The Geopolitical Earthquake Of The Looming Kurdistan Referendum

In a move that was entirely expected, Iraq's Supreme Court has ruled that the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum scheduled for September 25 cannot take place. The ruling comes as Turkey has begun military exercises along its border with Iraq's Kurdish region in a show of force meant to signal that Ankara will not tolerate an independent Kurdistan either. Turkey fears that its own Kurdish separatists which it has been doing internal battle with for decades will become emboldened by the existence of a Kurdish state.

Talk of the referendum has brought down the wrath of multiple regional governments upon the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil to the point of threats of war. Iraq's Supreme Court issued a statement Monday indicating that it "issued a national order to suspend the referendum procedures scheduled ... until the resolution of the cases regarding the constitutionality of said decision." The independence vote under consideration includes three provinces that make up northern Iraq as well as disputed regions claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. For years since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Erbil has operated relatively autonomously while enjoying the quiet support of Western governments like the United States and United Kingdom in the oil-rich region. Though many individual politicians in the West have voiced support for Kurdish independence, no government has ever formally endorsed such a controversial move which would radically alter the region at the very moment ISIS is being squeezed in Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. 

However, last week Israel added its voice to the Kurdish question.

On Wednesday (Sept. 13), Prime Minister stunned the region when he commented specifically of the referendum, "Israel supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state" (though he's made similar statements starting in 2014). Netanyahu noted further that Israel still considers the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) a terrorist group. This followed more comprehensive statements made by the former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Major General Yair Golan in Washington D.C. in early September, which were seen as generally reflective of the Israeli position. Golan said in a meeting organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that he believes establishing a Greater Kurdistan (a state that will include the Kurdish-populated territories of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey) in the Middle East could be a positive stabilizing force in the region. He also said that he personally does not be believe the PKK to be a terrorist organization. 

Israel's public stance has provoked a quiet diplomatic war with Turkey, which Israel accuses of supporting Hamas. Turkey has for years accused Israel of forging a secretive vengeful alliance with the PKK due to Turkey's pro-Palestine statehood position. But Israel has consistently pointed to what it perceives as Turkish hypocrisy in failing to designated Hamas a terror organization. 

Israel's surprisingly public statements may come back to harm the Kurdish cause, however. Perceived closeness to Iran's biggest enemy will certainly undermine Kurdish claims to legitimacy at a time when Iran's influence seems at its height in the region. Iran worries Kurdish independence would embolden a Kurdish separatist movement within its own borders.

A senior Kurdish official in the Erbil regional government told an Israeli newspaper on Sunday that, “Particularly from Israel we would have expected quiet diplomatic activity and not a vocal policy that’s liable to undermine the delicate fabric of our relationships with neighboring states.” And added further that, “If Israel really wanted to help, it could promote the issue in the White House and get the administration to declare its support for an independent state.”

Over the weekend and early Monday massive pro-independence rallies were held in Erbil which included the unusual sight of protesters waiving both Kurdish and Israeli flags. And it appears Iraqi officials picked up on the symbolism. On Sunday Vice President Nouri al-Maliki told the AFP, “We will not allow the creation of a second Israel in the north of Iraq.”  

Maliki further demanded that he Kurdistan regional government must “call off the referendum that is contrary to the constitution and does not serve the general interests of the Iraqi people, not even the particular interests of the Kurds.” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned sternly that ideas of secession are “dangerous” while calling it “playing with fire.” The PM threatened that Baghdad “will intervene militarily” as independence means Iraqis are “threatened by the use of force outside the law.” Following the remarks, Washington proposed calling off the referendum in order to enter further negotiations with Baghdad. 

Should the vote proceed - and there's currently no signs of Erbil backing down - it doesn't necessarily mean independence would happen. But it would certainly constitute a geopolitical earthquake for the region at a key moment the battle against ISIS is in its final phase in both Iraq and Syria. In Deir Ezzor especially, as the Syrian Army advances through the city, there is a tense and uncertain standoff which could break into open and broader war developing between the Syrian-Russian alliance and the US-Syrian Democratic Forces alliance (made up primarily of Kurds). While at times throughout the war Syria and the Kurdish YPJ have demonstrated mutual understanding against a common enemy (ISIS and the Islamist rebel groups), and in some instances even behind the scenes cooperation, Damascus would no doubt see the establishment of a Kurdish state as a direct and lasting threat to its sovereign territory.

