Much thanks to Michael Totten and his recent article on the Kurdish region around Erbil in Iraq.
This has been something that I have been pointing out for some time now: an Iraqi Civil War does *not* end up with either Arab faction 'winning'. Again, in a three way struggle in which only TWO sides show up to fight, side THREE wins. I said as much looking at the Iranian influence on the terrorism in Iraq and the prospects for Civil War there and came up to this, on a short list of conclusions:
3) It seems that even those fomenting the problems have forgotten one little fact: there are THREE factions in Iraq. If a civil war breaks out, the Army will look to guidance from that faction and help *it* to restore order. And they can add their own regional military in to lend a hand. The price the Arab Sunni and Shi'ite factions would pay is that of the Kurds. If they were not amenable to a peaceful solution, my guess is the Kurds and the Army would offer safety to any province *not* willing to take part in the civil war. When offered a choice of peace and protection versus an idiotic blood feud fueled by outsiders, my guess is some of the neighboring provinces would quickly join up with the Kurds.And what is it that the Kurds see, as reported by Michael Totten? Well something like this:
The Kurds of Iraq may not need to bother with a declaration of independence. It may fall from the sky, my source said, if the Sunni and Shia Arabs break Iraq in the course of their civil war. "What would we do, decide if we want to remain with the Sunni Arabs or the Shia?" he said. "We don’t want to remain with either of them."No, they wouldn't, and because of the extent of Kurds throughout Northern Iraq and into Syria, Turkey and Iran ALL of those Nations would have a fit. Now think on why that is with *this* following quote:
Kurdistan is safe even without its anti-terrorist trench, and that’s not because it is protected by American soldiers. Only 50 or so troops remain in this part of Iraq. There is no anti-American insurgency (because there is virtually no anti-Americanism) and there is no terrorism. If the Arab Iraqis were as peaceable as the Kurds, the American military could have folded its tents a long time ago.The Kurds are the People who gave the world Saladin, of whom Richard the Lionhearted thought much of. He was a reflection of the martial ability of his People and that culture which remains to this day in Iraq. An independent Kurdistan is landlocked as was pointed out by Mr. Totten, and that has always been its problem.
Iraqi Kurdistan is technically occupied by a foreign power, but this occupation surely ranks among one of the most absurd in human history. Dr. Ali Sindi, advisor to Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani, told me that South Korea is the official occupier of “Northern Iraq.” Korean soldiers are stationed just outside Erbil in a base near the airport. He laughed when he told me the Kurdish military, the Peshmerga (“those who face death”), surround the South Koreans to make sure they’re safe.
But an independent Kurdistan would gain adherents across borders, with Turkey being the only Nation with any spare capability to do anything. With that said a bit of 'gerrymandering' might be in order as seen in my article Syria must go:
All of that said, to change Iraq the Demographics themselves must be changed. And so there you have all these wonderful Kurds sitting in Syria. And the fact that very few Nations there actually 'liked' the post-WWI treaties, and Syria is destabilizing the region, it might finally be time to say: You know, those old Empire Carvers that Created This Mess could have done a Better Job of It. Thus, any Nation that attempts to destabilize its Neighbor in the Middle East can look to something that happens in the US every 10 years: Re-Apportionment.That is something that, to the Leftists and 'Realists' is unthinkable: unification of the Kurds and getting them a path to the ocean. Lets just say that the fear which the Iraqi Arabs in the south view the Kurds, and the harsh view of the Turks towards the Kurds leads one to suspect that a non-land locked Kurdistan becomes a major THREAT to them. You could do this to stabilize Iraq, by giving it a better divide demographically between Kurds and Arab Shias. But if you *don't* take that into account and you *do* get a real Civil War in Iraq, then what you end up with, sooner or later, is an expanding Kurdistan moving to get a sea port, and then parts of Turkey and Iran facing internal secession with their Kurdish populations after that happens in Syria.
A bit of Gerrymandering.
Lets give the Kurds a Just Reward for waiting Patiently for the West to uphold Its word since the 1920's. Syria really doesn't need a seaport, given as how it no longer respects International Civilian Shipping, and the Kurds would LOVE TO HAVE ONE and thus break out of their major problem of being land-locked. Throw in a few Sunni border tribes and mixed ethnic towns and provinces and leave the Alawites in a small, land-locked Nation that will need to 'play nice' with Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the new powerhouse of the Middle East: Iraq.
Iraq can be an economic powerhouse with the Kurds and enjoy prestige that it has not known for thousands of years.
With the Kurds.
But the idea of a Civil War is a non-starter for one reason above all else: Kurdistan.
Iran knows this.
Syria knows this.
Turkey knows this.
And the Arabs in the rest of Iraq damn well know it.
And ALL OF THEM fear it, just like Greece has feared an independent Macedonia and for the exact same reason: History.
The Greeks remember a time of Greek glory, under a Macedonian... a kid named Alexander the Great.
And Arabs and Turks and Persians remember a time of martial greatness, under a Kurd... who was Saladin.
Lighting that fuse they all know will blow them all up and leave the Kurds still standing. If you cannot factor history, ethnicity, religion and the modern agreements that were not adhered to into the problems of the Middle East, then you have forgotten that ethnicity, tribe, and history play a huge role in Iraq. I do not worry about an independent Kurdistan as the People there remember who their friends are.
And their enemies.