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.