I once wrote that to conquer “barberism” sometimes requires barbaric acts. For example, look no further than the War against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or any other War for that matter. It is an unspoken truth that for any “side” to “win” a War, a great deal of murder, death, destruction and tragedy is required. As is always the case, the losing side of any battle has a fairly sad and disturbing story to tell. This is especially true in our digital age, look no further than the “rebels” in Syria or the Palestinians in Israel and how their plight has been widely documented via social media.
In this article I want to address a few different headlines currently in the news and give my readers some perspective on all of these important events, particularly my American audience. More specifically, I want to talk about all of the issues currently surrounding the impending Kurdish referendum in Iraq, due to take place in just a few days on September 25th 2017. But before we get into that, when talking about “the Kurds,” think of them more as a “culture” of people rather than an established country or city. This is because, much like the Jewish people before World War II, the Kurdish people do not have a country of their own. This is also what the Kurdish referendum hopes to resolve, by allowing the Kurdish people to separate from Iraq and form the worlds newest country; “Kurdistan.”
— Alan Turgutoglu (@ATurgutoglu) September 16, 2017
As it stands today, there are an estimated 30-35 million Kurdish people living in the Middle East. More specifically, the Kurdish people as a whole primarily spread out across a geographic area encompassing the central to northwest portions of Iraq, the southern side of Turkey and the central to northeastern part of Syria. At least for the time being, The Kurds only desire to secede from Iraq. Though it has also been widely speculated that, following the battle for Raqqa and the end of the Syrian Civil War, the Kurds will attempt to seize control of large portions of northeastern Syria. However, the problem remains that the same land the Kurds plan on taking for themselves currently belongs to Iraq and Syria, whom each have no intentions of peacefully or voluntarily handing the land over to them.
If you noticed something familiar about the geographic locations referenced above, it is because they also happen to be the epicenter of where the Islamic State first made birth. It is also no coincidence, in fact, the Islamic State is directly related to the impending Kurdish referendum in many ways, but not for the same reason. You see, even if the US coalition primarily takes the credit for the defeat of the IS across the Middle East, the Kurdish people have silently laid the groundwork for this. Even if they were using International bombs, airplanes and Warships, Kurdish forces primarily led the ground assault. Chief among them was the “Kurdish Peshmerga,” whom served as the “infantry” unit of the US’s international coalition, often fighting on the literal front-lines of battles against the Islamic State.
— Peshmerga (@KURDISTAN_ARMY) November 12, 2016
Now that the Islamic State has for the most part been defeated, at least kicked out of certain portions of Iraq which have now been “liberated,” the Kurdish people see fit to reward themselves for their victory and bravery in battle by claiming these lands for themselves, rather than just simply hand them back over to the Iraqi Government. Hence this months referendum.
However, while many countries have peacefully coexisted with the Kurdish minorities in their countries for generations, it doesn’t mean they are willing to allow them to break off and form their own country in 2017 or any time soon. In fact, both Iraq and Turkey have all but essentially declared War against Kurdistan if the referendum ever ends up going through. A threat to which the Kurds say they are fully prepared to face.
"Until what time are we going to stay as slaves under the hand of the Arabs?" https://t.co/00n00EzGZu
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) September 22, 2017
As you can see, unless the Kurdish people vote the referendum down later this month, the Middle East’s next major conflict/War/Battle, whatever you want to call it, will be right around the corner. Making matters more complicated is the fact that up until just a few days ago, the Kurdish people have been heavily armed, equipped and funded by the United States Government. Moreover, the Kurdish people can only afford to militarily back up a referendum and defend their territory because of the same arms and munitions the US first gave them.
Considering that Turkey is a member of NATO and Iraq is a member of the US’s international coalition, the US’s decision to heavily arm the Kurdish people has started to drive a wedge between these countries and organizations. To get out ahead of their impending diplomatic problems, the US State Department came out with a press release earlier this week, formally stating that they do not support the Kurdish referendum or their desire to break off from Iraq. However, it may already be too late. The Kurdish people have already vowed to fight to the death and die in order to form their own country.
— Peshmerga (@KURDISTAN_ARMY) September 21, 2017
One of the first articles I wrote for this site covered peace negotiations in the Syrian Civil War, to which Turkey told the United States that if they were to ever invite the Kurds to the peace talks, they might as well be inviting terrorists. This is also at the heart of the principle at the lead of this article, that to conquer barbarism sometimes requires barbaric acts. Testament to this, for however brave, courageous and successful the Kurdish Peshmerga were in exterminating the Islamic State, they sometimes used less than human means to defeat them.
Despite the fact that the US Government was funding them, both the Kurdish Peshmerga and Syrian rebels have been seen on video carrying out beheadings, killing unarmed soldiers and carrying out extrajudicial killings in the streets, all of which happen to be “War Crimes.” The same can also be said of other US allies in the region, such as Iraqi and Egyptian forces.
Such is War though, right? To win a battle and defeat your enemy, you have to blow them up, destroy and kill them, right? That is just the ugly truth of the situation. But when does victory turn into savagery? This is a very complicated subject to get into. In fact, the United Nations was just tasked with taking this issue up earlier this week and interestingly enough, as a result of these deliberations, the United Nations Security Council decided to drop a formal investigation into War Crimes allegedly carried out by Iraqi forces during the War against the Islamic State.
Iraq: Missed Opportunity for Comprehensive Justice https://t.co/jVR4KpMkkf
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) September 21, 2017
It is my analysis that the Security Council came to this resolution in order to prevent any actions from being taken against other coalition forces in the War on terrorism. I say this because if Iraq is going to be investigated then what is to stop any other country involved in this War from being investigated themselves? Alternatively, the UN does not want to show any sense of allegiance to terrorists, especially after their defeat. Think about it, if the UN were to start punishing countries for successfully defeating terrorists, what desire would they have to continue fighting against terrorism? It might also prevent future peoples from joining, fighting or assisting in the War against terrorism in the future. There is also little doubt that the US and UK influenced the UN’s decision on this matter, preventing future investigations from showing up on their doorsteps or the doorsteps of their allies.