Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 28, 2017

By The Grace Of Israel - The Barzani Clan And Kurdish "Independence"

The Kurdish region in Iraq held a "referendum" about splitting off from Iraq to form an independent state. The referendum was highly irregular and the outcome was assured. That such a referendum was held now had more to do with the beleaguered situation of the illegitimate regional president Barzani than with a genuine opportunity to achieve independence. The referendum was non-binding. It is now onto Barzani to declare independence or to set the issue aside in exchange for, essentially, more money.

We first wrote about the Kurdish problem and Kurdish ambitions in Iraqi back in December 2005(!). The problems of an independent Kurdish region we then pointed out are still the same:

A landlocked Kurdish state of some kind could produce a lot of oil, but how would this oil reach the markets, especially Israel? The neighbors Turkey, Iran and Syria all have Kurdish minorities and have no reason to help a Kurdish state to enrich itself and see that money funneled to their unruly minorities. After [Kurdish] grabbing [of] Kirkuk, the Arab rest of Iraq will also not support pipelines for then Kurdish oil.

Arabs, Turks, and Persians see the Kurds as a recalcitrant nomadic mountain tribe and stooge of Israeli interests.

In the mid 1960s and 70s Israel cooperated with Iran, then a U.S. ally under the Shah, to fight against its Arab enemies - Iraq, Syria and Egypt. As part of the cooperation the Mossad sent Lt. Colonel Tzuri Sagi to develop plans for and build up a Kurdish army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq. Tzuri Sagi was also responsible for the Israeli assassination attempts against Saddam Hussein. His Kurdish cooperation partner was the leader of the Barzani clan, Mullah Mustafa Barzani. The Kurdish army the Israelis created is now known as Peshmerga. The son of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Masoud Barzani, is now the illegitimate president of the Kurdish region of Iraq.


Lt. Colonel Sagi with Mustafa Barazani. Photo reproduction: Yossi Zeliger - source - bigger


Sagi with Kurdish commanders - bigger


Barazani with then-head of the Mossad, Meir Amit - bigger

The Barzani's are part of a major Kurdish tribe and a leading clan in the Kurdish region of Iraq. (The other major clan are the Talabani, currently with much less power.) In 2005 Masoud Barzani, the son of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, was elected President of the Kurdish region in Iraq. His eight year term ended in 2013. The regional parliament extended his presidency by two years. But since 2015 he has ruled without any legal basis. He prevented the parliament from convening and formally ousting him. Masoud Barzani's son Mazrour Barzani is chancellor of the region's security council. He controls all military and civilian intelligence. Nechirvan Barzani, a nephew of Masoud Barzani, is prime minister of the Kurdish region.

U.S. oil interests helped to build the Barzani's power. The Kurds pumped and sold oil without the consent of Baghdad. Oil is exported through Turkish pipelines and sold mostly to Israel. The family of the Turkish president Erdogan is intimately involved in the business. But despite billions of income from (illegal) oil sales the Kurdish region is heavily indebted. Corruption rules in Kurdistan and the regional government had to rob local banks to find fresh money. That still wasn't enough to pay salaries. The Barzani family mafia has robbed the region blind. To keep going, the local government needs to annex more riches and widen its business base.

The Barzani family has deep religious-historic ties with a Sunni spiritual order of Sufis, the Naqshbandi. The Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order was one of the Sunni-Baathist resistance group of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In 2014 it helped (or didn't help?) the Islamic State in the takeover of Mosul before being shunned and defeated by it.

The Iraqi Kurds, under Masoud Barzani, were complicit in the mid 2014 Islamic State takeover of Mosul and the Sinjar region inhabited by Kurdish speaking Yezidis. They saw it as an opportunity to take more oil and declare their own independence from Baghdad. Only after the Islamic State marched towards the Kurdish "capital" Erbil, where U.S. and Israeli intelligence as well as western oil companies have their regional headquarters, did the Barzani Kurds start to oppose the Islamic State.

They then used the fight against the Islamic State to widen the area they controlled by 40%. Minorities like the Yezidi and Assyrians, which were driven away from their homes by the Islamic State, are now denied to return to their areas by Kurdish occupiers. As NYT correspondent Rukmini Callimachi reports from the ground:

A common refrain I hear is that the Iraqi army ran when ISIS overran Mosul, whereas the Kurds stood their ground. Sadly that's not true. One of the areas that was under the control of Kurdish troops was Mt Sinjar, home to a large share of the 500,000 Yazidis living in Iraq. According to the dozens of interviews I've done with Yazidi survivors of ISIS' ensuing genocide, Kurdish troops cut and ran when ISIS came. Adding insult to injury, say community leaders, Kurdish troops disarmed Yazidis. And did not warn them of ISIS' advance. The result: Thousands of Yazidi women were kidnapped by ISIS and systematically raped. Many I spoke to partially blamed Kurdish troops for their fate.

Callimachi further reports that Kurdish troops now prevent Yezidis from returning to their homes. Barzani has unilaterally annexed their land and unilaterally declared it to be part of the Kurdish region. The Kurds also occupy land and villages, already mentioned in the bible, that belong to Assyrian Christians.

Another hotspot is Kirkuk. The oil rich city is an original Turkman and Arab areas. The Kurds snatched it in 2014 while the Islamic State marched onto Baghdad. The  move on Kirkuk was, allegedly, coordinated with the Islamic State. They now want to annex it. The Iraqi state is naturally vehemently against this and is now sending its army. The Turkish government, which sees itself as defender of all Turkmen, also threatens to intervene.

After the Kurdish independence referendum the Iraqi government declared a partial blockade of their region. Iraq is a sovereign state, the Kurdish region has no independent legal status. This gives Baghdad many ways to strangle Kurdish ambitions. Starting Friday all international (civil) flights to Erbil are by order of Baghdad prohibited. A land blockade and stoppage of all trade and monetary transfers are likely to follow.

Syria, Iran and Turkey have all spoken out against Kurdish independence and threatened retribution. Officially the U.S. is also against an independent Kurdish state. Israel was the only state that supported the referendum. That sympathy (or politically convenience) runs both ways: In Kurdistan's Erbil, the Polling Station Head Shouted Out: 'We Are the Second Israel!'


Referendum rally in Erbil

Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate leader and a reliable Zionist tool, called on the Trump administration to recognizing an independent Kurdistan. Trump can not do so because it would put the U.S. in opposition to its "allies" in the Turkish and the Iraqi government. But the official position is different from what the U.S. does on the ground. U.S. arms still flow to Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria.

Likewise Turkey is officially very concerned about the independence move of Kurdish Iraq but it also has commercial interests in it. Long term it fears the independence movements in its own large Kurdish population and sees the referendum in Iraq as a U.S. move against Turkish security interests:

[Turks] believe the referendum is actually part of Washington’s supposed long-standing desire to establish “a second Israel” in the region. Israel’s support for the KRG referendum has fed into this perception.

According to the Iraqi prime minister Turkey agreed to isolate the Kurdish region. But Turkish companies, and Erdogan's immediate family, have commercial interest in oil from the Kurdish region. Turkey exports some $8 billion per year in food and consumer goods to the Kurdish region. While Ankara is anxious that its own Kurdish population will follow the Iraqi Kurdish example, near term greed may well prevail over long term national interests.

Without Turkish agreement an "independent" Kurdish region in Iraq can not survive. Such independence  would totally depend on Ankara's whims.

Should Masoud Barzani gain enough external support and prevail with his independence gimmick, the situation in Syria would also change. The Kurds in Syria are currently led by the PKK/YPG, a political cult and militia which follows Abdullah Öcalan's crude philosophies. Politically they are opposed to Barzani but they have similar interests and attitudes. Though only 8% of the population, they have now occupied some 20% of Syria's land and control 40% of its oil reserves. Continued U.S. support for Syrian Kurds and the example in Iraqi could incited them to split from Syria. Damascus would never agree to that.

Kurdish independence, as Barzanistan in Iraq and/or as anarcho-marxists Öcalan cult in Syria, would be the start of another decade of war - either between the Kurdish entities and the nations around them, or within the ever disunited Kurdish tribes themselves.

Posted by b on September 28, 2017 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

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Quite apart from the issues of leadership, one of the very real necessities in the Middle East is that for peace to be arranged and continue there needs to be (somewhere in the region) a state that will pursue and protect the rights of each major ethnic/religious group. Recognizing this Hizbollah in Lebanon stated that Lebanon needs to remain a 'Christian' state. Israel obviously pursues Jewish interests. Turkey and Syria (in the past) were the spokesmen for secular Islamic interests. Iran for Shi'a Interests. Saudia Arabia for Islamic fundamentalists. Obviously Palestinians are struggling for the same.