Syria's East would most certainly come further unglued at the very moment ISIS is being rolled back.


giovanni_f ConfederateH Tue, 09/19/2017 - 05:42 Permalink

"At what point in history has the Middle East ever not been fucked up?"For centuries under Ottoman ruling. Before the Ottomans could recover from a long phase of inner decay with the help of the Germans, the Angloimperialists decided to spread chaos by helping the peace-loving Arabs to fight the evil Turks. They succeeded. The area is a mess ever since, exactly as the Anglos wante it to be.One of the reasons of the Angloimperialists aggression (and support of the foundation of the radical islamist Wahabi state Saudi Arabia in this context btw) was that at this time early 20th century the oil fields around Mosul were considered of absolute geostrategic importance. The Germans were to build the Baghdad railway which made the Anglos panic beyond any measure. Along with the right to build the railway came the right to exploit the ressources in a corridor left and right to the railway. The cunning Germans projected the line right through the oil fields, with the consent of the Sultan.Now you know - in short - why the 1st world war was the only way the Anglos could prevent the Germans develop this part of Eurasia. The rest is history.

In reply to by ConfederateH

maxwellsdemon GunnerySgtHartman Mon, 09/18/2017 - 23:57 Permalink

Kissinger warned the Shaw not to build nuclear reactors (about 20 or 30 were planned to be built).  But the Shaw was adamant, saying that Iran needed to modernize.  Well that was it for the Shah; Israel and therefore the US couldn't tolerate a modern country in the ME that could oppose Israel so the Shaw was forced to flee and an Islamic religious zealot flown in from Paris to replace him.   The CIA really loved Islamic zealots since they would willingly die fiighing the communist infidel Russians.  The whole thing was a CIA run operation to create an Islamic wall around Russia's southern border.  Arming the Taliban in Afghanistan was the first operation

In reply to by GunnerySgtHartman

Ms No maxwellsdemon Tue, 09/19/2017 - 01:01 Permalink

"Kissinger warned the Shaw not to build nuclear reactors..."I think we get warnings like this more often than people realize.  The most recent example I can think of is when Soros told Europe to "Accept refugees or face extinction."  He might follow that with a bunch of justifying BS but I think what he was saying there is "We have control go with our plan A or get stuck with our plan B, which you will not like."  If these are thinly veiled threats, they seem to be geared towards political leaders of various peoples who are in the know. P.S. When that arbitrary sort-of-Supreme-Court-Judge Ginsburg said "Now it's time for us to move to New Zealand" (five eyes country).  I couldn't help but think that is too bad because NZ has been rocked with constant earthquakes.  New Zealand is beautiful, not overpopulated and clean.  If the banking oligarchs kept that place nice for themselves, incase they needed a fall back plan, it has been constantly rocked with earthquakes for a year.  It's getting really unstable.  Tee-he. 

In reply to by maxwellsdemon

TheReplacement RumpleShitzkin Mon, 09/18/2017 - 22:55 Permalink

The Kurds are just being used (and probably lied to):Kurdistan declares independence thinking the US will support it.Iraq and Turkey race to invade and conquer.  Iraq because they understand this is a land grab.  Turkey because they are grabbing the land.Turkey is ready to go.  Iraq is still fighting ISIS.Turkey takes a large portion of Kurdistan and takes away a fare portion of the Iraq/Iran border.Perhaps the UN gets involved (US Peacekeepers on the ground on another border with Iran?).Sacrificing a pawn to move a bishop (so to speak). 

