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Legal, moral, and strategic reasons for America to support Kurdistan

By 28/10/2017
A woman waves the Kurdistan flag at a festival in Erbil in September. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
A woman waves the Kurdistan flag at a festival in Erbil in September. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
By Jared M. Hill

To my utter disappointment, the USA has yet to fully support and endorse Kurdish independence. The last I wrote, I expressed my support for an independent Kurdistan based on my personal knowledge and association with this amazing people. I will now lay out, to the best of my knowledge and understanding, why America must support Kurdish independence. My arguments are legal, moral, and strategic.

The legal case rests in the second paragraph of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution. It states that the Iraqi government, by the year 2007, should have held a referendum in the disputed areas of Iraq so that the local population could determine their own status as part of the Kurdistan Region, or as part of another Iraqi governorate. This did not happen. Baghdad, earlier this year, agreed to reactivate Article 140, but again failed to do so.

Subsequently, Erbil held in September of this year an independence referendum throughout all of Kurdistan. It could be argued that this was drastic. Maybe Erbil could have held a more narrow referendum only for the people in the Peshmerga-controlled disputed regions to determine if they wanted to be part of the Kurdistan Regional governorate. Yet, as Americans, do we not know that “in the course of human events it [often becomes] necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” especially when the laws that bind them together in a duly ratified constitution have been expressly ignored.

Baghdad further hurt their legal grounds by using military force to suppress the voice of their people, especially by using foreign supported militias to carry out their dirty work. Is this not akin to using “foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny?” I could go on, but this shall suffice for the time being.

The moral case for Kurdistan rest upon many facets, but two for the purposes of this article shall suffice. First, when the world stood idly by and the very army that now suppresses the Kurds turned tail and ran from the battlefield, the Kurds stood up in the face of pure evil as perpetrated by ISIS. The Kurds rushed in to serve and protect where the Iraqi Army failed. The Peshmerga harbored, protected, and liberated ethnic and religious minorities. As such, the Kurds hold the moral high ground over Baghdad. 

Second, the Kurds have long been America’s ally. They supported the US in Desert Storm and the Iraq War. They acted as our most effective ground force against ISIS in support of our political agenda in said proxy war. Some may argue against Kurdistan by saying that Ankara is our ally and Baghdad is our friend. To that, I say hogwash. When is the last time Ankara truly supported American interests? The government and its people have threatened and called for the end of our long term agreement to use Incirlik Airbase. Is that what allies do? As for Baghdad, are they not simply an Iranian puppet regime? 

The just cause for America is to stand with the Kurds, our true friends, upon that moral high ground that they seized when frightening the black flagged scourge of ISIS.

The strategic case is simple. The US needs a true partner in the region outside of Israel, for her hands are tied politically. A free and independent Kurdistan can be just that. It can act as a bulwark to the spread of Iranian power in the region. Furthermore, with the Turkish threat to close Incirlik, could that not open up an invitation from Erbil providing yet another check on Iran’s power grab in the region? I would say so.

Jared M. Hill was a Transportation Captain in the US Army. He served in Iraq from 2007 to 2008 and received a Bronze Star for his service. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Sam Houston State University. He currently serves as the chairperson for his local County Historical Commission and lives and works in Texas.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.


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Andrew | 28/10/2017
As a fellow US Army Combat Veteran (though I was there a few years before you in 2003 for the Invasion and toppling Saddam's Government) I agree 100%, and I have made many comments saying the US Government should be standing shoulder to shoulder with our true friends and allies that are the Kurdish people not the Tyrannical Oppressive regimes nor the Convicted Felon Erdogan who supports and works with, funds, supplies, and advises Terrorist groups then accuses the Kurds of being Terrorists. Erdogan should be where he belongs in a jail cell as the Islamist convicted felon he is along with his Islamist terrorist gang banging friends. BIJI Kurdistan
Txc | 28/10/2017
A great justful article.
Lou UK | 29/10/2017
Well said Jared! Couldn't agree more. The US and the UK need to get off the fence and show some blood& loyalty to the Kurds.
ehh | 29/10/2017
all this tuff talk about iran but Trump and they let them harvest all the benefits of us efforts in "iraq". 3 year of us bombing and the amount of money it must cost, the life lost by peshmerga to fight isis and hold terrritories down the drain. It just dont make sense. Kurds are not dealing with so called "iraq". This is a war on kurds by iran.
BismarkPA | 29/10/2017
Well I agree with Mr. Hill and I am asking my fellow Americans to write/email you representatives and demand that we support Kurdish independence. Baghdad has repeatedly violated their constitution and are completely in the pockets of Tehran. An independent Kurdistan is what those folks deserve, they protected US troops, protected IDPs, and fought ISIS. I find DC’s policies completely insane and short sighted,the best way to limits Iran’s influence is to fully support the Kurds. We should immediately provide the Peshmerga with heavy weapons so they can crush those Shiite SOBs.

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