The Kurds were the only large group in the Middle East that did not have a state that would protect them when they were threatened. This is the modern and much enlarged version of an ancient tribalism (whose rules israel refuses to follow).

Kurdish peoples require some kind of state power that will back their interests. Otherwise they will always be caught in other peoples' no-man-lands when competition and struggle emerges.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 28, 2017 10:44:40 AM | 1

The US will fight wars in the Middle East to the last Kurd.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Sep 28, 2017 10:54:16 AM | 2


Fostering the Peshmerga is something Israel can be proud of. Serendipitous coincidence of moral right and strategic advantage. Nation that fights so, and makes music like this, has my support.

(Kamkars, Kurds of Iran)
https://youtu.be/5KlMO_ITrnI

mountain folk

Posted by: random | Sep 28, 2017 10:54:19 AM | 3

"...Kurdish independence, in Iraq and/or Syria, would be the start of another decade of war - either between the Kurdish entities and the nations around them, or within the ever disunited Kurdish tribes themselves..."

You really didn't think the US ForeverWar© ended with the defeat of ISIS, did you b?When the entire Middle East (except for Israel) is completely partitioned into tiny, weak, easily-bullied city-states or tribal areas - and Iran is destroyed - the US will simply relocate to a different ForeverWar© sphere. South American? Africa? Maybe Europe - we barely got started on that scheme and 'free' western Ukraine is finally on the verge of self-partitioning. I hope the Ukranian mafia doesn't go nuts and try to blow up the Zaporizhia NPP to make a point.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 28, 2017 10:56:11 AM | 4

Great primer, b. One correction. About Kirkuk you say, "After the defeat of ISIS the Kurds occupied it and they now want to annex it." But the Kurds nabbed Kirkuk at the same time ISIS took Mosul back n 2014. It was one of the things that convinced me of Kurdish-ISIS coordination, probably overseen by Israel and the CIA.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 28, 2017 11:07:52 AM | 5

Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate leader and a reliable Zionist tool, called on the Trump administration to recognizing an independent Kurdistan. Trump can not do so because it would put the U.S. in opposition to its "allies" in the Turkish and the Iraqi government.
It also means that the United States would have one less stick to poke Russia with. We were told that Kosovo was a uniquely special case when it was allowed to declare its independence from Serbia after a referendum, so when Crimea held a referendum to decide to join Russia after the putsch in Kiev we were told this was illegal. If the United States now recognises an independent Iraqi Kurdistan, then Kosovo was never a uniquely special case and Crimea's joining Russia not illegal (it wasn't anyway but that's another matter). And South Ossetia and Abkhazia might now hold referendums for unification with Russia. As usual, with Kosovo, Washington through hubris and arrogance never properly considered the consequences of recognising Kosovan independence

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 28, 2017 11:14:37 AM | 6

Despite a definite anti-Kurdish slant, this is an informative article. Speculation that war will continue in both Iraq and Syria is well-founded, though the main instigators are not the Kurds, but the Turks and Iranians.

It will be interesting, to see Russia's and Syria's role in the coming weeks and months. Russia is NOT giving Baghdad a blank check to take over Kurdistan, as the latter seems itching to do. Neither will Turkey likely allow Baghdad to pluck such a prize for itself; it will demand a cut of any action. Finally, the Iranians are unlikely to allow either the Turks or Iraqis to run away with the goods. There will be war, certainly; but the Kurds will be only the excuse for it.

Ultimately, I expect Israel to be scapegoated and attacked by all the above. That is the greatest "given" of history.

Posted by: Michael S | Sep 28, 2017 11:17:21 AM | 7

LIke most everybody in the ME, the Kurds were screwed by the Picot-Sykes agreement to divide up the Middle East after WW1 No Kurdistan. The Kurds were screwed by the US in 70's, by backing their resistance to Saddam Hussein until an agreement between him and the Shah was reached where - guess what - no more backing - in more recent times - I can remember after the 1st Gulf War where GWHBush said the US was hoping the people (read Iraqi military guy willing to be US puppet) should revolt and we would help. So the Kurds revolted - guess what happened?
Now the Kurds are the US forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria. They would like to get Kurdistan in return. It is too bad the Barzanis are so corrupt. It is too bad that Kurdish independence hopes are used by the US and the Israelis fo rtheir own purposes. Why do I think that the Kurds will come out of this situation no better than the everyday people who lived in Mosul?

Posted by: gepay | Sep 28, 2017 11:37:19 AM | 8

Michael S says:

Ultimately, I expect Israel to be scapegoated and attacked by all the above

scapegoated? and just who exactly would they be taking the blame for?

Posted by: john | Sep 28, 2017 11:39:59 AM | 9

@Les7

There's never been a kurdish state before and not ALL kurds think a kurdish state is a good idea.

Secondly, Kurds remain a 'minority' next to Arabs and Iranian populations, regardless of the kurd's current size.

Thirdly, if minorities are properly protected by a nation's constitution, then there's no need for identitarian politics to dictate what would obviously be no good for the 'common good' of the majority. Kurdish identitarian politics (thank israel for that wicked export!) will create a tyranny of the minority, not peace and justice and security.

I say no to an independent Kurdistan. Not now, not ever. Such a bad-bad warmongering idea.

I'd like to see the Anglo-zionist Axis of Evil try yanking a giant swath of land from Turkey to the give to the kurds. LOL - I'd pay money to see that show!

Fact is, many analysts were waiting for the Kurd card to be played soon as the ISIS card burned out. No surprises there. Playing the kurd card is no more than the Axis of Evil covertly admitting their ISIS project has failed, without having to actually release a public statement to that effect.

And when the kurd card burns out, which it will, well... the Anglo-zionist Axis of Evil will have no more regional cards to play.

What then?

Well, the Axis of Resistance will have a free hand to turn to Palestine, to south Lebanon, to the Golan, to israel. This is the battle that the Axis of Evil DOES NOT want and does not dare fight: because win or lose, tel aviv is in the crosshairs and will be in smoking ruins anyway. The very headquarters of regional terrorism (some people say even global terrorism) is in tel aviv and it is the very sacrifice that the Axis of Evil cannot afford to lose. It is the battle that will either end both isreal as a colonialist Levant state and the US as Empire, or, rebirth them both as a more pernicious and evil version of themselves than before. Looking at the geopolitics and crunching the military numbers and the human condition etc of both sides, I reckon the Axis of Resistance will win in the end.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 11:54:02 AM | 10

@random

"Fostering the Peshmerga is something Israel can be proud of. Serendipitous coincidence of moral right and strategic advantage".

LOL! Try telling this to a Palestinian you twisted fucking troll!

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 11:58:41 AM | 11

Thank you for this excellent article.

Posted by: Perimetr | Sep 28, 2017 12:10:21 PM | 12

@3, pissing on their own shoes is something Ispuerile can be proud of. Who cares?

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28, 2017 12:27:23 PM | 13

Some very good historical detail in this article, especially the Barzani-Israel connection...which I'm sure many people, including myself, were not aware of...

While I agree that the Kurdish people should have their own state, the devil is in the details...

The biggest issue is that most Kurds live in Turkey...estimates range up to 20 million...Iran and Iraq have smaller populations, and Syria even less...

The numbers game is tricky because Turkey [and the others less so] are either unable or unwilling to do a precise census...but there are probably at least 30 million Kurds in the region...

Ethnically Kurds are Iranic peoples, and speak an Iranic language...itself an Indo-European language, as opposed to Turkic or Semitic [Arabic]...

Many Iranians, particularly in the diaspora, consider Kurds a 'brotherly' people...

The second big problem has and continues to be Western imperialism...after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire post WW1, the region was divided not along lines of viable states, but artificial entities that ran across ethnic and religious boundaries...

This was of course intentional, as in divide and rule...and was applied successfully in all colonial enterprises, most notably India, where the British played the Hindus against the Muslims and eventually caused a painful split in the wake of their inevitable departure...

The aim of the great global empire of today is the same, to encourage political instability and internecine conflict, in order to more easily exploit and rule...by alternately supporting then opposing all the various sides...

So it is useless now to talk of a Kurdish state...perhaps at some future point as Iran regains its standing as a great power in the region, which it has held throughout recorded history...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 12:28:46 PM | 14

Is it really all about the oil?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_Iraq

Just imagine the proposed Kurdistan overlaid on this map...

