Is Kurdish Independence From Iraq Really the Answer?
|May 31, 2014||Filled under Kurdistan News|
Kurdistan News –
Since the 1990s and with the fall of the Soviet Union, 34 new countries have emerged, mostly due to the changes in global economics and politics. The bulk of these countries are now permanent members of the United Nations. Some seceded from their unions in peace, while bloodshed marked the violent disintegration of other mergers. Hailed by the world community, the voluntary separation of Czechs and Slovaks went ahead smoothly, while in neighboring Yugoslavia separation was anything but peaceful. Genocide and massacres marked the way to independence for large and small countries, all of them now UN members.
In the past few years, despite the disapproving signals from Baghdad, the United States and much of the world community, the Kurdish leadership has been loud in its intention of having an independent state. On a more national level, the Kurdish public opinion has not been too embracive of the idea. The Kurdish parties who have championed independence have not automatically done better in the elections, contrary to the experience of other newly-independent countries, where independence and nationalism have always guaranteed more votes.
One reason for this might be that Kurdish officials have traditionally had a wrong view of federalism, and what comes afterwards. In the absence of clear-cut studies in what federalism could mean for the Kurds and their state, many have come forward arguing that confederation is a natural continuation of federalism.
In fact, independence (or in its more academic sense, sovereignty) is the natural phase that could follow federalism. Confederations are only voluntary unions between free and sovereign nations, which form a confederation (or in its more academic sense a supranational union) for the benefit of the union members. A clear example would, of course, be the European Union.
The Arab factions in Iraq have long made a point by saying that Kurds have no legal or written document to back their claim for possible sovereignty. This, of course, is a valid claim, since there are no constitutional articles within the Iraqi charter that would sanction a referendum in the Kurdistan Region. In fact, a famous phrase in the introduction of the Iraqi constitution states: “Kurds have the right to self-determination.” That is too elusive, and more-or-less a constitutional trap that Kurds walked into willingly.
Kurds face difficult periods throughout their history in the absence of national reconciliation. In fact, the person intending to declare Kurdish independence has so far been unable to respond to every Kurdish faction in equal terms as the head and founder of the Kurdish state. The Kurdish state is a sensitive issue and should be treated likewise.
Kurds take a huge risk if they declare independence while relying on the mere and unstable economic resources they now possess. And indeed, if Kurds make good their threats and declare independence, a possible outcome is mass unemployment for millions of Kurds, and even more secession within the Kurdistan Region itself.
More than a decade after Saddam Hussein’s removal, Kurds still have problems in uniting their lands and their national will. On the one hand, Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has turned the disputed Kurdish city of Kirkuk into an isolated enclave, while Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party has in the past years relied too much on the goodwill of Turkey and some European countries, hoping they could pave the way to independence.
The core of the fact is that exporting Kurdish oil through Turkey will unlikely guarantee the foundation and safeguarding of the Kurdish state. If anything, it will further the division among Kurds, and might finally lead to an annexation of some parts of the Kurdistan Region to Turkey, along with some Sunni Arab provinces in the region which have made clear that they wish to be part of Sunni Turkey.
Have in mind that the Turkish public conscience supports the Kurdish cause only so far as it serves an annexation to the Great Turkish Republic of 2023.
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