Topic category: Other/General
Recent nuances and nudges in government policy as well as tacit support for the most obscene anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism by the ruling political party of Turkey ought to cause the United States to begin to rethink its comprehensive policy toward Asia in general and toward one non-Arab minority in Iraq in particular: the Kurds.
What, today, is the most intractable political problem in Iraq? It is the very real political and religious aims of Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions of the nation. Since the inception of Operation Iraqi Freedom, President Bush has maintained that the unity of the nation of Iraq was non-negotiable. In politics and in war, however, nothing should be non-negotiable.
Iraq is not a nation in any real sense, but it was rather three separate concentration camps each with differing degrees of oppression. The Sunnis, the smallest group in the economically and landlocked center of Iraq, had the most to gain by making peace quickly and joining a unity government. Coalition forces have supported the ungrateful Sunnis by opposing a partition of Iraq. Now President Bush should embrace such a division.
This would divide Iraq into three separate nations: a relatively unimportant Bagdad Iraq of Sunnis, a Basra Iraq of Shiites who could govern themselves without the need for Iranian support, and an Mosul Iraq which would be the first true homeland for Kurds in many centuries, an oil rich area that is well able to defend itself and has shown the most gratitude to America of the three nations of Iraq.
Why has America shied away from this approach? The principal reason is that Kurds are a dispossessed people whose natural homeland stretches across much of the Middle East. A substantial number of Kurds live in Iran, which is as close to a mortal enemy of the United States as there is in the world today. American support for reclaiming those colonial possession of Teheran and the incorporation of those lands into Kurdistan would roughly double the area of the Iraqi Kurds.
A significant, but smaller, number of Kurds live in Syria, an enemy of America and a supporter both of the Iraqi insurgency and of international terrorism. If the Baathist regime did not give up its Kurdish lands, then the Kurds, with American military support, should smash the Syrian Army and force as humiliating a peace treaty as possible on Damascus.
The majority of the thirty million or so Kurds, however, live in Turkey – almost one quarter of the population of Turkey. That, more than anything else, has stayed our hand so far. Kurdistan with the southeast quarter of Turkey, is a fairly large nation. Traditionally, Turkey has been an ally of America, but that has been changing fast and Turkish support for American policies has always been based entirely on cynical self-interest. We owe Turkey – neutral in World War Two and our enemy in World War One – nothing.
Our support for Turkey costs us the goodwill of Greeks, Armenians and other European nations that suffered through centuries of Turkish oppression. It also has cost of much of the goodwill of Kurds, who would otherwise welcome the presence of a superpower that was not intolerant, not Arab, and sought nothing but friendly relations with it.
Another important reason for supporting a true Kurdistan is that the Kurds are a genuinely diverse people. Although they were forced to covert to Islam, today only about seventy percent of the Kurds are Moslem, and many of those only nominally, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians (or a faith much akin to that) and Bahai have lived within the long-persecuted Kurdish community with their first allegiance as Kurds, and there is no single branch of Islam that clearly dominates the Kurdish community.
Kurdistan could then be a democracy with an Islamic majority that was genuinely inclusive of all faiths, both needing the support of all Kurds to survive (much like Israel) and also because of centuries of living largely underground, tolerant of all Kurds. There is little doubt that it would become an affluent nation as capable of defending itself as Israel is today, and that along with the establishment of a truly free and democratic Lebanon, would create three strong, free and prosperous democracies which would naturally become allies or at least friends.
The dismemberment of Iran, which would lose ten percent of its population, and the humiliation of Syria, which would be forced into a very precarious position, would be great peripheral benefits. The downside has always been the impact on Turkey, but a Turkey which continues to deny its Armenian holocaust and is rapidly moving toward denial of HaShoah as it embraces vicious anti-Semitism, should increasingly lose our concern about its interests.
Biography - Bruce Walker
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenŐs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.