|Kurdish Peshmerga fighters guarding Mosul Dam in Iraq|
So What if Iraq "Vanishes"?
- Nations have come and gone in the middle east for thousands of years. But the U.S. government tries to whip the American Sheeple into a frenzy and send in our troops to "protect" the borders of nations that have never existed in history.
(Middle East Forum) - Next month, on September 25, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil will hold a binding referendum on whether or not to secede from Iraq. It will almost certainly pass. More than a decade ago, the Kurds held a non-binding referendum that passed with 99.8 percent of the vote.
No one knows what's going to happen. Iraq is the kind of place where just about anything can happen and eventually does.
Kurdish secession could go as smoothly as a Scottish secession from the United Kingdom (were that to actually happen) or a Quebecois secession from Canada, were that to actually happen. It could unfold like Kosovo's secession from Serbia, where some countries recognize it and others don't while the Serbs are left to stew in their own juices more or less peaceably.
This is a serious business, though, because Iraq is not Britain, and it is not Canada. And there's a potential flashpoint that travelers to the region would be well advised to stay away from for a while.
|"Syria" and "Iraq" Never Existed|
To Start With
Most of the Middle East "nations" we are trying to "save" were artificially created out of thin air by European Imperialist powers before and after World War One. Countries like Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Kuwait had never existed before the West marched in to divide, conquer and set up their colonies.
See our article:
The Artificially Created Nations of the Middle East May Vanish at Last
Shortly after ISIS invaded Iraq from Syria in 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government effectively annexed the oil-rich governorate of Kirkuk. Ethnic Kurds made up a plurality of the population, with sizeable Arab and Turkmen minorities, before Saddam Hussein's Arabization program in the 1990s temporarily created an artificial Arab majority.
Since then, Kurds have been returning to the city en masse while many Arabs, most of whom had no history in the region before Saddam put them there, have left. No one really knows what the demographics look like now.
It's a tinderbox regardless of the actual headcount. Some of the Arabs who still live there could mount a rebellion at some point, either immediately or down the road. If they do, they might engage in the regional sport of finagling financial and even military backing from neighboring countries.
Then again, Arabs have been trickling north into the Kurdistan region for years because it's peaceful and quiet and civilized. It's the one part of Iraq that, despite the local government's corruption and inability to live up to the democratic norms it claims to espouse, works remarkably well.
Kirkuk Governorate, though, is—or at least recently was—another story. The three "core" Kurdish governorates—Dohuk, Erbil, and Suleimaniyah—have been free of armed conflict since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, but Kirkuk was down in the war zone. I went there ten years ago from Suleimaniyah and was only willing to do so under the armed protection of Kurdish police officers.
Had I wandered around solo as I did farther north, I would have risked being shot, kidnapped or car-bombed. I still could have been shot or car-bombed alongside the police, but at least kidnapping was (mostly) off the table. The very fact that Kirkuk was a war zone at a time when the Kurdish governorates to the north were not suggests that the Kurds may be swallowing more than they can digest.
Kirkuk has oil, though, while the governorates to the north mostly don't, so of course the Kurds want it. Baghdad, of course, wants to keep it for the same reason. Will Iraq's central government go to war over it? Probably not. Saddam Hussein lost his own war against the Kurds in the north, and he had far more formidable forces at his disposal than Baghdad does now. Still, it's more likely than a war between London and Edinburgh, or between Ottawa and Montreal.
Read More . . . .
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Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran all oppose a free Kurdistan that would unite the Kurdish peoples into one nation.