Posted by: Oilman2 | Sep 28, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 15

continued...

Such a scenario could be contemplated in a possible future rapprochement between Iran and Turkey...not unlikely since the Turco-Persian tradition goes back more than a thousand years...

However, what we are seeing today is that the US as a colonial-imperial power is trying at all costs to stop an inevitable rebalancing of power in the region...especially the rise of Iran...

Its main tool in this project for many years has been the artificial settler state of Israel...and clearly now the mafia state of Barzanistan in Iraq...

[Interesting to note also that Yazidis are ethnic Kurds, but the Barzanis had no compunction in throwing them to the ISIS wolves...]

As for this so-called 'referendum' it should be quite plain to every thinking person that this is a US project to begin with...despite the mealy-mouthed mumblings to the contrary...

It should also be quite clear that the US is using Barzanistan and the YPG/PKK in Syria as a way to at least keep some kind of influence in a postwar West Asia...

Their Plan A of color revolutions backed by Jihadist mercenary invasions has clearly failed...Russia stepped in and has effectively put an end to Jihidistan in Syria...

Even Turkey has flipped, at least for now, mostly due to the fact that the US is trying to carve out a Kurdish state in Syria, which is right on the border with Turkey's own Kurdistan...

Syria is the linchpin here...Barzanistan by itself cannot be viable unless it has contiguous land access to Syrian Kurdistan...which is why the SDF has now teamed up with ISIS to simply take without a fight the southeast Syrian borderlands with Iraq...

So the focus has to be on Syria winning that race to the Iraqi border, as well as the Iraqi forces retaking the ISIS territories on their side..this will put up a wall between the fake 'Kurdistan' that the US is trying to assemble...

Interesting to note also the earlier teamplay between the Barzanis and ISIS in Iraq, as underlined in this article...and now ISIS in Deir Ezzor handing the baton to SDF...?

Does it sound like one too many coincidences...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 12:32:01 PM | 16

thanks b... informative.

@1 les7.. i agree wtrongly with @10 taxi...

@8 gepay... the kurds are a pawn to be used by israel and the usa... even if the kurds could see this and i am sure a lot of them do - i am not sure what could be different.. the barzani mafia always has a green light from these 2 countries.. funny how that works.. it isn't much different then their support for the shah of iran, i am sure.. oh but assad has to go, lol...


Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2017 12:36:29 PM | 17

@3 "Nation that fights so, and makes music like this, has my support."

The Palestinians have nice music, too. Ever notice that?

No? Just the Kurds?

I wonder why...

Posted by: Castellio | Sep 28, 2017 12:36:40 PM | 18

strongly, as opposed to my typo..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2017 12:36:57 PM | 19

don't feed the troll..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2017 12:37:41 PM | 20

@Mike Maloney |@5 you are right about Kirkuk. The Kurds took it in 2014. I have now corrected the post.

Posted by: b | Sep 28, 2017 12:38:06 PM | 21

@ Michael S

Funny how when the history of a country consists of ethnic cleansing as part of a colonial project, others want to resist it, aka "scapegoat" it.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Sep 28, 2017 12:44:01 PM | 22

"...Serendipitous coincidence of moral right and strategic advantage..."

"from that capacious warehouse known as 'My Opinion Written with Big, Important-sounding Words'".

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28, 2017 12:46:34 PM | 23

Thanks B. This puts the Kurdish independence movement in an entirely different light.

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 28, 2017 12:47:14 PM | 24

Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet.org has a good companion article to b's:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198066.html

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 12:59:37 PM | 25

Kurdish ‘independence’, whatever that might be in terms of territory/gvmt arrangements, a huge "bouleversement" which is not seriously considered - alliances, indeterminate, never clearly spelled out. Implied over a large region. - Favored for / in Syria by Assad opponents.

The oppressed Kurds could occupy, maybe a good play!, some xyz territory outside Turkey in Syria where they don’t belong (historically), chopping up Syria, with the support of hegemonic USA and others.

Inside Iraq, the Kurds are a headache to some, as the country is under US puppet Gvmt, and taking over the oil fields is NOT to be allowed.

So the ‘Kurds’ well ….what to say? Usual manipulations, to be instrumentalised here and there..

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 28, 2017 1:06:31 PM | 26

Thanks for the informative article.I have been following the articles and posted comments for quite a while.I appreciate it.

Posted by: Theo | Sep 28, 2017 1:13:18 PM | 27

@7

'Despite a definite anti-Kurdish slant, this is an informative article. Speculation that war will continue in both Iraq and Syria is well-founded, though the main instigators are not the Kurds, but the Turks and Iranians...

What a whopper of a comment...

And where is the US in all of this...?...just an innocent lamb I suppose...?

Please don't waste people's time here with such uninformed drivel...

War in West Asia [aka Middle East] for the last seven decades has been purely due to US imperialism and its sponsorship of Jewish colonialism...end of story...

As for comments glorifying peshmerga...nobody here is dumb enough to fall for third-rate agit-prop...

Iran, as already mentioned, has been a great power for 3000 years...

Kurds are ethnically and linguistically Iranian and the difficulty with a small number of radicalized Kurds in Iran is due to the long reach of the US deep state and its world-class subversion, subterfuge and sabotage...

Not to mention the long reach of the US dollar, especially in places where people live a hard-scrabble life and are willing to sign on to VOA productions in return for a living wage...

Of course just like Britain's globe-straddling empire, the US empire is inevitably crashing down...

Regional powers like Iran and Turkey are already gravitating to emerging global powers Russia and China who promise stability, trade and self-respect...

The Kurd 'card' as described by another commenter is about to go up in smoke too...the last card the US has, and boy is it playing it desperately...

Too bad it's a losing hand...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 1:15:50 PM | 28

Here's a good argument against the whole "Kurdish state" project:
. . . larison/the-case-for-kurdistan-is-still-exceptionally-weak/

Far from isolating the adversary (Iran), the creation of a Kurdish state would bring Iran, Turkey, and Iraq together in common cause to oppose it. Like other hare-brained schemes to “combat Iranian power,” this one will backfire. Worse, it would potentially expose Iraqi Kurds to attack from several sides, and that would mean that the U.S. fights a new war to protect them or hangs them out to dry after encouraging their separation.

Recall, for example, that the Bush Sr. encouraged southern Iraqi groups to rebel against Saddam Hussain in the 1990s, only to let them be slaughtered later on. When it comes to geopolitical games, the U.S. record of cynically using and then abandoning local proxy forces goes back and bank. The Hmong tribespeople in Laos in the 1960s, or Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan in the 1980s, etc. As far as the Israeli agenda, there are some Sy Hersh reports on this from 2004:
Now, Israel has hundreds of agents, including members of Mossad operating in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. In addition Mossad is now conducting covert operations in Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. One former Israeli intelligence officer told Hersh "It’s Realpolitik. By aligning with the Kurds Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq and Syria." . . .

It looks like many U.S.-Israeli think tanks, various neoliberal outfits, and the organs of US/Israeli foreign policy propaganda (i.e. NYTimes and WaPo) are lining up to push for this, regardless of the consequences. The only odd thing is that the Saudis don't approve, probably because a destabilized Iraq on their border wouldn't be good for them, and they want to maintain some positive relations with Turkey.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Sep 28, 2017 1:16:26 PM | 29

@ghostship 6

There never was a referendum in Kosovo.

Posted by: venice12 | Sep 28, 2017 1:29:03 PM | 30

@29
Wikipedia disagrees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovan_independence_referendum,_1991

Posted by: spudski | Sep 28, 2017 1:48:57 PM | 31

Just to address the aspect of Turkey and the Barzani oil business...

Here's what Turkish prime Minister said on that...

'...When the issue of national security is at stake, the economic losses of $300-500 million is not the problem, because of which such an economically strong country as Turkey can neglect its national security...'

So there is no issue there and Erdogan is clearly cutting Barzani loose...

Yes Turkey and Barzani were in a marriage of convenience there for a while, godfathered by the US of course...

But now it is plain to the Turks that the US is planning to stab them in the back...the Kurdish project is ultimately aimed at Turkey, not just Iran, Iraq, and Syria...

Now that it's out in the open, is it any coincidence that Turkey and Iran have found themselves as partners in the Astana process...?

The bigger picture is that the US is losing the Middle East...there is a new power balance emerging...

And if this domino falls, then what next...Europe...?

