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What’s next for Kurds in Iraq and Syria

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It has been quite some time since I wrote for this blog. Although I continue writing articles for an online Kurdish website (RojevaKurdistan.com), in Turkish, I have not been producing in English.

Events have taken a path that is very favorable for the Kurds, both in Iraq and Syria. The fake and failed states of Iraq and Syria have literally fallen apartand Kurds have gained so well that it has become nonsense to talk about Iraq or Syria.

rojava and bashur

Iraq
One thing about Iraq is that (or was that) that it has been an Arab state. Disregarding the Kurdish majority up in the North, Iraq has always had an Arab identity and Kurds fit nowhere in this. Even though a recognition of Kurdish ethnic political rights was always an issue for governments in Iraq, it had not been realized until American invasion in 2003.

Thanks to the American intervention with Gulf War I, then with the invasion in 2003 and the weakening of Baghdad in its capacity to rule, Kurds prospered and ensured control in their native lands. The invasion of the Sunni parts of Iraq by ISIS and its subsequent defeat by Peshmerga has helped Kurds to gain control of the last bits of their historical land, liked to be called the disputed regions by Arabs of Iraq. No more. Map of Kurdistan in Iraq has been drawn with blood and no sane person could recommend the Kurds to give them back.

Iraq-Ethno-Map

As for Arabs in Iraq, it is the historical enmity between the Sunni and Shii populations that will not cease to exist unless one or both decide to give up their religion. They hate each other and, be assured, will continue to do so.

What is then best for Iraq? To divide into three separate states. One for Kurds, one for the Sunni and the last for the Shii. Once these three go their own ways, there will be no reason for any conflict in this geography, unjustly called Iraq any more. Would anyone of these to pursue political ambition beyond what is Iraq today, it would then be an analysis of a different topic.

Currently Kurds are preparing for a referendum for independence that will take place on September 25 and there is no doubt the majority of them will vote in favor.

Syria
Syria is yet another failed state created at the same time with Iraq, during post WWI era. Ruled by the Alawite Arab minority in the last decades Syria could hardly be considered one its citizens were happy with. The Kurds, at least a good portion of them, did not even have ID cards and bsides the Kurds, Sunni Arabs, the majority of the population, could not take part in ruling the country.

If Arab Spring had one effect there, this effect was unleashing the political ambitions of Kurds and the Sunni that resulted in a full scale war, with various regional and global powers supporting one side or the other.

failed syria

In the current state of the ongoing war the regime controls a fraction of the country, which is the most populous and strategically most important parts, if Syria was ‘intact’ as before. Kurds however, control the most important dams and oil wells, that were anyway on Kurdish land. The fight of the Sunni opposition in the South of the country being a mystery for the news watchers, the north is almost a complete loss for them, save some parts neighboring Turkey and this thanks to the support of Turkey and its allies. Regime is supported by the Russians and by good luck, the Kurds, led by the Syria faction of the PKK, managed to ally themselves or their interests with those of the USA.

Currently the opposition and the regime enjoy a kind of truce in their fighting, but Kurds continue their fight with ISIS in Raqqa, which is the capital of the self declared Khilafat. According to the latest news report, there are about 2’000 IS fighters left in the city but Kurdish fightersi known to be fierce at battle field, and with support of the US Army, fight well to recapture the city. It is important to note though that the Kurdish ambitions do not involve controlling Raqqa. After the recapture, it is very likely that some Kurdish fighters at different levels will remain in Raqqa only to help create a governing body formed by local Arabs. This obviously gives the advantage to the Kurds to create (and in the future keep under control) a neighboring Arab regime that is friendly to them and will remain so.

The future for Kurds

map of kurdistan - approximate

Pandora’s box in the region was opened in 1991 when the USA responded with a war to Saddam’s invasion of Iraq. Kurds were given a safe haven in the North and this was used for a political establishment in the course of the history. Could it better than it is today? I do not think so. I believe things developed perfectly for Kurds, as all the setbacks in all this time has also helped to have an experience that will prevent similar setbacks in the future.

