US ABANDONS KURDISTAN: Independent Kurdish state would be “Significantly Destabilizing”

With the following statement the US has appeared to backtrack on their support for an independent Kurdish State in Northern Iraq.

“We think that under the Iraqi constitution, there’s an important process of dialogue that has to take place, and having a referendum on such a fast timeline, particularly in disputed areas, would be, we think, significantly destabilizing,” Mr. McGurk told reporters after a anti-ISIS coalition meeting at the State Department on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend had already begun to dash the Kurdish hopes for US backing when he said the following at the Pentagon last Tuesday:

“You know, I think… the position of our government is that this is not helpful for the campaign, right now, certainly. It’s not helpful in the coalition’s fight, the world’s fight against ISIS.This effort by the KRG to have this independence referendum, whether it’s the right thing to do or not, is not my position to judge. But I do think it’ll have some kind of impact and — and apply additional friction to the campaign.”

What the US is nervous about is the regime in Bahgdad.  The Kurdish Peshmerga was the main party behing the liberation of Mosul.  A ground war that is fought between a seceding KRG and Bahgdad could see the Kurdish Peshmerga actually win, that is if the USA keeps Bahgdad from using fighter jets.

The Kurdish referendum has essentially exposed the USA as playing both sides in Iraq similar to the British strategy in the pre-1948 Palestinian Mandate. On one hand the British high command encouraged Jewish rights to the Land of Israel as well as even using them in World War 2, but when it came to independence the British not only backed the Arabs, they trained and equipped their armies.

The USA has utilized the Kurds to fight ISIS, which is essentially an American creation gone bad, while at the same time keeping back the Kurds from attaining their just independence and now insinuating that they would be blamed for a failure to wipe out ISIS for good. The  USA has picked the Western created state of Iraq instead of the indigenous people of Kurdistan.

A statement from the KRG Representation to the United States said the following:

“The holding of a referendum is the democratic right of the people of Kurdistan and will enable us, for the first time, to determine our future. The outcome of the referendum will lead to negotiations with Baghdad and we ask our friends in the United States to encourage that dialogue so that the settlement is a win-win for both sides.”

The United States appears to be fumbling a golden opportunity to reorder the Middle East along ethnic and indigenous lines, thus ensuring continued sectarian conflict for generations to come.

From Afrin to Sulaimani Kurdistan is Moving to Independence

If Turkey did not want an independent Kurdistan, especially one united with West Kurdistan located in Syria, then their actions against the Kurdish enclave in Afrin have had the opposite effect.  Consistent shelling of the YPG (Syrian Kurdish Militia) in Afrin has caused the Kurds of Sulaimani, which is located far to the East near the border of Iran and Iraq to rally to their brothers in Syria.

Last week Israel Rising reported that Turkey was preparing to invade Western Kurdistan, which is located in present day Northern Syria. By amassing Turkish troops in the Kilis triangle opposite Syria, Erdogan was hoping to scare the Kurds into backing down. The opposite has happened and it appears Turkey has now caused both areas to unite in their struggle.

A united Western and Southern Kurdistan which spans from Northern Iraq into Northern Syria is considered an existential threat to Turkey. There are twenty million Kurds living in South-Eastern Turkey, which is considered occupied Northern Kurdistan. An independent Kurdistan arising on the Turkish border would inherently inspire Northern Kurdistan to break away from their Turkish occupiers.

Is the US About to Abandon Kurdistan?

With the Kurdish Independence referendum for the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq coming on September 25th and Mosul now back in the hands of the Iraqi National Armed Forces due to the Kurdish Peshmerga, the international players are nervous over what the implications are for the region and the world if an independent Kurdistan truly rises.

The United States has urged the KRG to hold off on the referendum. The US Congress has even warned the KRG by threatening to withhold funds. The US Congressional Armed Services Committee released their annual National Defense Authorization Act. The language relating to the KRG appears problematic for an indpendent Kurdistan.

“The committee notes that funding provided to the [KRG] is to enhance Government of Iraq-KRG cooperation and support a unified effort to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” the draft National Defense Authorization Act reads. “Such funding should be contingent upon KRG participation in the government of a unified Iraq and on their continued good faith cooperation in the anti-ISIL campaign.”

Although the USA has viewed the Kurdish Peshmerga as integral to the victory over ISIS it appears to be backtracking on backing an independent Kurdistan. With Mosul liberated, the Kurdish Peshmerga is less needed. An independent Kurdistan will create friction if not all out war with Turkey as well as a war with Bagdhad.

This was part of the show of strength by the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi as seen by his visit to a liberated Mosul.

Experts quote the Iraq Constitution in pushing back on the illegality of Kurdish independence. Article 1 of Iraqi constitution states: “The Republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is republican, representative, parliamentary, and democratic, and this Constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq.”

Keeping the above in mind, Kurdistan has for years been moving towards independence.  The KRG believes it is not only entitled to independence, but territory that the Peshmerga gained by fighting ISIS over the last few years.  One such place, Kirkuk, is a strategic Kurdish and Arab city, now fully in the hands of the Peshmerga. The referendum is being held to include Kirkuk in the future Kurdish state. Newly liberated Mosul is also a mixed Kurdish Arab city.

What Does Washington Want?