That's the problem with dominoes...they were never meant to stand on edge...as every failed empire has found out...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 1:52:14 PM | 32

"Barzani" is a well-known Kurdish Jewish name and this Barzani family are suspected to be crypto-Jews. There was a prominent Kurdish Jewish woman scholar in the seventeenth century by the name of Asenath Barzani.

Posted by: sarz | Sep 28, 2017 1:57:28 PM | 33

Taxi @ 25
Who was play the referendum game in the Crimea, Abkhazia and Ossetia?
Who was play the referendum in Kosovo?
who is still playing Thierry Meyssans fool’s game?Is it the shit or sputum?

Posted by: ALAN | Sep 28, 2017 2:22:55 PM | 34

Iraqi Kurdistan (and Syria's) might be land locked but pumped up oil will find it's way out either way. Turkey will never be able to resist the temptation and be swayed back by NATO away from SCO and S-400 by the massive Kurdish oil wealth stolen from Iraq and Syria. Dispite some idle treats Abadi, a CIA stooge like Hadi and Barzani, won't lift a finger to take back Kirkuk or any other Iraqi region of importance. The only Iraqi hope can come from the PMU.

Posted by: xor | Sep 28, 2017 2:29:14 PM | 35

@31 flankerbandit - "Erdogan is clearly cutting Barzani loose..."

Collateral for that:

BREAKING: Turkey will only deal with Baghdad for matters with oil and border, not Kurdistan

and a lovely story per b's article:

BREAKING: Central Bank of Iraq ends activities with the Kurdistan Regional Government - "CBI branches are refusing to operate in areas where Kurdish militias belonging to the regions two biggest political parties can break in and steal reserves."

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 28, 2017 2:30:25 PM | 36

@ALAN,

A fake referendum is not really a referendum, dear. Especially when it's announced by a self-appointed corrupt dictator and traitor.

Let's face it, Barzani makes even Donald Trump look classy.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 2:37:08 PM | 37

Funny, only Hebrew Wikipedia openly mentions Mossad support for Barzani as described above (others mention Israel/Mossad, but remain rather vague): "In 1963, the head of the Israeli Mossad at the time, Meir Amit , began to tighten the secret ties with Barzani, and for ten years Israel granted the Kurds in Iraq military assistance."

link

[learn to post hyperlinks. The URL does NOT belong in the text field - b]

Posted by: Erast Fandorin | Sep 28, 2017 2:41:33 PM | 38

@25 Taxi

Thanks for the Meyssan link. Excellent companion piece indeed. I kept hearing how the referendum was unconstitutional but hadn't really understood in what ways. Meyssan elaborates nicely. Of course the west is hearing only about the plucky Kurds and their plea for freedom, and not about the ethnic cleansing by the Kurds, US-Israel deep involvement and the collaboration of all with ISIS.

Thanks also for your #10 comment - I regard it as definitive.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 28, 2017 2:50:10 PM | 39

Good one Ghostship, it would be awkward for the U.S. to present the world with a Crimean sandwich, Kosovo good, Ossetia/Crimea bad, Kurdistan good but we in the U.S. are totally shameless and have a press corp that is oblivious to these things.

All of these cases are indistinguishable, they are all predicated on 'because we want to'. The Kurds in Iraq were certainly not going to be slaughtered by the Shiite majority. The Crimeans could legitimately be suspicious of the new Kiev govt but in reality, they never wanted to be part of Ukraine. So it would be very hard to logically argue for a Kurdistan but get all tied up in a knot over Crimea and Ossetia.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 28, 2017 3:06:01 PM | 40

Taxi@36
/Who was play the referendum game in the Crimea, Abkhazia and Ossetia?/
Have you tried to avoid talking about the big players who impose the principles and assets of playing on the international scene?

Posted by: ALAN | Sep 28, 2017 3:24:07 PM | 41

Wayne Madsen is reporting Russian/US clashes.
http://milfuegos.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/reports-from-syria-of-us-military.html

Posted by: Emily | Sep 28, 2017 3:43:11 PM | 42

@ALAN/40

I think my answer covers your indignant questions - sans your "shit and sputum" hissyfit vibe.

(I must say, I'm fascinated by your use of the English language - I kid you not).

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 3:43:15 PM | 43

i don't think english is alans first language.. that is what it looks like to me..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2017 3:57:54 PM | 44

Xor @34

Erdogan assuredly is greedy, yes, but what you're underestimating is how much of a hot-button, nuclear red-line issue that a truly independent Kurdistan is to Turkey. Millions, perhaps billions could be made, but Erdogan has already siphoned off such sums and now faces a set of dominos that could easily see him unseated from power. The ethically Turkish population has been told for decades that the Kurdistan project threatens the existence of the Turkish state. Those citizens now believe this and will be calling for his head if he is not seen being tough enough, or even if Kurdistan comes into existence de jure at all. It's simply a bridge too far, even for the greedy wannabe sultan.
As for Abadi, US lackey that he is, knows he's in a similar situation. At the end of the day, he still has to answer to his own population, all of whom aside from the Kurds, view Kurdistan as treason and a foreign plan to carve up Iraq. Those citizens will absolutely support military action to take back Kirkuk and other Kurdish nabbed areas. At a minimum, Iraq will blockade the region.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Sep 28, 2017 4:02:22 PM | 45

@ James,

I know it isn't, and I wasn't making fun of it at all - I just kinda enjoyed the jarring effect of his word-scaffolding.

His temperament? I think he was coughing up dust. And the hand just waved it off and away.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 28, 2017 4:05:57 PM | 46

Many Iranians, particularly in the diaspora, consider Kurds a 'brotherly' people...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 12:28:46 PM | 14

Kurds are the original Iranians. You can't get more Iranian than Kurds since they do not have Arab or Turk blood mixed in.

It is so much nonsense trying to divide the Iranian people. It is not going to work. Iran is not merely a political entity. It is a 5000+ year civilization that is dominant across vast areas of Asia. If you celebrate new year on the Spring Equinox, you are Iranian. End of the story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newroz_as_celebrated_by_Kurds

Kurdistan is Iran.

Posted by: nobody | Sep 28, 2017 4:41:00 PM | 47

Thierry Meyssan usually throws up some interesting stuff...but sometimes he strays into disneyland...

His comment about Russia 'hinting' at some kind of Kurdistan recognition in exchange for Crimea recognition is an example...he cites for this a recent UNSC press statement which says nothing of the sort...

Overall this article from him is not bad... but I have to wonder about some of the details, like that supposed meeting in Jordan where the creation of ISIS was established...and that Kurd guy in jail in Norway being flown there on a Nato plane and then brought back to his cell two days later...

I don't have time to check all of his footnoted sources, but none seem to reference the wilder allegations he puts out...

As for Abadi, I don't think he is fully in the US back pocket as some seem to claim...he may be more pliable than Maliki, but note that Maliki is still in there and poised to spring right back should Abadi get too far out of line...

We must remember that Maliki put his foot down and insisted on ZERO US troops in Iraq...to which Obama complied...

Drumpf is one of the many who regard the more or less forced total US pullout as a huge mistake...

Then suddenly after that US pullout ISIS materializes out of thin air as if by magic...and the perfect excuse for the US to go back...

Certainly the hand of Barzani looks to be all over that quick ISIS takeover in Mosul, which just happens to be in the area if one looks at a map...

Meyssan also gives good background on the Barzani ethnic cleansing of other groups starting in 1991, when the US no-fly zone was imposed and periodic air and tomahawk strikes against Baghdad laid the foundation for a Kurdish statelet in the making...

so clearly the Iraqi Kurdistan project has been a plan for quite some time...just like the Kosovo plan before that and the Syria plan and any number of such imperialist projects...

Certainly Barzanistan was playing footsie with ISIS at some point along the way, and today we see that the SDF, which is much closer to the PKK than Barzanistan, is not itself immune from doing the same...

As for what happens next, I don't think the US sponsored Iraqi Kurdistan is ever going to go anywhere...

This is a desperate last minute ploy to avoid US total defeat in West Asia...Turkey and Iran are moving closer together and Iraq is not going to be a yes-man for its own destruction, Abadi or not...

As for Syria...that's already a foregone conclusion...the only issue is how long the SDF Frankenstein is going to be able to stay on its legs...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 5:11:16 PM | 48

Excellent coverage - as usual, and thanks.

However, the etymology of mullah is a British twisting of the term Mou'allem (teacher) or 'Alem (French Savant, English Man of knowledge).
For instance, Arabic Amir Al-Bahr (Prince of the Sea) becomes in Europe, by Spaniards mainly, Admiral. With dropping of the last term Al-Bahr (the sea).