After Iraq came Syria, rather unexpectedly for most. The lazy Kurdish politicians of Iraq and their non-ambitious political establishment could not take advantage of the troubles in Syria to expand their rule there. There was PKK and with the right people on the ground, PKK managed to control a land bigger than those of the Iraqi Kurds. Richer? I do not know but if they could somehow reach to the Mediterranean they could also possibly take the political lead from Barzani or Talabani families and their affiliates to themselves. If some news reports are to be believed, they currently have a better supplied and better organized, or at least a more battle ready armed force than the Peshmerga of Northern Iraq.

Let’s together imagine a scenario where finally the Iraqi Kurds decide declare independence that would be recognized by the UN. How could this possibly effect the politics of Kurds in Syria and beyond, Kurds in Turkey and Iran.

Kurds in Syria (Rojavayé Kurdistan, West of Kurdistan)
The PKK will find it in a position to match the legal status of the newly independent Kurdistan, which is Bashuré Kurdistan for Kurds, South of Kurdistan. Guessing these two, we may expect a stupid enmity and aggression from Turks, which I believe will lead to a Turkish defeat in the hands of Kurdish fighters, the YPG, Syria faction of the PKK. I do not expect at any time a Turkish aggression towards Bashur, mainly for the inability of Turks in such a situation to explain the world their reason nor open yet another front with Kurds in addition to ongoing conflict within Turkey (Bakuré Kurdistan, North of Kurdistan, led by PKK directly) and in Syria, Rojava. Second and most striking reason is the Turks’ need for the cash flow they receive from Bashur. In a scenario in which this cash flow cuts, and Qatar cash flow in suspect, Turks would fall into an economic crisis they would not be able to get out of.

Short? Expect a Turkish attack to Rojava and suffering a terrible defeat. What will follow is a guess but it could either be an attempt for independence or, better in my opinion, a constitutional deal with Damascus regime that will give such an autonomy that would leave them more independent, more powerful and completely conflict free than what independence could give.

This is it for today. Please leave your comments below on what you think of these thoughts.

🙂

Written by M. Husedin

11 August 2017 at 11:49 PM

Kurdish politics dynamics, the PKK and peace with Turks

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It’s been a long time since I have last posted on this blog. I have to admit it is mainly because I do not know of my audience. It is clear that I do not want to write to friends, but then, who do I write to? Who are you?

Anyway.

With this post I want to mention my opinion of the ongoing peace process between the PKK and the Turkish State.

It has to be the same one continuing, the process that started with the visit of the British minister of Foreign Affairs to Hewler, Iraqi Kurdistan, back in 2009. Since then, I do not believe the agenda has changed. In the overall picture, it is the same process which the Americans gave the kick for with a report written by David L. Philips, dated back to 2007: Disarming, Demobilizing, And Reintegrating The Kurdistan Worker’s Party.

The current process
The idea behind should be simple. Do not break the hearts of the Kurds but take the PKK out of the game (might it be only the war game or the whole game? I pick the latter). Overall strategy seems to be “gather Kurds behind Nechirvan Barzani”. This, the way I see it, is being built up slowly but surely.

The milestones during this process -for the managers of the project- are likely to be the following:

  • The retreat of PKK guerrillas to their bases in Qandil Mountains
  • The referendum for the new Turkish constitution
  • The death of Ocalan in prison
  • The attack of Assad forces to Kurds in Northern Syria
  • The coming of Peshmerga to Syrian (Southwest) Kurdistan as liberator.

The PKK

If these happen as listed, then what will happen in Northern Kurdistan politics is another guess. Somehow the whole pie seems to be planned to be given to / collected under the lead of the ‘Iraqi’ Kurdish state. Aren’t they being invested as the future Kurdish state? All these hydrocarbon digging, selling, transporting agreements…

PKK’s one main weakness within the Kurdish political community is its un-understandable resistance to commonly accepted Kurdish national flag, Ala Rengin. Not that they do not target a Kurdish state anymore (or in that case they declare to have no problem with the borders designed right after the World War I, the current borders that deny the Kurds), they also refuse having anything in common with the rest of the Kurdish political establishment.

