistan cause kicking and screaming in Turkey, Iran, Syria, and every other ME country; would it earn us UN condemnation, and tick off Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites? Yes, unquestionably it would. But, in the long term, is there any viable way to keep these groups from going at one another's throats? Building a sense of national purpose and direction, particularly among the mosaic of ethnic and religious groups there is not going to be easy, and in fact, is going to be nearly impossible. I don't think there is a way to accomplish that outside of dictatorship, and that is a worse alternative.

The Kurds have the most stable region within Iraq at the moment, and they have already stated quite clearly they are not willing to give it up. But would it even be worth the effort to take a gamble on supporting their independence.
March 8th, 2004  
Redneck
 
 
As I have no real-world experience to back this up, I do not know if this is a viable position. However, I think that breaking apart Iraq into different culturally and ethnically monotone nations is not a good idea. Even though, as you said, Sir, the different ethnic groups are always at each other's throats, they do have one thing in common, they are Iraqis, whether they call themselves that or not. Also, if these different groups all have their own nations and armies (aside from the difficulty of setting these governments up and stabilizing each one individually), these conflicts WILL develop into another ME war eventually. I realize that you are not suggesting that each one of these groups be given autonomy and independence, but is the Kurds got their own nation, these other ethnic groups would almost definitely also want and demand their own independence. Even as bad as the civil unrest is currently in Iraq and the deathsthat it has caused, a large scale revolution or civil war by a group seeking to secede following the precedent of the new Kurdistan would be far worse in my opinion.
March 8th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
Yes, the Turkls should have their own state. However, I do not think it will happen because of Turkey's opposition to it, and in turn the NATOs support for Turkey. The Arabs will resent having non arabs in control of what they belive is their oil.
March 9th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
I do not think it will happen because of Turkey's opposition to it, and in turn the NATOs support for Turkey. The Arabs will resent having non arabs in control of what they belive is their oil.
Turkey, Iran, Syria, and everyone else would be screaming, yes. However, with US troops in the region, "The New Kurdistan" .. the Turks would be unwilling to go any farther than a few shrills and curses. With this war, the US has been shown that she doesn't have as many "hard core and true" allies as she once thought she had .. so NATO is at best, negligible. Likely consequences of this stance: we lose what little foothold we have in the middle east.

Or:
Say we don't want to lose Turkey. We have some good things in Turkey, we don't want to piss them off unless we have to. So we tell Turkey that in exchange for them yeilding on the Kurdistan issue we will help them get into the EU. Call Germany and France on the carpet and tell them that despite their superior airs, they are, in fact, racist pricks and the only way to avoid South-African like sanctions is to let Turkey into the EU. (obvious as to why I'm not a diplomat)

While I would love to think we could give the Kurds a free state, not because I like them, but because I believe we could potentially have the support and staging area we want/need within the region, and in turn (with a little force and a harder stance) gain more control within the ME. The problem with this is that the Kurds have very little (read: nill) pull within the ME. I seriously doubt we can afford to take the risks at this time.

I'm not convinced (especially after seeing what was recently approved in the Iraqi constitution), that the Islamisation of Iraq is avoidable even if we do stay there for a decade. It has already, in fact, happened under the occupation in places like Al-Sadr City (5+ million people) which is now uder Sha-ria law. The Kurds will bear the brunt of this outcome, as will we.
March 9th, 2004  
Redneck
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RnderSafe
Quote:
obvious as to why I'm not a diplomat.
Naaww, why would you say that, Sir?
It would be nice to have a somewhat true muslim allie in the ME, but like I said before, I think that the creation of such a state might be a catalyst for out and out civil war in what remained of Iraq as the different ethnic groups tried to obtain their own independence.
March 9th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
I think that the creation of such a state might be a catalyst for out and out civil war in what remained of Iraq as the different ethnic groups tried to obtain their own independence.
I agree, the problem is, we're going to see that anyway. We could get rid of Iraq altogether.

The existing national boundaries in the middle east are all artificial for the most part so I do not think we should be bound by then in looking at how to best settle the region.

*enter dream state*
The Southern part of Iraq would become part of Kuwait (they share the same sect of Islam).

Syria's leadership has to be dealt with eventually anyway so why not now; once that country falls its Sunni majority along with the Sunni part of Iraq should be absorbed by Jordan. Give the Kurds the north of Iraq and Syria as a homeland and allow all Kurds living elsewhere the right to immigrate there.

You would then have (ideally):
A large Sunni state run by the somewhat stable peaceful Jordanian royal family (and somewhat working legislature and court system). Couple this with the oil revenue available from the Sunni triangle and you have the makings of a prosperous peaceful stable state that already is at peace with Israel and has friendly relations with the US.

This would also free Lebanon to go back to being a truly independent state free of Syrian interference. The current ruling Alawite minority of Syria would lose its grip on power to the majority and the obsession with Israelís destruction would be watered down and eliminated under Jordanian leadership.

Giving the southern part of Iraq where the Shiites are to Kuwait allows the Kuwaities to spend their money developing it and settles long standing boarder problems between the two nations. It also settles the political issues between Iraq Sunni's and Shiites trying to work together after so much hate for so long. The current southern Iraqi's would provide much needed manpower for Kuwait and would be gradually brought into the political process to facilitate a smooth transition. This would establish a prosperous state much more able to defend itself with good relationship with the US.

A Kurdish state with oil revenue to support it. Adding in the ability of Kurds from other nations to immigrate allows Kurds elsewhere who wish to leave the persecution they face in Turkey and Iran thus actually helping those nations with their Kurdish problems. The state would be large and prosperous enough to defend itself and would undoubtedly be very friendly toward the US for nurturing its birth.

But, since nothing is ever that easy - so much for a quick and easy fix.

We're in a catch 22. Even if Iraq is stabalised (unlikely) the Kurds will not give up their land, the oil, nor will they lay down arms.
March 9th, 2004  
Redneck
 
 
Once again, I don't know if this is viable since I have no experience with the ME, and I don't want to seem like an armchair social reformer, but is making ethnically monotone states a good idea? I know the ME is a different world, but it seems like such states would only serve to increase the ethnic identities of these groups (as opposed to a national identity) which would broaden the social and political borders between these hypothetical new states and give rise to a region with even more border disputes and militancy than it currently has. (See the Iran-Iraq war repeated ad nauseum.)