Barazani, father and son, are not mullah (using the denigrating European term) just warlords.

Ya allah.

Posted by: mohamad | Sep 28, 2017 5:19:04 PM | 49

Russia has a historic interest in parceling out ethnic enclaves in her south-western flank.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Mahabad

As has been pointed out by the thinking Hindu set in India (1), the fracturing and destabilization of West Asia is a principle goal of both Anglo-Zionists and Chabad-Russ. Neither foreign power center can allow for a peeaceful, independent, West Asia.

(1): http://greatgameindia.com

One hopes the Chinese are smart emough to see through the Chabad-Russ game.

Posted by: nobody | Sep 28, 2017 5:28:48 PM | 50

Posted by: mohamad | Sep 28, 2017 5:19:04 PM | 48

Not correct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawla

Posted by: nobody | Sep 28, 2017 5:50:50 PM | 51

@les7

...for peace to be arranged and continue there needs to be (somewhere in the region) a state that will pursue and protect the rights of each major ethnic/religious group.
Ethnic/religious groups do not have rights, whether they are majority, plurality, minority, major or minor. Only individuals have rights, which basically boil down to equal treatment under the law.

Group rights are just collectivism and tribalism under a different name. It was nationalism, the belief that nations have a "right" to a state where they are in the majority and that they have the right to protect the rights or privileges of their national minorities in other states, that led to two world wars. All state and non-state leaderships, everywhere in the world, are obligated to protect the rights of all individuals regardless of race, ethnic group, language, religion or whatever. Until the leaderships of all groups in the Middle East understand this, the region will be vulnerable to manipulation by imperial powers and endless war. According to your post, even Hizbollah understands this and behaves accordingly.

Judging by their complicity with Turkey during the Armenian/Assyrian genocide/cleansing and with ISIS recently in Iraq and Syria, the most recent Kurdish leader that understood this might have been Salah al-Din. Neither Kurds nor Zionists deserve the privilege of governing their own state at this point in history. The only way peace can be brought to the Middle East is to contain both until they cease to be threats. It's up to the neighboring states how they want to contain the Kurdish threat, without interference from FUKZUS. Neither genocide nor cleansing would work even if they weren't illegal and morally repugnant. Israel needs to be isolated via BDS until it respects the rights of individual Palestinians including the right of return. The Kurdish problem is more complex and may require more drastic measures. Certainly, refugees must have an unrestricted right of return, with deportation of invaders (especially militias and their leadership) to their country of origin. It may be necessary to isolate Kurds economically and politically until all Kurdish militias are disarmed. They should be allowed autonomy only if they respect the rights of all individuals under their political power.

Posted by: William Rood | Sep 28, 2017 6:15:52 PM | 52

B, thanks for this valuable post. I was aware of the complicity with ISIS in cleansing Assyrians and Yazidi among others, but didn't realize the extent of the evidence. It's an old trick. It was used by the Brits against the Palestinians. They had nothing left to resist with by 1947.

It's remarkable how quickly the Zionist and NWO trolls are able to attach their posts. Somebody must Tweet them that you have a new post up.

Posted by: William Rood | Sep 28, 2017 6:21:20 PM | 53

@nobody

Your agenda seems to be equating Russia and the US in terms of imperialism and aggression...ie a man with an axe to grind...

That is a hopeless cause which no thinking person would agree with...

Your first link is in the context of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941...in which the allies did not trust nominally neutral Iran, whose Shah at the time was suspected of being rather cozy with the Axis powers...

Your second link doesn't even point to a specific article...and one can only guess what you mean by Chabad-Russ...

I would be willing to entertain some of your notions if you are able to actually articulate a coherent argument...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 6:31:05 PM | 54

@37

Hey dummy. Trying to read this.

Thanks, b, regardless. With any ME geopolitical area, you need a good backstory. This definitely suffices for the Kurds and their Israeli handlers.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 28, 2017 6:52:06 PM | 55

@nobody.

'Iranic' is a top level designation, like Slav. Are Poles and Russians the same? They may share an ethnic substrate but they are differentiated in many complex ways. The same applies to the various ethnic and religious groups who comprise the Iranian branch of the Indo-European concourse. According to some classifications, some of the Kurds in the northern reaches (Transcaucasia) have been separate from other Kurds so long they have developed their own ethnic identity.

---

Life is struggle. The Kurds want independence, and they're establishing the conditions (including ethnic cleansing) to make that possible. This is deeply offensive to the 'left wing' (actually bourgeois) sensibilities of most denizens of this blog. A struggle to the death over a goal higher than shopping and fornication? Call my human rights lawyer!

B seeks to apply a moral rhetoric to delegitimize Kurdish aspirations by adducing examples showing the quest for sovereignty based upon ethnic identification is actually nothing more than the power politics of the elite: the Barzani boys are using the referendum to retain their ability to ransack the place (as if the next set of elites wouldn't do exactly the same). Israel is playing games. Never mind millions of Kurds have long aspired to form a Kurdish state. The left does not care about people. It cares about ensuring they conform to its ideological abstractions.

Carl Schmidt's analysis is relevant. There is a distinction between everyday politics, and the 'political', the line which defines where your group ends and another begins. When you pursue the political, the category of politics is irrelevant, for you are acting absolutely according to the common good. Doesn't matter whether Barzani is the most corrupt despot in the ME. Should he succeed, his legacy of a Kurdish state will dwarf the piggy bank abuse.

Posted by: Lemur | Sep 28, 2017 6:58:09 PM | 56

@william rood

'only individuals have rights'

This is an idea based on liberal theory, which is wrong.

Posted by: Lemur | Sep 28, 2017 7:01:45 PM | 57

I'm a bit surprised that no one here caught this one:

/~~~~~~~~~~
TheDuran -- BREAKING: Iraqi troops join military drills in Turkey (LIVE VIDEO) -- 9/26/17
http://theduran.com/breaking-iraqi-troops-join-military-drills-turkey/

Over the last 48 hours Turkish and Iranian troops have been conducting large scale military drills on the border with Iraq as Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq have voted in a unilateral referendum of secession which has been widely condemned by all regional powers except Israel as well as being condemned by both Russia and the US.

Today, it has been confirmed that Iraqi troops have joined their Turkish counterparts on the Turkish side of the border in what may be preparatory stages for a joint operation in northern Iraq against separatists who maintain their own insurgent militia called the Peshmerga.
\~~~~~~~~~~

The piece includes a video.

I am also surprised that so many people in the middle East feel extremely threatened by the Kurds. Perhaps because they are ruled by such perverted criminals.

Posted by: blues | Sep 28, 2017 7:12:33 PM | 58

"The left does not care about people."

I put up with this insanity over at Zero Hedge because they're... you know.

But I think we could do well enough without this nonsense here.

Posted by: blues | Sep 28, 2017 7:20:38 PM | 59

"The Kurds were the only large group in the Middle East that did not have a state that would protect them when they were threatened. This is the modern and much enlarged version of an ancient tribalism (whose rules israel refuses to follow)."

50 cents has been deposited into your account by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Keep it up...

I won't point out that your comment is fantasy. Yazidi, Alawites, Lurs, Touareg and several dozen other Middle Eastern groups do not have their own states. Nope, I won't point that out in case people think you're a ridiculous liar or opinionated dimwit.

...

"Ultimately, I expect Israel to be scapegoated and attacked by all the above. That is the greatest "given" of history."

Nice use of a new sockputtet identity, hasbara-anon. However, the greatest given in history is that zealous Ashkanazi extremists like you will spout self-serving lies every chance they get.

FYI hasbara-anon, it is literally impossible for history's greatest given to be Israel being scapegoted and attacked, because Israel hasn't existed for almost 2000 years until 1948, when it was recreated by some European Asjkenazi jews with almost zero cultural or DNA links to the region.

MENA was full of actual semitic jews at that point, but Israel went on to do a great job of terrifying them into leaving their home nations and seeking 'refuge' in Israel's stolen land – mostly via numerous acts of Israeli terrorism thst destabilised their home nations.

Most Ashkenzi, the founders of modern Israel, were descended from Khazar converts, and are as closely related to ancient hebrews as an Irishman or Brazilian.

Isrealis are not scapegoated. They're excellent at scapegoating and attacking their semitic neighbors, though.

Posted by: fghjklfighvjbnkljhkgj | Sep 28, 2017 7:43:51 PM | 60

@56

Do you actually have a point to make...?

Your 300 words of fancy rhetoric convey zero substance...other than some kind of crude attempt at a political slur...