It is clear for me that any remaining PKK dominance on Kurds of Northern Kurdistan after the retreat of the guerrilla and the death of Ocalan will be wiped away by a Hewler backed nationalist wind supported by the strong symbol of the nation, the Ala Rengin.

These are how I read the ‘Peace Process’. In my opinion, PKK, in reality, does not deserve the dominant position in Kurdish politics with the current ideology it has. It won’t hurt if it leaves politics peacefully.

Written by M. Husedin

03 May 2013 at 1:31 AM

A false expectation of the Syrian Arab opposition

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https://i1.wp.com/static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/1/29/1327859883939/Free-Syrian-Army-fighters-007.jpg

It is funny to read here and there the naive accusations from the Arab opponents of the Syrian Baath regime that the Kurds do not take enough part in the revolution. Their revolution is what they mean. And not participating should mean Kurds not being under their hierarchy, their rule.

Well, they are very true in what they observe and equally false in what they expect.

It is shameless indeed that after so much history of discrimination that the Arabs can still deny the right when Kurds organize their society in their own way. Do not they realize this ideological stance towards the Kurds put them into the same front with the Baathists? They can still imagine a world where Kurds of current Syria assume a Syrian identity as the only identity and live under supreme rule of Damascus.

Any Kurd and any objective observer of the events can say theirs is a false expectation.

One advantage of the Kurds in Syria in the current politics games with both Baathists and its opponents is the national memory they receive from their brethren across the borders. Not trusting any opposition of the regimes is one that comes from Eastern Kurdistan, Kurdistan in Iran and the faith of their struggle under the leadership of late Ebdulrehman Qasimlo.

https://i0.wp.com/www.kurdistan.nu/dk-filer/ala_kurdistan_qasimlo.jpg

Having sided with Khomeini in the same front before the Islamic Revolution (remember: the expectation was a democratic revolution, not an Islamic one), Qasimlo, a prominent Kurdish figure of his time, in his mind, guaranteed a federation for Kurds in Iran. Only to be disappointed by Khomeini once the power in Tehran was secured by the Islamic Revolution and the new Iranian army started its offensive against the Kurds. Just like the previous regime! Qasimlo had to accept the defeat and run to Europe where he would be assassinated in 1989 by the the new order of Islam in Tehran.

This is one of the many bitter lessons the Kurds learned throughout the history of the 20th century: do not trust the so called opposition/s of the current regimes.

Today, the Kurds in Southwest Kurdistan in Syria are busy with reorganizing their society. It is not flawless and it is not without inner tensions. Let be. After so much outside intervention into the Kurdish society by non Kurds, one should not expect a healthily and peacefully operating society to happen overnight.

https://i1.wp.com/www.kurdsat.tv/uploads/Kurdishuprcon.jpg

It will take time for the Kurds to settle the grounds of their society. So much after the 20th century nightmare. Meanwhile, no-one should criticize the Kurds for aligning  themselves with their brethren across the fake borders of the British and French Middle East. They should reversely be expected to defend the Kurdish borders against non-Kurdish power seekers, who seek to continue ruling Kurdistan as their previous masters did.

Written by M. Husedin

29 August 2012 at 9:57 AM

Attack to Syria: opening the Kurdish corridor for an attack to Iran

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MILITARY LOGISTICS
The term logistics -in the sense being used today- was most probably first used after the World War II in American army (1953). It is also said that the term logistics comes from the surname of a general in Napoleon’s army who was responsible -and also effective- in provisioning the army with supplies, and that his surname has become the word for logistics today (logistique). Whether one or the other, it is clear that military warfare and logistics are very closely related.

When following events and developing analysis, I am being careful about ground preparations of an eventual assault, which I believe has not changed much since the times of Sun Tzu, the author of famous Art of War.

Whatever happens between nations, states, peoples; it is all about who is ready for what. Military preparation is almost always to avoid an actual war by showing the opponent that you are ready for it. Readiness is the key word here. Military logistics (and logistics in general) is all about being ready. When the shit hits the fan you want to be ready. This is almost all about it.

