• Sunday 19th January 2020

Why Kurdish Independence Is The Only Solution For The World By Ayub Nuri Time Magazine

Even we Kurds are tired of the West rushing in to save us from Iraq. How long will the rest of the world tolerate this?

Why Kurdish Independence Is the Only Solution for the World

by Ayub Nuri

Even we Kurds are tired of the West rushing in to save us from Iraq. How long will the rest of the world tolerate this?

American air strikes against Islamist militants on the borders of Kurdistan this week saved millions of Kurds from a terrible nightmare. But I hope they didn’t also kill our dream of an independent state. Only a few weeks ago, Kurds were talking of declaring independence and forever separating from Iraq. We set up an electoral commission for a referendum; Iraqi flags disappeared from the tops of government buildings and amateur Kurdish banknotes began to circulate on the Internet. We had never felt closer to having our own state than we did in the past two months.

We were given this chance by the Islamist fighters who swept across Iraq, took over Sunni provinces and removed the Iraqi army—our historical nemesis—from our immediate borders. But now it seems that this same group has ruined our chance by attacking us too. Now that the United States is helping the Kurds with air power, I’m not sure if we can speak of independence anymore. The world might consider us the spoiled kid who keeps asking for more.

We might keep quiet for now, but this demand of millions of Kurds for a state of our own will resurface again. The Islamist militants aren’t going to roam along our borders forever, and the American bombing campaign will one day stop. Then we will take to the street again, wave the colorful Kurdish flag and pursue our lifelong goal

This doesn’t mean we are opportunists. It rather means that only an independent state could answer our plight. I speak for the Kurds of Iraq. We haven’t had a happy experience with Iraq. Genocide, imprisonment, persecution and deportation have been our share in that country. There isn’t a single Kurdish family that doesn’t carry the scars of a loss. Many mothers are still waiting for the bones of their sons and daughters—buried by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s—to be found and brought home from the southern deserts of Iraq.

In Iraq we have a term, “Kurdish-Arab brotherhood,” that was coined and promoted by successive regimes. But the truth is more like Kurdish-Arab suspicion and distrust. The Kurds see Iraq as the cause of all their miseries and Iraq thinks the Kurds are the reason that the country has never been stable.

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