Nobody here has anything against the Kurds or even a Kurdish state from what I can tell, including the author of this article...

What is at issue here is the use of Iraqi Kurds under the Barzani dynasty as a proxy for US hegemony in West Asia...

Everybody knows that now...it is simply stirring up trouble and hopefully armed conflict which is what the US is after...otherwise they have no option other than the exit door...

I will restate my original point here [@14 and 16] that Kurds, like all peoples have a right to self-determination...no one is against that...

But again repeating the facts of life...two thirds of Kurds live in Turkey...

So there is never going to be a Kurdistan as a true nation unless, at some point in time, there emerges a Turkish-Iranian alliance that would guarantee stability in the region...

At that point, Turkey might say enough is enough and move on...just as Russia did after shedding itself of its Soviet empire...

that's very different from a fake Kurdistan that is not only a gangster state, but a tool for instability in the entire region aimed precisely at both Iran and Turkey...

All we need to know about your rhetoric is that you never once mention the US...again repeating myself...the innocent lamb on the sidelines right...?

Well nobody's buying it...no matter how fancy you make it sound...this is all about the crumbling US empire not losing West Asia...period...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 7:44:26 PM | 61

A few years ago, I watched a documentary about Iran and the Shah and was surprised at how much Mossad was working with the Iranian govt. The usual story is about the CIA training and working with SAVAK.

Right you are about Kirkuk not being part of Kurdish territory before. When I read about the second gulf war and the murder of the Kurd Ahmad in Mosul (Ahmad's War Ahmad's Peace), he temporarily had moved with his family into Kurdistan from Mosul to get away from the chaos while also wanting to join efforts for democracy. (Alas he was murdered as the old bosses became the new islamic bosses.) It's an interesting point that while beautiful with green growth, the area is so destitute even with so much oil money coming in. The US (and Israel) have no problem with the corruption of their partners.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 28, 2017 7:46:30 PM | 62

barazani has been a hero for his people for decades
shirley after all the trials and tribulations that the kurdish state have suffered over the years this is the moment too embrace the project.
israel befriending fellow victims and we get the kurds are crypto blah blah usual nazi hate monger comments.

even if barzani was jewish so what suffering is suffering.
sisi and erdogan have jewish blood so do the house of saud that is why israel exists because it is are homelands.
the uk,france and usa must not let this be another 1939 moment we should not be hating on the victims here the kurds have shed so much blood for thousands of years it is time for humanity too prevail and give them a country.
already 10s of thousands of kurds are leaving israel,the usa great britain germany and france and like the movie exodus will forge a new jerusalem anew

Posted by: daniel golani | Sep 28, 2017 7:52:32 PM | 63

The Guardian seems quite happy that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might still be alive. The evidence they present that this was recent recording is not exactly conclusive:

In the tape Baghdadi refers to the “nearly year-long fight for Mosul”, from which Isis was ousted in August after nearly 10 months of fighting. He also referenced fights for Hama in Syria, where a push in recent weeks by Iranian-led militias has ousted the terror group from much of its stronghold in countryside to the east of Syria’s third city.

He also referred to North Korean “nuclear threats to America” and “Russia taking control” of the Astana peace process between the Syrian opposition and regime. Both matters have been headline news throughout the year, but the North Korean standoff has been particularly potent in recent weeks.

“The fighters in Mosul refused to surrender the city at the cost of their flesh and blood,” said Baghdadi. “Only after a year of fighting.”


The Russian claim that they might have killed him were reported on June 16, 2017. At that time, it would not have been difficult to predict when the fighting in Mosul would end, there was on-going fighting in Hama between the SAA and ISIS, there had already been nuclear threats made by North Korea against the United States and the Astana peace process was initiated by the Russians and was always under their control. To my mind the recording could have been made anytime this year so it's inconclusive in proving he's alive and why no mention of recent significant events that impacted the United States such as Harvey or Irma as God's vengeance on the United States?

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 28, 2017 7:53:19 PM | 64

@63

What 1939 moment...?

The only moment I see is the 1945 moment...with looming Nazi US defeat in West Asia...

As for Kurdish suffering...sure that is true...go tell Erdogan to let 20 million Kurds in Turkey have their own country...

And what about the Kurdish Yazidi...?

Yes they are Kurds, only a different religious sect...

But Barzani didn't mind sacrificing his own people wholesale to the head-choppers...as Meyssan points out they were eventually rescued by the PKK...

What about their suffering...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 8:13:03 PM | 65

64
i believe the guardian group is part of a trust with connections back too edwyne rothschilds ex male wife all mi5 tavistock proper ganga i"m affraid.
as for al bagdaddy baggage his name is shimon elliot simon to his gay friends in tel aviv he is a low level mossad actor with zero counter insurgency skills.
he spent many years in turkey with involvement in the night clubs drugs the white slave trade and live organ dealing which is a billion dollar industry for turkey and israel.
shimon elliot bagdaddy is very much alive and is having some much needed r and r back in the future capital of the world tel aviv

Posted by: alfie bass | Sep 28, 2017 8:21:03 PM | 66

@ 10 taxi... Kurds are 'a minority'? I guess it depends on which piece of middle eastern dirt you stand and how big the circle you choose to draw. Germans, French and English are all minorities in the EU. As @14 put it, the numbers game is complicated... and he gave a very conservative estimate of 30 million. My information (now 10 years old) had it at 40 million. When is a minority a minority and therefore to be denied language and cultural rights. in the early 1990's it was a death sentence in turkey to be caught with anything written in Kurdish. Such events were the fuel for Kurdish militant actions.

@52 "Group rights are just collectivism and tribalism under a different name..." which is what I said when I mentioned:'This is the modern and much enlarged version of an ancient tribalism'. It does seem that many would look down on that tribal model and talk of individual rights, as if collective rights do not exist. Maybe in the West, but no one living in that region lives by Western cultural norms. To expect them to do so is rather ethnocentric (to put it mildly). For them collective rights DO exist and they take precedence over any and all individual rights.

My only point in all this is not to debate who is manipulating the scene but instead emphasize the larger reality that a lasting peace can only come when that block of 40 million has some kind of collective & cultural right to exist. Is this being used and abused ? Yes. But such abuse does not invalidate the need for such collective existence.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 28, 2017 9:00:40 PM | 67

@ 52... the 'group/collective right to exist' can only be used and abused because it DOES have traction with people on the ground. This is how they think and it is what they believe. This is what makes it such a powerful force, and makes it susceptible to outside manipulation. If such a group/collective right to exist had no legitimacy, there would be no traction and no conflict.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 28, 2017 9:15:01 PM | 68

I see Erdogan and other Turkish gov officials talking tough but they've done nothing. The Edogan family makes a pretty penny bringing Kurdish oil to the Mediterranean. I don't trust them one bit.

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 28, 2017 9:36:08 PM | 69

...
even if barzani was jewish so what suffering is suffering.
...
Posted by: daniel golani | Sep 28, 2017 7:52:32 PM | 63

Not according to Gilad Atzmon. He points out that Jewish suffering, like Jewish History, is uniquely, and conveniently, special..

"Jewish history transcends itself beyond the notion of causality. It persuades us that persecution of Jews occurs out of nowhere. The Jewish historical text avoids the necessary questions as to why hostility evolves time after time, why do Jews buy so many enemies and so easily?"

from: Judea Declares War On Obama
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/judea-declares-war-on-obama-by-gilad-atzmon.html

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28, 2017 9:52:58 PM | 70

All the verbal gymnastics, straw man arguments and omissions by 'b' doesn't address the simple fact Kurds deserve their right to self determination. If you don't support this fundamental right of Kurds' (at least in principle), all your other good points on American imperialism rings hollow.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28, 2017 10:13:59 PM | 71

folks - daniel golani - the latest name for the local hasbara shit artist who drops by from time to time..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2017 10:15:05 PM | 72

@71

Obtuse much...?

Nobody is arguing against self-determination...

The Kurds deserve it, including the three times as many living in Turkey as live in Iraq...

How about self-determination for American blacks...?

Or American whites for that matter...?

Self-determination is not what this cynical US imperialist ploy is about...and neither is the article...

Everyone thinking person here sees this scam for what it is...more US chaos in the Middle East...

Kapish...?

Good...now buzz off...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 10:34:00 PM | 73

It's peculiar that the Israeli's are so openly backing Kurd independence. The Israeli's must be smart enough to realize that their open endorsement of the Kurds only makes it more difficult for the Kurds.

If I release a serious music album the last thing I want is for Justin Beiber to publicly talk about how much he likes it.