Then, there are times when you can not avoid a war. This is when the war happens.  Any general will always want to make sure that the right troops with all their arms, vehicles and provisions are at the right place, at the right time.

LOGISTICS ANALYSIS OF A WAR AGAINST IRAN
Now, put yourself to an American general’s shoes who is responsible for preparing the army for a war in Iran and think where you would want your army to be positioned and what access routes you would want to be secured:


I will not go into any detail in this article other than this small note here to tell that such a political map is no help to any general for preparing on the ground for an assault against Iran. I will only mention so briefly that Turkmenistan and Armenia are with Russia, thus no enemies to Iran; Azerbaijan and Georgia are with USA and Israel, thus friends with USA. Afghanistan and until recently Iraq under American invasion, whereas Pakistan and Turkey, though allies to USA, are against an attack to Iran (and sometimes openly declaring support for it). And of course the neighboring Arab states on the other side of the Persian Gulf are all pro-American. 

If I was the imaginary American general, I would make sure that I had access to the war theatre both from Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, through Hormuz Strait. For both passages, you need to secure and gain support of two nations which are not shown on this map: the Kurds and the Balloch.

FORGOTTEN PEOPLES: THE KURDS AND THE BALLOCH
However, the above map itself is a misperception for not showing the two nations who are hostile to Iranian regime. The Kurds in the west and the Balloch in the East.  Let’s examine the demography maps of these peoples / nations in relation to Iran’s borders.

First, map of Kurdistan. See what actually the western border of Iran looks like:

https://i0.wp.com/www.kurdaid.ch/download/map_kurdistan.jpg
In this demographic map you see that the Persians have no borders with the Turks. It is all Kurds, it is all Kurdistan.

Now, have a look at the Baluchistan map on the other side, in the east:

https://i1.wp.com/www.languageandpeace.com/images/perry_castaneda/balochistan.gif
Iran has no border with Pakistan, and if you include the Pashto, Iran has almost no border with Afghanistan. Both the Balloch and the Pashto carry hostile feelings against the Persians. Just like Kurds.

I guess this much introduction is enough to understand that what is seen in a ‘normal’ political map is completely wrong on the ground. A general will calculate well these variables before marching into these territories.

These are all well said and now we can continue with the analysis of the western front of a war against Iran, which is basically Kurdistan as you have seen.

WESTERN FRONT OF AN ATTACK TO IRAN: KURDISTAN

Iran’s western border is basically Kurdistan.It can be said that south of Kurdistan are the Shia Arabs of Iraq. Right, and they owe their rule in Baghdad to Americans. Not much to write on this, as against all the commentators I do not believe the Shia Arab politicians can possibly have negative feelings against the Americans, or that they will go out of control.

Iran’s western border is Kurdistan. There is part of Kurdistan under Persian rule, which we call Eastern Kurdistan. In this article we analyze the parts of Kurdistan which are not under Persian rule.

North of Iran’s western border is Northern Kurdistan, Kurdistan under Turkish rule, and south of it is South Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, which is semi-independent and if the rumours have truth, they are preparing for a declaration of independence. South Kurdistan, without doubt, is ally to the USA. Since the security of South Kurdistan is still widely owed to the US protection umbrella, I exclude an option that they do not fully support US in a war against Iran. Current Kurdish president Massoud Barzani’s father was Chief of Army of short lived Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad of Eastern Kurdistan, which was crashed brutally by the Persians. Long story but enough to know and imagine that president Barzani will want to liberate hs brothers and sisters accross the border.

This is one at hand for the American general.

One in hand but still too far to Mediterranean.