The USA has for years used the threat of an independent Kurdistan to push back on a chaotic central Iraqi government. Not only that, the Peshmerga has proven itself like its counterpart the SDF in Syria to be the best fighting force on the ground. At the same time the US has played both sides by trying to hold the Kurds back from going all the way.  This they fear will spark a regional war with Turkey, while plunging the rest of Iraq into chaos.

With this in mind, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travelled to Turkey to discuss Ankara’s impending invasion of Syrian Kurdistan in Afrin as well as the coming KRG referendum on independence.

With Washington trying to slow down the drive towards indpendence, while at the same time giving tacit support for such a movement, the Kurds feel emboldened in their drive for a free Kurdistan.

Israel Already Backs an Indpendent Kurdistan

In 2014, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, stated that the Kurds were “worthy of their own independence”. Also in January of 2016, Ayelet Shaked, justice minister of Israel, called for an independent Kurdistan. She also expressed that Israel had to openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separated Iran from Turkey, one which would be friendly towards Israel.

Israel has supported Kurdistan covertly, being the regions largest buyer of oil.

September 25th is coming.  With the US once again not clear on its attitude to a independent Kurdistan, the chaos that may result in Iraq and on the Turkish border may unravel the post ISIS celebrations.



“We Are Coming Nineveh” Obama Must Win in Mosul or Donald Trump Will Do it For Him

Legacies are bitter weapons that plague outgoing presidents time and time again.  Barack Obama thought he had his legacy wrapped up, but then came the blue color workers and placed Donald Trump into office. With one election Obama’s legacy is in tatters and he knows it.  Despite all of that, there is one last battle Obama needs and wants to win to stave off a complete rejection of his so far disastrous foreign policy. This battle is the battle of Mosul, where ISIS is making there last stand as far as nation building is going.

Despite a bitter beginning of infighting between Shiite militias, Turkish troops, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Iraqi National forces, the operation according the Iraqi officials is beginning to move along. “We Are Coming Nineveh”  has a time limit though and that is Jan. 20th.  Right now Obama has kept the Russians out of the bombing campaign and wants to prove he doesn’t need them to finish the job.  If Mosul is not taken by inauguration day, Trump will surely bring the Russians in to crush ISIS once and for all.

Why does this matter?

Obama has staked his foreign policy at least in the waning years of his Presidency on holding off Russian expansion.  Of course Putin has bested him in Eastern Europe as well as Syria.  This means Obama must keep him out of Iraq or risk being seen as a total loser. With Mosul grinding on and 60 days until President-Elect Trump becomes President Trump, the odds are not great that the Iraqi forces will succeed.  Keep in mind ISIS could have been defeated a while ago, but each side fighting in Iraq has used the group as a pawn to offset what they see as a more mortal enemy.

This is why Trump’s approach is to ignore the game on the ground and get together with Putin and flatten ISIS and if need be others.

Jan. 20th is coming.  After that date Iraq and Operation “We Are Coming Nineveh”  are on the chopping block.


Does Israel have a Biafra Strategy?

In 1914 the British took three distinct areas, Lagos Colony, Hausa, and Biafra and forced them together. This action was congruent with a similar policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and India.  The British had a particular paternal view of their colonies and because they decried the seemingly evil policies of France, Germany, and Belgium, they promoted their policies as civilized and caring.

Nothing is further from the truth. Most of the countries listed above are still suffering from the conflict oriented policy of the British Empire in the early 20th century.  This policy thrived on forcing rivals to share space and backing non-indigenous peoples as rulers or agitators in that space.

The Igbo in Nigeria make up the third largest tribe, but in Biafra they are well in the majority. The fact that Nigeria as  a British backed government has forced the Igbo to suffer at the hands of their worst enemies is only due to British interests. Before 1914 the Hausa never had access to the cost. The British backed them by forcing Biafra into Nigeria, thus paving the way to suppressing what they saw as the biggest threat to British control, Biafran independence.

A similar set of circumstances occurred in Israel.  As the early Jewish residents busied themselves with building their Land and preparing to bring more and more Jewish exiles back home, the British decided to offset the rapid Jewish growth with new Arab workers and immigrants.  To be fair this policy began with the Turks who allowed and encouraged Arab migration from other areas in the Ottoman Empire to the Land of Israel in order to offset the success of the early Zionists.  Arabs often point out that they had lived in the Land of Israel for centuries, but they use statistics from 1912, because that was the year they finally became significant enough as a population throughout the Land. The British continued this policy, going as far as banning Jewish immigration altogether.

As mentioned above, a similar policy was implemented in Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. The British kept their rule in a all of these places by stirring discontent and thwarting independence movements through bribery and conflating the local leadership and colonial government.

Israel Needs a Clear Biafra Strategy

To truly be free and rectify the sins of European colonialism, Biafra must be allowed its independence.  Israel needs to harness its resources and influence to force this outcome.  They can do this by using the South-Sudan model or by encouraging its new found East Africa partners to push for Biafran independence.

If Israel fails at setting a clear strategy in a flailing Nigeria, it risks losing a potential ally as well as a bulwark against expanding Islamic influence. Bibi has been adept at sensing and grabbing onto the shifting currents in the Middle East and Africa.  Biafra is key to his current strategy of building trusted and reliable allies in the former European colonies in Africa. It would be wise for him to formerly push for a stable and free Biafra.