The right to ethnic self-determination. It is very important to many people and if a population group has a definable and viable geographic area they should get the opportunity to have it. But. They must respect the rights of any minority that ends up in their territory and they must accept the principle that they cannot alone define the boundaries of their new territory.

Thus the Catalans should have an opportunity of independence if they vote for it, but they must enshrine in a constitution a respect of the Spanish language within Catalonia. Any Spanish speaking community within Catalonia must always have a right to Spanish schools for instance. In essence Spanish must be an official Catalonian language.
And any geographically viable Spanish community within Catalonia must be given the opportunity to remain within Spain if they so vote.

The Kurds should in principle be able to get independence from Iraq, but they must always have Arabic as an official language along with Kurdish. And they should get that independence based on a very long and very boring arbitration process organized by impartial UN committees (and I really doubt that Kirkuk belongs in Kurdistan after that). It needs to be a delicate and painstaking drawn out process -10 years minimum. Ideally with pre agreed free trade and free movement agreements with Iraq. And any side that resorts to violence loses all privileges.
Not: we had a vote! we haz AmeriKan weapons! we haz independence!

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28, 2017 11:29:21 PM | 74

iraqi kurdistan only becomes kurdistan by ethnically cleansing non kurds
https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/11/03/krg-kurdish-forces-ejecting-arabs-kirkuk

Posted by: brian | Sep 29, 2017 12:14:29 AM | 75

To those asking that the Kurds be allowed self-determination.

So here we are in a world controlled by global private finance and you are beating the drum about self-determination for the Kurds.

How about self-determination for the rest of us?

Self-determination starts with owning your own tools of finance which doesn't exist now in the Western world.

But I am sure that if the Kurds are given self-determination all will be become magically right with the world........are we ever going to focus on other than new shiny things like the failure of our form of social organization?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29, 2017 12:30:25 AM | 76

@76 you said "So here we are in a world controlled by global private finance and you are beating the drum about self-determination for the Kurds. How about self-determination for the rest of us?"

We in western cultures HAVE the mechanisms and social/cultural institutions for change IF we choose to use them. Are some of them being abused? Absolutely, but we still have the freedom to get involved and work for change. The Kurds do not have those freedoms. In most places in the ME they cannot even ask the question without drastic threats - such as those that have just happened. Have some Kurdish people and groups responded with the same 'cleansing' tactics used against them? Yes. Is is justified in either set of hands? No.

Self-determination will not magically solve any problems. It may, in fact probably will, introduce others. There is however one thing that is certain. Self-determination invokes on all those who get it self-responsibility. And it is that responsibility and accountability that is the basis of mature and peaceful interaction. It is not a guarantee, but it IS the inescapable foundation.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 29, 2017 1:19:07 AM | 77

@77 les7.. nice post.. however, i think you misunderstand pyschohistorians perspective.. i will quickly try to give you my take on this.. until the financial system we have in place in the world changes from one based on separation ( more for me means less for you) - to one of a gift society - we are all essentially fucked... the transformation or metamorphosis will happen, or the planet is doomed..

Posted by: james | Sep 29, 2017 2:40:57 AM | 78

@77

Les7, you love all that identitarian politics, don't you? And how's it working out for the Palestinians (them being under the boot and bullet of jewish identitarianism) - what do you have to say about that? And how's it working out in the so-called Western world? Even the very steady cloth of Western society is being torn asunder by Identitarian politics. I'm sure you've detected this already, no? It's a pity that you're not looking at the dangerous consequences of identarian politics, but instead fixated on hearing the wailing violins tuned by expert propagandists. Fact is, you're exaggerating the plight of the kurdish people in the wider middle east. You are reciting Turkish hostile behaviorism towards the kurds, but not EVERY nation with a kurdish population treats them like the Turks do. Even Saddam's actions towards the kurds was not 'kurdophobic', but based on the Barzani clan arranging numerous (failed) mossad-aided assassination attempts on Saddam's life. Saddam treated the Barzani clan as traitors who were colluding with the israeli enemy and conspiring to divide up the motherland of Iraq. I certainly don't agree with Saddam's punitive measures, but I understand his hostility towards the kurds was political and NOT ethnic.

And another point: you cannot just lump ALL kurds into one basket. You have to distinguish between the 'kurds' and the 'Barzanis', who are of kurdish extract under the unelected control of a tyrannical mafiosa family.

Lastly, that you should brush aside the will and physical security of some 210 MILLION people (the combined population of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria) in order to create a non-organic, invented and landlocked state for 40 million people is indeed the epitome of dangerous folly. Surely, working to strengthen constitutional laws that protect minorities in these nations is by far a more peaceful, cheaper and organic (not tainted by cynical imperialism) way to go - no?

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 29, 2017 2:42:59 AM | 79

@ james and Taxi for helping me try to focus the ire on the world-wide source of responsibility.....thanks

The Western world is being stirred into a frenzy by TPTB to refocus attention away from their failings and justify a war to cement that refocus.

Until they turn off the internet on us, we get to watch it happen here at MoA.

I love TPTB but I want to eliminate their global tools of private finance and usury.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29, 2017 2:54:22 AM | 80

I need to correct my kurdish population figure - it's not 40 million but:
"The estimated Kurdish population is 35 million. A rough estimate by the CIA Factbook has Kurdish populations of 14.5 million in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, about 5 to 6 million in Iraq, and less than 2 million in Syria, which adds up to close to 28 million Kurds in Kurdistan and adjacent regions".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_population

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 29, 2017 3:14:08 AM | 81

Okay, another clarification: the above figure of 35 million (found inside the quotation) refers to the global Kurdish population and not the mideast one. The mideast one is approx. 28 million, according to the CIA Factbook.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 29, 2017 3:16:56 AM | 82

/~~~~~~~~~~
=>> les7 | Sep 29, 2017 1:19:07 AM | 77

We in western cultures HAVE the mechanisms and social/cultural institutions for change IF we choose to use them. Are some of them being abused? Absolutely, but we still have the freedom to get involved and work for change. The Kurds do not have those freedoms.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Do you really think like this? The mental density factor here is awesome.

We have zero "mechanisms and social/cultural institutions for change". Period. Nor do the Europeans. In the USSA we have single selection voting. In Europe they have other scams. We have no strategic hedge simple score voting. That means we have no alternative to a Repub/Dem duopoly.

And you are worried about these Kurds (or whatever they are)? Smoke another Marlboro, it's good for the digestion.

Posted by: blues | Sep 29, 2017 4:14:08 AM | 83

Whatever happened to Putin's threat to Erdogan, who via his family (son in law, in laws family) and third party has been getting lion share of ISIS and Barzani oil?

How come nobody either on the West (the US/UK/EU/Israel) or Russia pulls the plug on this uberly corrupt, war criminal,who has been holding power for 15+ years?

Posted by: Truist | Sep 29, 2017 5:34:25 AM | 84

a wise man once said do what thou wilt shall be the law why not already.the kurdy are the greatest fighting force in the region.
why not use them for stabilsation.

as a great man once said today the “kaleidoscope” has been being shaken; before the pieces settle again let us reorder this world around us anew.
churchill always said the savage arab needed guidance on the matters of civilsation who better than the kurdy,israel,usa and the sovreign state of the city of london too help the kurd with security and pipr line contracts.
if israel is too be the worlds capital the routes via turkey must be kept open.
the world turns nothing new under the sun but every 50 years or so a unique people are threatened that is why as a community we must stamp out the rot of anti semenism

Posted by: daniel golani | Sep 29, 2017 8:32:18 AM | 85

lemur 56
Actually the Poles according to Fernand Braudel are the true Slavs genetically of the Eurasian sweep to Europe's edge - not the Russians .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Sep 29, 2017 8:35:54 AM | 86

Independance is a far-fetched goal, not only because Abidi is opposed to it, not only because some other big Iraqi political group led by Maliki is opposed to it, not only because Iraqi army might intervene, but as implied, because the Shia militias will get involved, and they're far more numerous than the effective fighting Iraqi troops. Sadr has clearly stated his opposition to secession and independance. And the last shoe just dropped; I looked yesterday for any sign of his position, assuming he would be opposed, yet found nothing, but this is Friday, and Sistani himself directly opposed the referendum and separatist actions.
Of course, Kurds could've expected all of them to oppose their independance, but what this means is that no Iraqi government will ever accept it, even if it were vassalized to the USA. That would be a death sentence for any PM. And that wouldn't stop the para-military groups to go on the warpath on their own.
All in all, I hope it's Barzani just wanting a stronger bargaining position to ensure Kurdish autonomy inside Iraq, to destroy his inner opposition for the next decade and stay illegally in power unopposed, and to extort some more $$ from Baghdad, because if he actually goes on with the independance, it will be war, and a bloody one.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 29, 2017 8:47:58 AM | 87

@85 'daniel golani'

'...as a community we must stamp out the rot of anti semenism...'