Can we expect the Turks to allow American troops and their provisions to pass freely through Turkey. Well, Turks refused a similar request in 2003 when Americans asked 61’500 trrops permanently based + 61’500 troops in transit during the war against Saddam to fight in what woould have been the Northern front. Turks refused and it did not happen. There is no reason for the Turks to accept a similar request in the coming years.  Actually, there are already reports leaking out that Turks do not want to allow any foreigners in Turkey during a war against Syria:

Meanwhile, there have been disagreements regarding what action must be taken against Syria. Turkey refuses to set up buffer zones for civilians on its border with Syria, and demands that the transfer of equipment and medicine be done via the sea and not through its territory.

Fortunately, Kurdistan map does not end in South Kurdistan. We still have the Southwest Kurdistan, what is Kurdish region under Syrian rule (Good news for our imaginary American general):

Syrian Kurdistan or Southwest Kurdistan itself does not border Mediterranean, which is not very important in my opinion. The lost connection of Kurdistan to Mediterranean is due to Turkification and de-Kurdification policy of the Turkish state. It can be reversed in time. This remark is for the Kurds themselves.

As for the Americans; once invaded, Latakia may very well serve as the port. Or, better still, Iskenderun under Turkish rule, once bordering Kurdistan, can serve this purpose. New Syrian state under American rule may sign a quick free-customs-trade-agreement and that may allow Iskenderun port to be a future base for US military supplies.

Once such a route is opened, it may very well serve the Kurds to open to the world.

Expect more on this to pop up in the future articles.

Written by M. Husedin

19 February 2012 at 8:50 PM

Syrian intervention and the Kurds

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Although events in Libya happened before this blog started and thus my views unwritten, my analysis was that the events of the Arab spring were unexpected and sudden, therefore the intervention to create a change in Libya was unprepared and as a result immature. There were signs of bad organization, mismanagement and lack of roles and leadership among the intervening powers.An intervention to Syria will not be similar.

Analysis, plans and thus an expectation of the result in the event of such intervention will not be immature as Libya. As Bashar the Stupid put well last week in his speech, “Intervention in Syria will cause earthquake”. On one hand, though not unknown, important to be said. On the other hand, once said, these words mark the moment of defeat for the regime in Syria and also the fall of Syria as a state as it is. A regime trying sell itself with the fear of its disappearance.

https://i0.wp.com/arabsummitsyria.com/summit/files/gallary/Assad%20and%20Erdogan.jpg
Bashar Al-Assad the stupid and Erdogan the Turk

There are many wrongs about Syria but the most important two are:

  1. It is not a ‘natural’ state
  2. It sits on a part of Kurdistan

Not natural in the sense that it is the creation of a colonialist deal between Britain and France after the World War I. Syria was designed at the time the ‘French influenced part’ of the famous Sykes – Picot secret agreement. It was perhaps fitting to the needs of these powers at the time when they were powers. They are no more as they were. This era finally comes to an end with US intervention to the region. America has other plans in the region. Syria as it is is an obstacle to these plans.

Sitting on Kurdistan is a problem because it becomes more and more clear that no state is any more able to keep the Kurds under control. Saddam couldn’t, Turkey can not, not Iran but also not Syria. Kurds want an independent state of their own. As America wants access to Central Asia, Kurdistan needs be in peace. It is clear that peace in Kurdistan will come with unity and independence.

Returning back to Syria, if you have a look at the map of Kurdistan (a more or less map) you can see the part of Kurdistan under Syrian control:

https://husedin.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/syriakurds-map.jpg?w=296

The northeast part, namely around Qamishli are where the Kurdish political concentration is. And this is where Syria extracts a good part of its oil. This is the oil that was being sold to Europe and Europe buys this oil no more as a part of sanctions imposed on Syria. The oil sales revenues were more or less 75% of the revenues for the Baathist Syrian state.

THE INTERVENTION
If the rumours and suggestions are correct, then the roadmap to intervention to Syria will be similar to that of Iraq during 90’s. It is also my belief that this is the only way to prepare the grounds for a successful and controllable intervention to Syria. It is only right to trust the Kurds as allies on the ground.

