KURDISTAN IS POSSIBLE KURD HOMELAND
Iraq has had growing pains. It was named Iraq Republic from 1958-1963, Baa’thist Iraq from 1963 to 2003, and Arab Republic of Iraq from 2003 to now.
ARABS are independent of religious identity and prior identity with Islam. Historically they identify with Christian and Jewish kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes. Semitic people are from the Arabian peninsula and neighboring territories living in Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and western Indian Ocean islands. They have a language close to Hebrew. Today, most Arabs are Muslims, are white and black, and speak Arabic as their original language.
PAN-ARABISM (area in green), also called Pan-Islamism, began around 1913, and it failed because the area was too huge to unite land of that size. The regions to be united were Mesopotamia (most of Iraq), Syria (mainly Christian), Egypt (mainly Christian), Tripoli (part of Lebanon and of Sunni Muslim faith), North Africa, and Sudan (also mainly Christian). It was an idea of cultural and political unity among Arab countries of North Africa and West Asia from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea…the idea referred to the Arab world. Russia was part of this when it was USSR. It was by and large a product of World War 1 and caused agitation and led to independence of most Arab countries. The Baa’th Party which started this ideology was also responsible for a genocide of Kurdish people (who are not Arab) and also Shi’ites in Iraq. Groups who did not identify with neither Arab or Muslim faced becoming either Arabs or being denied political or even civil rights. They would have been identified as a foreign and disturbing clement in the heart of an Arab nation.
The European Union’s representative at a UN meeting stated no country was free from racism. A Myanmar (Burma) delegate blamed mistrust and the political climate for any deepened division in racial groups. However, some countries have made greater strides. The representative for Iraq to the UN stated the preamble or first part of the constitution of his country underscored its commitment to equal rights for all Iraqis. He pointed out that refugees had been put into a less important position and often experienced xenophobia, or fear of strangers, in host countries and pressed the international community to do more to address racial discrimination. Another representative stated Iraq had done everything to free its territory from the suffering of terrorism and extremism. He called on the international community to support the country so it could build a new society.
SHI’ITE AND SUNNI tribes are one major concern of Iraq at this time. Most of Iraqi Shi’ites are Iraqis first. That is a personal choice and understandable after decades in which the rule of Saddam, who was a Sunni, refused to allow them to freely practice their faith. In 2000, even though experiencing Saddam’s iron fist and horrors, the Shi’ites still had tolerance toward people around them. A large group of Sunnis had gone over to ISIS militants. ISIS is surrendering by masses, and new membership is low for a dying ideology. However, as ISIS was driven from Iraq, Sunnis are facing an identity crisis. Shi’ites dominate the Iraq government. The differences of the two tribes had been that the Sunnis wanted a leader chosen from the Arabic tribe of Muhammed, and the Shi’ites wanted a direct descendant of Ali Muhammed’s son-in-law to be chosen as the leader. In the meantime, there has been a considerable amount of marriages between the two groups.
SADDAM IN THE MIDDLE
KURDS sympathized with the people who suffered under Saddam’s regime. It was Saddam who displaced the Shi’ite into Kirkuk during the Iran-Iraq War and forced the Kurds to move away from their homeland in the north. The Kurds have sought independence since at least the end of World War 1 when colonial powers carved up the Middle East after the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire surrendered leaving Kurdish inhabited land split between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
The Kurds consider themselves pro-American. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is more aligned with Turkey but also have ties to Iran which would cause some problems with Turkey and Iraq. In many way, however, the Kurds are acting as the rest of Iraq does to make affairs more compatible. The Iranians are their neighbors and an important trading partner, and they remain unsure of the United Sates staying power. The Kurds love displaying their own flag because, after decades of repression, it is a freedom they do not take for granted. Their leadership recognize that the problem was neither Arab nor Iraq armies but rather the dictatorial Saddam regime that wielded it.
Baghdad’s recovery of Kirkuk in 2017, when the Iraqi army took over Kirkuk, and Kurds by the thousands fled that area in fear of being persecuted by Iraqi officials in Baghdad. Kirkuk is north of Baghdad which is in southern Iraq. Iraqi armed forces also took control of Kurdish-held Nineveh province north of Kirkuk, including the Mosul hydro-electric dam, after the Peshmerga (guerilla fighters from Kurdistan) pulled out. In the north of Kirkuk, Kurds were being driven out also. The UN urged Baghdad to stop abuses. Iraqi forces also took back control of the oil fields. Kirkuk is a major oil producing area. Sunni Muslim Kurds comprise the largest community in Kirkuk followed by Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim Turkmen, Sunni Arabs, and Christian Assyrians, according to the Iraqi Planning Ministry.
The Kurdish problem is changing rapidly. The current crisis over the status of the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRC) which began making light of both the Iraqi government in Baghdad as a puppets of Iran and Iraqi Shi’ites themselves as puppets of Ayatollah Ali Khamenci of Iran. The facts are that there is a problem with Iranian influence in Iraq…one which Iraqi officials, Shi’ite, Sunni, and Kurds agree. Iraqis felt the United States was a mistake being there because “you have to be present to compete within a culture.” Iraqis did not necessarily like the idea of US occupation but did need some balance. Iran has influence in southern Iraq as well as northern Iraq.
Many Arabs in Baghdad and southern Iraq discuss relations with Kurdistan in terms of a political dispute and not a racial or ethnic dispute. The Shi’ites had suffered with the Kurds under Saddam’s influence. The Iraqi Kurdish leaders seem to have an intention of generating hatred so that the international community has no choice but to recognize their desire for independence…that would be a mistake. The world already is aware of the Kurd’s desire to have independence. What needs to be accomplished is negotiating while the “state” remains functional and free. However, the Kurds are being attacked by Turkey and Syria.
In a statement, the KRC cabinet said “It will not be possible to resolve the issues through military operations.” It added “We have asked the international community to help both sides start a dialogue to solve the outstanding issues based on the Iraqi constitution.
The world cannot begin to be Spiritually balanced until the world’s racial inequities have been balanced. Abuses and racism in the Middle East are abundant.
Pertinent information about Mesopotamia and its surroundings is discussed in “The Larger Spiritual Order & Universal Scheme of Things-Simplified”, Chapter 4.