View Poll Results: Should the US and other Western states recognize Kurdish independence?

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Thread: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence [W:59]

  1. #61
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    The principal problem with this idea is the question of 'who are the Kurds?' Those people who self-identify generally as Kurds are a very diverse group. They speak several different languages, some are referred to as 'dialects', such as Kermanji and Sorani, but which are not intelligible one with another. There are also completely separate languages such a Zaza and Gorani, which other Kurdish speakers don't recognise as Kurdish at all. They are a hugely diverse group religiously too, with some half-a-dozen faiths all having major followings. Sunnis, Shi'as, Alevis, Sufis, Yarsan, Yazidis and some Christians all claim to be Kurdish. Trying to forge all these different faiths and languages into one homogenous nation would be no easier than the nation-building efforts in Iraq. The Kurdish region of Iraq, which so many people seem to hold up as being the model, has much less diversity than any Greater Kurdistan would have. The second such a state was declared, it would plunge into in-fighting and disorder.

    I'm not saying Kurds don't deserve self-determination, it's just that they don't really have a clear idea of self. I very much doubt that a Syrian Yazidi Kurd would have anything very much in common with a Khorasan Iranian Shi'a Kurd, not culture, language, religion or history.

    So, before the West decides to help the Kurds with their nation-building (when has that ever ended well, btw?) they need to wait to see who claims to be leading the Kurds and where they think that nation should be situated - it could be anywhere from the Med to the borders of Afghanistan.
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    The principal problem with this idea is the question of 'who are the Kurds?' Those people who self-identify generally as Kurds are a very diverse group. They speak several different languages, some are referred to as 'dialects', such as Kermanji and Sorani, but which are not intelligible one with another. There are also completely separate languages such a Zaza and Gorani, which other Kurdish speakers don't recognise as Kurdish at all. They are a hugely diverse group religiously too, with some half-a-dozen faiths all having major followings. Sunnis, Shi'as, Alevis, Sufis, Yarsan, Yazidis and some Christians all claim to be Kurdish. Trying to forge all these different faiths and languages into one homogenous nation would be no easier than the nation-building efforts in Iraq. The Kurdish region of Iraq, which so many people seem to hold up as being the model, has much less diversity than any Greater Kurdistan would have. The second such a state was declared, it would plunge into in-fighting and disorder.

    I'm not saying Kurds don't deserve self-determination, it's just that they don't really have a clear idea of self. I very much doubt that a Syrian Yazidi Kurd would have anything very much in common with a Khorasan Iranian Shi'a Kurd, not culture, language, religion or history.

    So, before the West decides to help the Kurds with their nation-building (when has that ever ended well, btw?) they need to wait to see who claims to be leading the Kurds and where they think that nation should be situated - it could be anywhere from the Med to the borders of Afghanistan.
    It is not really that difficult to determine who are Kurds. But obviously you are right that there is great divergences among kurds living in various countries and kurdish unity is at this moment a distant prospect. that is also why I suggest strating with the structure that exists, i.e. the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq which has been functioning quite well as a quasi-independent entity for the better part of 2 decades.

    The same goes for potential "borders".

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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoVlaming View Post
    I suggest starting with the structure that exists, i.e. the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq which has been functioning quite well as a quasi-independent entity for the better part of 2 decades.
    Which would be fine if you just wanted a Kurdish state dominated by Kurmanji/Sorani speakers and Shafiist Sunnis, plus you wanted to assume a mass migration of 25 million+ Kurds from other areas. The non-Iraqi Kurds wouldn't find this much of a solution at all.
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Which would be fine if you just wanted a Kurdish state dominated by Kurmanji/Sorani speakers and Shafiist Sunnis, plus you wanted to assume a mass migration of 25 million+ Kurds from other areas. The non-Iraqi Kurds wouldn't find this much of a solution at all.
    No, I'm not talking about mass migration. But it is better to start on a realistic basis. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.

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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoVlaming View Post
    No, I'm not talking about mass migration. But it is better to start on a realistic basis. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.
    Better not to attempt nation-building with clichés. That doesn't ever end well.
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Better not to attempt nation-building with clichés. That doesn't ever end well.
    It is up to the Kurds to build their own nation. They are not asking for other people to do that for them. I do question the wisdom of continuing to recognize the non-existent sovereignty of a failed regime in Baghdad over Northern Iraq and refuse to recognize the rights of an existing and functioning Kurdish government.

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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoVlaming View Post
    It is up to the Kurds to build their own nation. They are not asking for other people to do that for them. I do question the wisdom of continuing to recognize the non-existent sovereignty of a failed regime in Baghdad over Northern Iraq and refuse to recognize the rights of an existing and functioning Kurdish government.
    The Iraqi Kurds have not yet voted for independence. When they do, so be it, but that would not satisfy the Turkish, Syrian and Iranian Kurds, at all. What it might do is trigger more repression of Kurds in those other countries should they give the slightest indication that they wished to secede territory to the new state. It could also trigger military conflict between the fledgling state and its much, much more powerful neighbours, while still being threatened by the rump state of Iraq. They wouldn't have the manpower or the resources to resist those threats by themselves and would almost certainly look to the West - 'asking other people to do that for them'.
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    The Iraqi Kurds have not yet voted for independence. When they do, so be it, but that would not satisfy the Turkish, Syrian and Iranian Kurds, at all. What it might do is trigger more repression of Kurds in those other countries should they give the slightest indication that they wished to secede territory to the new state. It could also trigger military conflict between the fledgling state and its much, much more powerful neighbours, while still being threatened by the rump state of Iraq. They wouldn't have the manpower or the resources to resist those threats by themselves and would almost certainly look to the West - 'asking other people to do that for them'.
    Seriously, the Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iran already have to fight for their survival. And the Western countries are already arming the Kurdish troops in northern Iraq since they have proven to be much more reliable than the Iraqi forces.

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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoVlaming View Post
    Seriously, the Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iran already have to fight for their survival.
    And that's before they declare war on their home nations. Don't be in any doubt that that is exactly how Iran, Turkey and Syria would define any attempt to hive off Kurdish-majority territory to the new state.

    And the Western countries are already arming the Kurdish troops in northern Iraq since they have proven to be much more reliable than the Iraqi forces.
    They are holding their own against ISIS. They have not been seriously attacked yet by anyone else. Add Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey into the mix and they would need direct Western involvement, which wouldn't happen. War on five fronts would make the invasion of Iraq look like a bar brawl.
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    Re: Should the US (and other Western countries) recognize the Kurdish independence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    And that's before they declare war on their home nations. Don't be in any doubt that that is exactly how Iran, Turkey and Syria would define any attempt to hive off Kurdish-majority territory to the new state.

    They are holding their own against ISIS. They have not been seriously attacked yet by anyone else. Add Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey into the mix and they would need direct Western involvement, which wouldn't happen. War on five fronts would make the invasion of Iraq look like a bar brawl.
    So presumably you are in favour of Western countries revoking their recognition of the independence of all countries that have potential territorial conflicts with neighbours and that can't fully defend themselves on their own?

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