Let’s have a look at how events may evolve around Qamishli if such an intervention happens;

  • The Turks will play a major role as they control a very long border with Syria. Worth mentioning that this border is almost entirely Kurdistan.
  • The border between Iraqi Kurdistan (South Kurdistan) and Syrian Kurdistan (Southwest Kurdistan) will simply evaporate to nothingness as it was fake anyway.
  • Syrian Kurdish territory will become an extension of Iraqi Kurdish territory; both economically and politically.
  • Syrian Kurds will ask the same rights their brethren enjoy in Iraq; a Kurdish National Congress like entity will force itself into existence (wanted or not wanted).
  • Turks will have to choose between being friends or foes with the Kurds. Since the Kurds will be allies-on-the-ground for the West, the Turks will have to choose being friends (Turks will by no means dare NOT taking sides with the West)
  • Knowing that the Turks fear to death of losing control on Northern Kurdistan under their occupation, they will do their best to keep things ‘under control’.
  • Turks will not dare intervene to Kurdish politics more then they are allowed, as they will remember the ‘Hood Event‘ in Sulaymaniyah, in Iraq.
  • As a result the Turks will try to keep things (related to Kurds) under control via Arabs, which will be the soft Islamists in Syria. That will be Turks’ bargain in the game.

In short, I believe this intervention will happen as rumored and as suggested. Kurds will benefit from it as a nation. They will choose to be allies with the USA and the Turks will not have much effect on how things will evolve.

https://i0.wp.com/www.turkishweekly.net/image/Image/energyreview/PKK1x.jpg
A prominent PKK guerilla leader of Syrian origin, Bahoz Erdal (Erdal the Storm)

PKK might be a problem however. They do not fit into the projections for a Kurdistan with their ideology but nonetheless they are players on the ground. Lastly they have decided to take sides with the falling Assad regime. It is perhaps to get as much as possible from this desperate regime. PKK proved well during the 90’s to use well these regimes.

In my opinion however PKK plays wrongly this time. Symbolically by rejecting the Kurdish flag PKK does not stand in where the Syrian Kurds see themselves in a future. PKK prefers its ideological flag rather than the national Kurdish flag. Secondly, by being seen taking sides with the Assad regime, PKK should be drawing a very bad popular image of itself. In contradiction it should also be said that PKK has always been a very flexible organization and equally successful in controlling its supporters. They may very well position themselves in the centre of the things in the months ahead.

All to be seen. This week’s Arab League summit on Syria will give us more hints on how things will evolve.

Written by M. Husedin

09 November 2011 at 1:27 PM

The US and the Middle East | The Turks and the Kurds

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Erdogan announced proudly to his nation: they were going to receive predators from US to use in their fight against the Kurds.

Erdogan is either over excited about this issue or he is openly manipuating it. The predators, according to the news, are going to be based in Incirlik, where Turks virtually have no control on.

Are they really going to be given to the Turks, then? Stop joking.

Are they going to be based in Incirlik for Turkey’s fight against the Kurdish insurgency against Turkish racism? Well, this is already continuing besides the shame scores US continues receiving.

https://i0.wp.com/criticalppp.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/predator_drone_cslattery.jpg

Israel was receiving the shame scores until recently with their UAVs navigating over Kurdistan to aid the Turks in their Kurdish guerilla hunt. Not that the Israelis remembered their own oppression history and decided to stop taking sides with the likes of the Nazis. No, unfortunately this is not the case behind. It was a crisis Turkey created, not Israel, that yielded Israel to stop providing its UAVs to the Turks. We can only hope today about Israel, that one day the Israeli will remember that sometimes the societies need universal values and principles in statebeing rather than real-politic alone.

Turks are far from such values. Look at what’s going on about the Kurds in Turkey. Kurdish is forbidden to be used in education, yet it is the language of 40 million only in the Middle East, and the demand for Kurdish identity is still welcomed in Turkish prisons. And what an identity; of about twenty million Kurds in Turkey alone. This Turkey is an ally of the West. An example democracy for the Middle East. More shame scores for the west..

