Editorial

Destabilizing Iraq?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Kurds in a region of Iraq known as Kurdistan overwhelmingly voted for independence in a referendum that the U.S. government has criticized as “provocative and destabilizing.” Really? Iraq is otherwise stable?

Following the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Kurds took advantage of the power vacuum by creating a semi-autonomous region.

The region that Kurds refer to as Greater Kurdistan also includes portions of Iran, Syria and Turkey. The Kurds in these countries don’t have even the limited autonomy that the Iraqi Kurds have. Those countries joined the Iraqi government, the United States and Saudi Arabia in condemning the referendum.

The Kurds embrace a variety of religions and are religiously tolerant. They have been a reliable ally in the fight against the Islamic State.

We should remain officially neutral on the matter of an independent Kurdistan, although unofficially supportive of negotiations between Baghdad and the Kurds. We don’t want to be drawn into another endless struggle in the Middle East but the Kurds deserve no worse than our silence regarding their aspirations.