Yes by all means go ahead and stamp out anti-semenism...males of reproductive age all around the world will be grateful...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 29, 2017 9:16:25 AM | 88

@83 blues...in reply to @77 les7

Well said...

I think les7 is stuck in the disneyland version of reality...

I would actually be very interested in hearing an example of those 'mechanisms and social/cultural institutions for change'...

Perhaps we can all go demonstrate against debt slavery to the 1 percent...[oops...that's already been tried and quickly swept off the sidewalks of Wall Street [and into jail cells] by the stormtroopers in blue...

What else do we have...?

"Change you can believe in...?

No really...I would really like to hear some examples les7...if they are not secret of course...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 29, 2017 9:24:15 AM | 89

@golani,

A wiser man once told me that the original hebrews were Arabs from Yemen, you know, like the first jews were Arab - so, does that make the hebrews "savage" too, being Arab and all?

Oh I forgot, the hebes are chosen so it don't apply to them blah blah.

If you're serious about stopping antisemitism (a dubious psy-op of a word), how about you stop your own rampant antigoyism AND your own special brew of antisemitism towards the semitic natives?

And here's a thought: stop with your hubris and thievery, even your name, I'm sure, you've stolen from the natives (your original name was probably Asskowitz, or some other non-mideastern name ending with a 'witz).

And I'll remind you here that it took the Algerians 100 years before they organized and managed to expel, by force, the evil French colonials. "The suitcase or the grave", the Algerians offered the French and some stupid French fucks chose the grave. So, don't get too comfortable on stolen Palestinian land - you are invaders and religious pirates of the "savage" kind: you may have a present, but you have no future in the middle east.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 29, 2017 10:04:33 AM | 90

@daniel golani.

Just to be sure, would that be the same 'Churchill' who thought that gassing your beloved Iraqi Kurds would be a great and winning idea?
https://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHU407A.html


And apparently, despite the use of Anglo-zionist violence against the "savage" Arab for the past 100+ years, them Ayrab savages just won't stop demanding their autonomy and FREEDOM! Oh the chutzpah of them savages!!!
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/19/iraq.arts

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 29, 2017 10:49:58 AM | 91

@77...

Yes it is a strange world we live in.

What was that quote? ..Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. I suppose I would agree with much of hwat you wrote only I should add ..Self-determination is the worst basis for nation building, except for all the rest

Posted by: les7 | Sep 29, 2017 11:31:12 AM | 92

@golani "We must abjure the paradoxical Irony that anti-Semitism keep's the Farkukte State afloat." FTFY

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 29, 2017 12:58:43 PM | 93

It is easy to imagine the Israelis saying to the Kurds, "we know just how you feel, wanting a country of your own." It is easy to imagine the Mossad happy over the possibility of being able to use Kurdish agents in Iraq, Iran , Turkey , and Syria - besides any Jewish residents already there. Why is it easy to imagine that the Kurds will come out 2nd in any bargain with Israel?
I am generally in favor of self determination for people. However, as the article points out, the Barzanis are so corrupt. In the present state of affairs. an independent Kurdistan would cause trouble. It would be easily manipulated by Zionist-Anglo interests. Without thinking of how things really are it does seem that the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria should be in a Kurdistan. But as pointed out, the Kurds presently are practicing their own form of ethnic cleansing.
In the realm of foreign affairs. it isn't good guys in white hats fighting bad guys in black hats - it is just guys in black hats fighting each other.
Growing up in the 50s and 60s, it did seem like nationalism (WWI-WW2) was a terrible thing. One world government seemed like the way to go. Then reality intrudes, one notices people like the recently deceased David Rockefeller were all for one world government. GHWBush promotes a New World Order. One reworks the "Golden Rule" into "those with the gold - rule." Elite power mongers were responsible for WW1-WW2. WW1 being the eclipse of the Royal Families of Europe - WW2 the eclipse of the British Empire and the rise of the American. Nationalism being just a factor of manipulation. Enjoying the good food of Italy as opposed to the multinational food of agribusiness - or the tribalism of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" doesn't seem so bad. Or thinking, Puerto Ricans are American citizens - give them the help they need. For most people it requires effort just to do what is needed for those around you whom you love if you are able.

Posted by: gepay | Sep 29, 2017 1:59:23 PM | 94

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 28, 2017 6:31:05 PM | 54

It is historic fact. Russia has been an empire since 1721.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2017 2:34:15 PM | 95

@95

And...?

Do you have an actual point to make...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Sep 29, 2017 3:01:19 PM | 96

96

Russio Persian Wars

First Chechen War

‘Won’t forgive’: Communists lash out at Putin for comparing Lenin’s policies to ‘bomb under Russia’

Putin said that he had been referring to an iconic debate between Lenin and Joseph Stalin, when the two revolutionary leaders were arguing about the best way to organize the new communist country. While Stalin suggested offering the Soviet Union’s member states, such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the south of Russia, autonomy within a federation, Lenin disapproved and put forward a plan giving each republic the right to secede from the USSR.

“With that, the borders were being defined absolutely arbitrary and far from always based on reason. Donbass, for example, was transferred to Ukraine under the following pretext: to increase the percentage of proletariat in Ukraine in order to obtain stronger social support there. This is nonsense,” Putin elaborated.

Far Eastern Front in the Russian Civil War

The Bolshevik effort in the Far East was the same as on the other fronts: to retake or hold on to territory of the former Russian Empire. The goal of the Russian SFSR was to stop the Allied advance into Siberia. The Soviets set up the Far Eastern Republic as a buffer state to hold off the White and allied armies.

Iran used to be an empire, too, in conflict with Russia. "Nobody" is an Iranian chauvinist from the times of the Shah. But to think that Russia is free of aggression and imperialist techniques is unhistoric.

Iraq's constitution and Kurdistan's secession are quite Leninist.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2017 3:48:43 PM | 97

That did not take long, eh?

U.S. throws the Kurds' aspirations under the bus.

US does not recognize Kurdistan regional government's unilateral independence vote - Tillerson
https://www.rt.com/usa/405070-tillerson-kurdistan-independence-vote/

Published time: 29 Sep, 2017 19:12
Edited time: 29 Sep, 2017 19:28
--Secretary of State Tillerson

The US does not recognize the legitimacy of the unilateral independence referendum staged by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson has said in a statement.

"The United States does not recognize the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral referendum held on Monday. The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq," Tillerson said.

Washington also called on all parties, including Iraq’s neighbors, to calm down and renounce the use of force following the referendum, apparently referring to the earlier remarks made by Turkey.

It also urged all parties to put an “end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions” in the aftermath of the plebiscite.

Does Israel approve?


Posted by: likklemore | Sep 29, 2017 3:56:53 PM | 98

@98 likklemore

They can't do that because it makes their opposition to the exact same thing in places like Donbass entirely untenable. Of course this will also be an excellent example of "watch what they do and not what they say". It will be very interesting to see what happens when IS is entirely eliminated from Syria and what contorted logic will be foisted upon the world to justify a continuing presence. For this reason the first goal should be eliminating IS (not Idlib) and I still don't understand the logic of moving the Tigers up there. Syria is a side game in the on-going long-term failure of the petrodollar, but the US cannot and will not give up the game in any theater until it collapses. But collapse it will. Painfully slowly and then all at once somewhere down the road.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 29, 2017 4:38:17 PM | 99

This whole Kurdistan nonsense has been the plan all along - call it phase two.Phase one involved using brain dead jihadi extremist to weaken Iraq and Syria to a point where they can't open another major front, then push the Kurds to declare independence, all the while pretending you're against it until you suddenly decide you support it!

The Kurds, by far, have been the biggest beneficiaries of the wars in Syria and Iraq.

As for Erdogan, the least said about that snake, the better. He pretends he's against independence but in fact, he's been the main supporter/backer of Barzani's criminal gang against the central Iraqi government. He's got massive business interest there. The KRG facilitated the entry of daesh into Iraq from their soil. The US arms the Syrian PYD in Syria from Turkish soil. Are we to believe Turkey is innocent in all this?

I don't see how this move by Barzani will end well for Kurds.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 29, 2017 7:33:23 PM | 100

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