In reply to by RumpleShitzkin

Broken_Trades 07564111 Tue, 09/19/2017 - 00:49 Permalink

Kurds love Israel because Israel recognizes Kurdistan as a state.They love Donald Trump because he's the first head of state from any major country to acknowledge them.Kurds love Monica Lewinsky so much they named Toyota Landcruisers after her. Wondering about Turkey myself.  All those Turkish tanks came driving down from Khalili Ibrahim in the middle of the night with Peshmerga/Asaish escort.  Barzani has obviously made a deal with Erdogan - Thus why Turkey hasn't made an official position against the referendum which is odd.  All of the contruction from Suly through Erbil to Zakho is being done by Turkish companies including all the major highways being built from Zakho through to Suly.The Kurds have 100% full control of Kirkuk.  Barzani was just there and told everyone they are welcome to stay and become part of Kurdistan, Arabs and Turkman.  Theres no way they are giving up the oilfield. Exxon will be drilling 20 km from Mosul starting early next year, Chevron is in, along with a few others including Ross Perots HKN.Apparently the Canadians are close to completing a new military base/airfield near Erbil. The airport in Erbil is still loaded with Chinooks, blackhawks and comanches although they mostly just sit there. No way anyone attacks while the americans, canadians, italians and the rest of them are there.BT

In reply to by 07564111

sickavme Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:58 Permalink

Extreme dumb move on the kurds part in iraq... Unlike syria where they kindof have some leeway due to the non-stop propaganda that assad is a bad guy... In iraq, it's an entirely different story: If the iraqi's decide to wipe the kurds off the face of the planet, ain't no one gonna say or do anything about it because it IS the iraqi's and that whole gulf war thing(x2) where, you know, we pretty much destroyed iraq and stuff...

sickavme any_mouse Mon, 09/18/2017 - 22:42 Permalink

We haven't deserted them, yet... That comes after the "defeat of isis at raqqa" and the trump announcement in front of a "mission accomplished" banner on some aircraft carrier in the middle of nowhere. Kurds are not, and never will be stable enough for a nation anyways as they are full blown communist(so communist stalin would be proud).... they don't play nice with others either and have ended up surrounding themselves with enemies under the impression that obama(and whats left of his cronies in the .gov) will be in power and back them up forever and ever and ever...

In reply to by any_mouse

sickavme Broken_Trades Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:39 Permalink

"Why did all those bikers, soldiers, and people from the UK and western coutries" I can think of a number of reasons: Retarded, unemployed, money, something to do, a job, excitement, "hey I was there!", they are criminals and get to kill people without fear of going to prison, ex-soldiers that can't get back into the army, ex-soldiers that were kicked out of the army, etc etc etc... All of those reasons can be pointed out on youttubes by the way....

In reply to by Broken_Trades

sickavme Broken_Trades Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:47 Permalink

"Why all the Kurd bashing from you and others?" I can name a few reasons: being a middleman of selling oil from isis to turkey, cooperating with isis, cooperating with the fsa, cooperating with obama, being full blown communist, backstabbing at hasaka, backstabbing at kobane, the slaughter of christians in kobane, the slaughtering of assyrians just about anywhere, the slaughtering of christians just about anywhere, the theft of civilians' property that were "just there", attacking turkish civilians, the theft of syrian government property(they didn't build anything like dams, power plants, water plants, roads etc etc), everything they have RIGHT now is courtesy of someone else... unauthorized invitation of the US/NATO to syria, unauthorized invitation of Turkey into syria.... Which is typical of a leftard: Take from someone else, take take take take take... and when the tit is pulled away, bitch bitch bitch bitch....

In reply to by Broken_Trades

sickavme cherry picker Mon, 09/18/2017 - 22:05 Permalink

I guess we have already sent arms there to the iraqis for ten years now, so thats already been done... But they don't really like our crap... They end up buying russian(former USSR stuff) anyways... So it really doesn't matter... I see the leftist bush era(and now trump era) propaganda is strong with you, but the reality is this: they want to kill each other, they are gonna do it any way they can, so why not try to profit from it even thou the russians have a huge market lead in this department unfortunately...

In reply to by cherry picker

Cluster_Frak Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:59 Permalink

Once you have oil, you want independence, duh. Once you are independent, you can spend your oil money on arms and wage wars against neignbours. Independent Kurdistan will happilly attack Turkey and anything else that stands in their way. More war is peace.

Yen Cross Mon, 09/18/2017 - 22:00 Permalink

   The Turks have played every angle since ___Turks and Mongols: 6th - 13th century.   The emergence of the Turks from Mongolia is a gradual and uncharted process. Each successive wave makes its first appearance in history only when Turkish tribes or warriors acquire power in some new region, whether they be the Khazars, the Seljuks or one of many other such groups. Read more:

Ms No any_mouse Tue, 09/19/2017 - 01:14 Permalink

Creepy yet accurate.  It stands above ours too.  It just hasn't been placed for all to see yet, although any international flag would probably do.  The Bolshie bankers run our federal government so placing that above state flags also is pretty much the same thing.  The only flags that appear to be legitmate would be Russia, China and Iran.  Sad...

