Terrorism, oil, the crisis in Iraq, the Syrian civil war and geopolitics all weigh against the birth of a new Kurdish state.
The recent referendum for the independence of Kurdistan, only applies to the white region (Basûr) in the map
Oct. 4.– The Kurds have been scourged by history (as well as by British and French imperial designs, with their 1920s “peace to end all peace,” as David Fromkin termed it in his remarkable 1989 book).
In drawing up the borders that followed the First World War and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, despite earlier promises, left them stateless, split between Turkey, Syria, Iran and the – by now – fictitious country that is Iraq. But the stability of the latter has become crucial to the entire region.
After the 1991 Gulf War, the United States protected the Iraqi Kurds from Saddam Hussein with a no-fly zone and an extensive de facto autonomy. This was strengthened and formalized after the 2003 U.S. invasion and the dismantling of the Ba’athist state.
Iraqi Kurdistan then embarked upon a process of “de-Arabization,” as opposed to the policy that the Baghdad regime had pursued by force. There are now few Kurds who speak Arabic; their own language prevails. And the Iraqi state, if it can be referred to as such, does not extend that far.
The Iraqi Kurdistan government unilaterally organized a referendum on September 25th ...
[ Full text ]