It is clear that US does not give any predators’ control to any Turks. First of all, technically speaking, these aircrafts are piloted by who-knows-who guys located somewhere known to noone. Secondly, I do not believe the Kurdish guerillas who pose no threat at all to the US or its interests in the Middle East will be attacked by the US by its most advanced and one of the most expensive war machines. For sure, they will continue their air controls over Iraqi territory from their new location after leaving Iraqi soil, and for sure they will continue giving the same service to Turkey which they have been giving. The way I see this news is relocating the predators close to Syrian soil, basically a half an hour flight.

TARGET: SYRIA
As followers of this blog will know, I am of the opinion that a rapid logistical prepositioning and ally making of the US against Syria is ongoing. Turks have assumed the main role happily, since last thing they want to see in any part of Kurdistan is another KRG like entity, Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. With fresh memories of how the US can punish after they rejected to ally with the US for the invasion of Iraq, they are more than willing to be with the US in Syria. They blame themselves for the KRG establishment. They are of the opinion that they could prevent the KRG if they took sides with the US and invade Iraq together.

This is how the Turks opened their doors to Syrian opposition to have their meetings and organize themselves. As for the Kurds, since they are received in hostility by the Turks and likewise by the Syrian Arabs, they are discussing to form their own alliance in what is Southwest Kurdistan. In their distrust to the Arabs they demand an autonomy or a federation of their own. Just like KRG!

How much will the Arabs welcome the Turks in Syria, we do not know. As the saying goes in Turkish, ‘that who falls to the sea, hugs the snake in despair’. The Syrian Arabs may be accepting the Turkish hand for the moment, however, I do not believe they will accept the Turks as their rescuers. Arab politicians may not be the most intelligent on Earth, but at the same time I do not believe they can be that stupid to trust to Turkey after the centuries long Ottoman experience.

As for the Kurds, they do not trust the Turks as they do not trust the Arabs. This is globally known. What will the strategy of the US in Syria be then? Going in with the Turks? Ignoring the Kurds in Syria’s north and allowing the Turks to go into a fight with the Kurds there as well?

Ignoring the Kurds in Syria’s north and allowing the Turks to oppress the Kurds there can not really be called a policy, can it?

US will eventually contact the Kurds. Since the change of status quo in the Middle East scares the Turks more than anyone else (it gives hope to the Kurds to end the denial they have been facing), US must be approaching to the Turks tactically to convince them that US interests in the region are not against those of the Turks.This is what I believe. This is what the Americans did in Iraq’s north.

Time will show if I am right, but meanwhile the Kurds will follow what proved to be the best Kurdish saying: ‘no friends but mountains’, until the tide turns.

Written by M. Husedin

04 October 2011 at 9:04 PM

On Turkey, Israel, MENA and the future of Kurdistan

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I have to start by writing that I do not explain the events in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) with Jewish conspiracies and have never done so. Jewish people have suffered so much and in my opinion their main motivation in their decision making for the State of Israel comes from such a background which I shared in my previous post. I strongly suggest everyone to separate the Jewish people, the jewish citizens of Israel and the statesmen and stateswomen of the Israeli state. 

* * *

The ‘seemingly conflict’ between Turkey and Israel is an interesting one. On one hand all the events since Erdogan came to power in Turkey is set up to make us think that Turkey is not in good terms with Israel. On the other hand, during the same period, Turkish foreign policy in MENA has followed a convincing path that Turkey was into developing a new equation in the region by developing peaceful and sincere new economical and political ties with neighbouring states. This was the ‘zero-problem’ policy of Turkey’s foreign affairs minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

I guess all sounds familiar to the reader. I am not convinced to this simplicity.

I must say I followed the developments always keeping in mind the plaquets Erdogan received from the Jewish lobby in New York and Washington prior to establishing his AKP (Justice and Development Party). (No, do not go into Jewish conspiracies. My reading is that Erdogan at the time was trying to convince the Jewish lobby that his Islam was not anti-Jewish)

I do not believe anything in Erdogan and his team’s mind has changed since then. Erdogan and his team are not anti-Israeli, not anti-Jewish and definitely not anti-American. They are pro-Western, a strong member of the NATO pact and a reliable ally for the USA in the region.

