Just heard about a news blurb that Kurdish and Turkish forces are amassing along the northern border of Iraq. Turkey is on that northern border, as is the Kurdish region of Iraq. It sounds like some cross-border attacks or artillary fire has already occurred. This is a significant development. I’ll talk about it more when I hear more news.
This is one of the things I was worried about with Iraq, though I didn’t think this sort of thing would come to pass unless we pulled out of Iraq too early. Turkey said from the beginning of our invasion of Iraq that they would not tolerate an independent Kurdistan. The Kurds had to remain a part of Iraq. The Turks would consider it an act of war if the Kurds declared independence.
Occasionally I’ve watched reports on C-SPAN from people who are from the U.S. and Iraq, about the situation there. The U.S. officials had worked intimately with the Iraqis, getting a sense of how things were moving. This included the Kurdish situation. One of the things that was worrisome is even though the Kurds had made no moves for independence, they were in effect acting as if they were independent. Kurdish officials had very little contact with the Iraqi government. They were building up their own ministries, and military forces, almost mirroring the official capacities of the Iraqi government. I think the only office they lacked was a prime minister. They even produced a nice ad for American television titled, “Kurdistan: The Other Iraq”. It expressed the Kurds’ gratitude for our invasion, and welcomed business investment, but all the same I was a bit worried about the “Kurdistan” reference. Again, it seemed like they were asserting their independence without making it official.
The Kurds have done a lot of work to build a more modern state than what they had before the invasion, and have progressed much faster than the Iraqi government has in creating a stable governing structure. Up to this point they’ve lived in relative peace compared to the rest of the country.
Anyway, I’ll be watching for what else is happening there.