Unity forced upon nations of Iraq
There are many pages in history we can go back to and study, but few that should remain forever open. I have always been fascinated by the study of history, but, unfortunately, reading anything related to the Middle East, Iraq, and the Kurds in particular is truly painful.
Decisions made many years--sometimes decades, if not centuries--ago continue to cause incalculable misery, pain, and in certain cases, tragedy.
In light of the painful 10-year-old Iraqi political process, it is crucial to re-examine how this state of Iraq was formed and for what purpose.
The most upsetting answer I have come across in my reading on Iraq’s history after the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was in Peter Galbraith’s book The End of Iraq, which refers to Percy Cox>s recommendations to Winston Churchill, the British Minister for Colonies at the time, requesting that the state of Mosul (southern Kurdistan) be annexed to Baghdad and Basra to form a new country: Iraq. In his words: «Iraq must be sectarianly balanced”--that is, an Iraq without the Sunni Kurds included would be majority Shi’ite, which did not seem to please Mr. Cox. Thus Kurdistan came to be annexed to the rest of the Iraqi state. Whose interests did that serve? And why should the unity of this artificially-formed state be so sacred? How many more Kurds have to be Anfaled for their right to statehood to be recognized? And how many more years of bloodly Sunni-Shi’ite conflict are needed?
Iraqi Sunnis are already exiting the country in a silent exodus and minorities are disappearing...
This unity serves the interests of nothing but bloodshed and tragedy. It only endures for lack of the courage to declare the death of a state that was stillborn anyway. We cannot keep this corpse on life support indefinitely.
Everyone in the region and the international community has become indifferent to the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq. The numbers of Iraqi people killed daily no longer troubles anyone.
It is time to ask Iraqi Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds if they want to live in separate states; perhaps, then, peace will come to this part of the world. Did this same solution not prevent bloodshed in the Balkans and bring stability?
Statehood and national partnership within a state must be by choice if they are not to be a failed marriage from day one; and like all failed marriages, nothing can repair them but divorce.
We Kurds in Iraq should be prepared to take this decision sooner or later and I believe the sooner the better. Waiting for the perfect circumstance to make this happen is nothing but fantasy: no one will do this for us; no one would dare shake up the region further, as they are accustomed to the current state of everything in Iraq.
A final word. We have tried to co-exist for a century now and have witnessed a tremendous failure. It is time to think of three states and to make it happen with the least possible violence and bloodshed. Let us allow each of Iraq’s three nations to focus on building their regions peacefully, to the benefit of the wider region and the world, for this land is one great gold mine from top to bottom, right to left.