Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kurdish Independence Long Overdue

During a recent news conference, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi, criticized the decision by leaders of the country's Kurdish Autonomous Region to hold a referendum on independence in late September. He was quoted by Al-Arabiya as saying that, "The referendum at this time was not opportune." In other words, it wasn't the right time to hold a vote on Kurdish independence (see: Iraq PM Abadi says Kurdish referendum untimely). You know what? He's absolutely right. Such a referendum should have been held a century ago!

In fact, after the First World War ended, the Kurds of the former Ottoman Empire were promised a referendum on independence in the Treaty of Sevres. But of course, that referendum never happened. Instead, the Kurds were given no state of their own and were forcibly included into the new European constructs of Iraq and Syria, as well as the new Republic of Turkey. To their credit, however, the Kurds have never accepted the injustice that befell them after WWI and continue to fight for independence in several Middle Eastern states to this day.

In Iraq, the Kurds won autonomy after the Gulf War in 1991 and managed to consolidate that autonomy after the American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. In the last few years, the Iraqi Kurds have led the struggle against the so-called Islamic State, liberating Kurdish territory from the grip of the genocidal terrorist group. They are now in a stronger position than ever before, which is why I'm not surprised that they would push for independence now. And I support them 100%!

Kurdish independence, not only in Iraq but also in the other parts of Kurdistan is long overdue. It's a hundred years overdue! Yes, I understand that the idea of an independent Kurdistan has a lot of people trembling - people who now occupy the presidential palaces in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, all of which are occupying powers on Kurdish land. I say let them tremble. Let them be scared, for the day of Kurdish liberation is drawing nigh.

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