America Chooses Iraq Over Kurds
Hayder Abadi, Iraq, Iraqi Kurds, Kurds, Donald Trump, Rojava
We have spoken in numerous articles about the fate of the Iraqi Kurds as of late, now that their usefulness to the United States has appeared to have passed away with the demise of ISIS as a viable force in the region.
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The latest news gets no better with statements made recently by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Hayder Abadi. The Prime Minister made it clear in recent statements that not only will the Iraqi Kurds not get the independence they overwhelmingly voted for, but they will lose the autonomy they had.
The Prime Minister was giving a speech to praise the work of his military in defeating the Kurdish forces that remained to resist the Iraqis and the Iranian militias assisting them. It was in this speech that he made it clear that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) would no longer have control over their own oil exports, would no longer have any say about what happens along their borders with other nations, and wouldn’t even control their on airports.
He made it clear that the Iraqi Central government would now run all essential services in the region, reducing the KRG to nothing more than a token representation of independence that no longer exists. All of what this cocksure man had to say in his speech, while not receiving overt approval from the US, has received tacit approval from the US.
Some have criticized Rojava, the regional government in Syria largely run by Syrian Kurds, for distancing themselves from the Iraqi Kurds after their dramatic vote for independence. But Rojava, unlike the Iraqi Kurds, have long been pragmatic in their approach to negotiating with the powers around them.
The Iraqi Kurds simply leapt for power that they could not hold. They did not recognize the reality of power around them. What is not known is the degree to which the United States may have played a role in emboldening the Iraqi Kurds with a false sense of confidence. Had the United States simply defiantly stood against Iraq verbally when the Prime Minister came out and said he would respond with military action after the vote for independence, the Iraqi Kurds would find themselves in a very different position.
But somewhere in the horse trading between world powers hoping to continue to exploit the region, it appears the Iraqi Kurds were deemed a convenient sacrifice. Perhaps the Iraqi Kurds had every reason to believe the United States supported their dramatic move for independence, only to find the US betraying them when they needed them most. Perhaps the Iraqi Kurds acted without that assurance and simply believed there was no way the United State would allow the Iraqis to simply occupy their land in response.
Either way, Rojava has been very careful in not going beyond the power they possess, while the Iraqi Kurds, in much the same way that the Catalans did in Spain, went well beyond the actual power they possess. This does not justify the actions of the Iraqis, now taking on the role of an occupying power, or the United States, now taking on the role of enabler of a two-bit power looking to seize more control. This does, however, serve as a lesson for anyone, be you an individual or a group, to KNOW YOUR POWER and act pragmatically within that reality.