In reply to by any_mouse

BobEore Yen Cross Mon, 09/18/2017 - 23:18 Permalink

"Turks" have been played from every angle since...

before they were "Turks." The genetic profile of ANATOLIA is unquestionably reflective of a truth hidden under mountains of racio-religious propaganda - the area is a vast 'melting pot' of ethnicities ... in which "Turks" ie., Turco-Mongol stock are a decided minority.

Not only Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Laz, Circassians and other elements intermingle - the native root stock of Luvian peoples who existed concurrent with the Nesite("Hittite")dynasties all the way to the present, are still, in the Aegean region, a large part of the mix. Add to which, the innumerable remnants of hundreds of years of imported Slav and other European peoples, stripped from their homelands and sold as slaves to a ruling class eager to "improve" their genetic profile...

and you get the end of this fiction of "Turkish" Anatolia as homeland of the "Turks." An invented nationalism imposed upon a diverse Aegean culture by Sabbatean-Frankist religious fanatics eager to carve up the Ottoman Empire and install their sionist co-conspirators in the Palestinian portion.

"Turks" are sadly - the most brainwashed people on earth... made to believe in a phony revolution as the starting point of a phony ethnicity, and worship an imported religion of judean origin, now controlled by Arabphile apostates who use that persuasion as a cloak for turning 75 million people back into feudal peons of the middle ages, and use the power of the state as a wedge for Sraels' foreign policy adventurism against Europe and the muddled east.

Whipped up ethno-religious supremacism against the Kurds, who in turn are encouraged to seek self-determination, so that the last "secular" states in the region - Syria and Turkey... go the way of Libya. A fractured jigsaw of micro-states composed of warring factions...

the blueprint which will soon enough be imposed upon Europe... and a hopelessly divided Merika too!

One ring to bind them.

"And the people wept."

In reply to by Yen Cross

BobEore anti-republocrat Tue, 09/19/2017 - 02:06 Permalink

" "
within brackets... a common grammatical device to indicate a potential conflict with the meaning purported ... if you're ready to get there.

If you really think that "Syrian Baathists" are the ultimate in 'administrating' the muddled east, I suggest you pack up and leave immediately for our unhappy region...

in the time machine of your choice. Our own neo-Ottoman "Osmanli" throwbacks here will join you for tea and hookahs.

In reply to by anti-republocrat

maxwellsdemon blue51 Mon, 09/18/2017 - 23:30 Permalink

That comment was in reference to the belief that an agreement is in place that 200K Kurdish Jews in Turkey will be welcomed by the new country of Kurdistan.  They will of course end up running it with the help of western Jewish controllwed banks, thus creating a Jewish controlled state on the border of Iraq…

In reply to by blue51

maxwellsdemon maxwellsdemon Tue, 09/19/2017 - 00:12 Permalink

Here' another subplot going around Turkey; Barzani, the leader of the Kurdsa and the leader of any Kurdistan, is Jewish… A Feb. 17 article in the respected daily newspaper Hurriyet offered an interesting take on the situation: Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, one of two political factions that control the autonomous Kurdish area of northern Iraq, is Jewish and comes from a long line of Kurdish rabbis, the article claimed. The article was based on information taken from “The Folk Literature of the Kurdistani Jews,” a 1982 anthology that discusses a Kurdish rabbinic family named Barzani, and from work done by a Turkish researcher who found Ottoman documents that refer to a 19th-century Kurdish rabbi also named Barzani. In the article, the researcher — a history instructor named Ahmet Ucar — said Barzani’s “Jewish roots” should lead to a different understanding of the region and its history, since the Hebrew Bible states that the Jewish “Promised Land” stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates, an area that would include Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. A series of articles and columns in the Haber Turk newspaper, printed after the Hurriyet story ran, took things even further. “Brothers, we should quit the stories of Mosul and Kirkuk belonging to us,” said one column, referring to two oil-rich northern Iraqi cities that some Turks believe were unfairly taken from Turkey when the Ottoman Empire was divided up after World War I.

In reply to by maxwellsdemon