I can hear you pointing the relationship with Iran (the nuclear talks, etc) and previously with Syria. I say, these were all the elements of a game. I say, all is orchestrated by the US foreign policy makers and the Turks were careful in keeping their policies in more or less parallel lines with the American policies for the region.

If you are not convinced I will give you Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria as example. Do you believe this was an out-of-the-line visit in US foreign policy making that served to no purpose?

Here is how I read the events: if Pelosi’s visit had never happened, stupid Assad would never eat the bait and get that close to the Turks. Do not look for direct connection between events, but rather concentrate on the physchological atmosphere they create. It was after this event that Assad the stupid, not his father the Desert Fox dropped his guards and was convinced to a new possible policy of the Turks.

The Syrians must have thought like that: “if there is a crack in the American politics, then we might have a good chance to make a move forward”. And, what a chance! The Turks had already had a convincing few past years with Erdogan in developing a new relationship with the region. If there was no crack in the States (which was later confirmed by the election of the hero, Obama), Turks, as a strongly-attached-to-the-West-country, would not dare develop such new policies. It had to be real from a reel-politique point of view. Of course, read this together with the re-recognition of Gaddafi by the West, rise of India & China and shift-of-power in the world analysis.

But if one wants to win the hearts of the muslim people of MENA, one also had to be in negative terms with Israel. Voila, one minute crisis with Israel and many more smaller but supporting stories. We have to say that more than stupid Israeli far right wing politicians were natural players of such a game and they played their game well by just being themselves.

But hey, did this effect the economical relationship between Turkey and Israel, only to be a bit convincing? Not according to a report published by American Friends of Tel Aviv University.

What, then?

I believe all turns around Iran. The global economical shift from West to East was not unforeseen before it started happening. I remember this being my first comment on global power game, before reading Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard; American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. No stupid state becomes the history’s biggest ever superpower and USA is definitely not a superpower by chance, so to say.

Brzezinski’s strategy game demands the US concentrates on Eurasia, not MENA. Though, since the book has been published Russia stretched its arms to at least to secure what was left of a grand empire. China joined the game as a second candidate of a superpower game, which is yet only powerful enough to secure its supplies to feed its exports based economy. The US could not get much from Middle Asia other than occupying Afghanistan, which itself is a huge strategical move, just to mention. Turkic countries have been left to Russia and China peacefully. Azerbaijan, which Brzezinski pointed out in bold in his book, however is still an unshared pie. What have I left out? Ah, ok, Iraq. Has been occupied and reengineered!


Look at the map and tell me what you see? Afghanistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan.. they are all around Iran, surrounding Iran

Now we are talking of two countries: Turkey and Syria. Turkey is the only neighbour left out in the above paragraph and Syria is the only state-ally Iran has in the region. (I exclude Russia being an ally. Big powers will not be allies but rather play their own games).

As I mentioned, right from the beginning I was watching in surprise how the Desert Fox Haffez Assad’s son ate the bait that Turkey was changing its position from being a western-ally-in-the-region-country to a country-in-the-region-looking-for-regional-power. Without moving one step away from the West! (This analysis excludes what the Turks think for themselves)

My reading suggests me that the current scenario is to raise the support of the Arab crowd for Erdogan’s leadership. Once this seen intact, the energy will be transformed into a peacemaking with Israel. And once this secured (which I believe will be easy to) the crowds will be silent to a joint attack of Western powers and Turkey (and Jordan) to Syria. Then, there will not be much remaining on the path to a grand attack to Iran.

* * *

What should the Kurds do? Concentrate in creating and strengthening their political establishment in Kurdistan and among themselves. A peace with the Turks would help concentrate on Southwestern Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan). Any peace deal with Turks should / have to / must include the recognition of a Kurdistan National Congress as the body of all the Kurds in the world. Such a body should equally look for global recognition, including a status in the UN.

As for what to do in Southwest Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan), I have written my opinion previously.


A map of Kurds under Syrian occupation

Written by M. Husedin

16 September 2011 at 5:07 PM