Whither the Kurds? Place your bets here

So what are the Kurds in northern Iraq up to these days, besides those peshmerga who are busy becoming the darlings of the U.S. Special Forces? Will they get an independent Kurdistan, or even an autonomous one within Iraq, if they play their cards right? Should they? If they try, will the U.S. (and possibly also the U.K.) support them in this endeavor, at risk of pissing off the Turks and a whole pile of others? Do they have a realistic hope of even regional autonomy without U.S. support? If the U.S. did support the Kurds, would it end up simply as another case of divide-and-conquer?

A friend of mine posed an intriguing scenario yesterday, which although it seems to have been partially overtaken by the events of the past 18 hours or so since he posed it, still has certain interesting elements. His idea: “I think the strategy…would be for them to wait until the U.S. has withdrawn a substantial number of its troops in six months, and THEN move into Kirkuk and Mosul. By that point, the U.S. won’t really care, since I expect Iraq to go the way of Afghanistan, which is held together by duct tape and baling wire.”

Go ahead, post your Kurdish hypotheticals here, and any predicted results you care to share with the GD class.

Put me down for a tenner on “screwed”.

It’s asking a lot for even a liberating army to make generations of ethnic or religious hostility disappear. Or to make a just comprimise out of the natural human desire for self-determination pitted against the cold realities of national boundaries.

Whenever the Kelsonian grundnorms fall apart, the shit is going to fly apart before it clumps back together.

Predictions? Less starvation, torture, wars, and political murder. Increased chaos, street crime, and revenge killings–temporarily. Iraq is too ordered, and the stakes too great, for it to be allowed to fall apart.

The US simply cannot allow the Balkanisation of Iraq, if they want to get out of Iraq in the forseeable future.

Granting a defree of regional autonomy in a similar manner to the Catalans in Spain might work.

But if they create a precedent in allowing self determination for the Kurds, they’ll have a struggle not also to allow the Shia to have southern Iraq, and most importantly self determination for Palestine.