Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Like the Kurds

When the US & Britain carved up the Middle East after World War I, every ethnic group got their own country, except for two peoples: the Jews and the Kurds.

We all know what happened to the Jews.

The Kurds, on the other hand, have since patiently consolidated their own cultural and linguistic boundaries across 3 different countries: Turkey, Iran, and northern Iraq.

If you look closely, you will notice: Kurds look different. They don't dress like Arabs. They are more likely to have blue and green eyes. And big heads. They smile a lot and like to dance. They drink beer once in a while. They sympathize with the state of Israel, instead of demonizing it.

And most importantly, they LOVE the United States (unlike the Arabs, who secretly hate us).

The Kurds are of an Indo- European ethnic group, distinct from Arabs. American planes enforced a no-fly zone over Northern Iraq since 1991, allowing the Kurds to form their own de-facto government, centered in Irbil.

This government, the "Kurdish Regional Government" or KRG, has turned northern Iraq into one of the most peaceful, prosperous places in the Middle East.

The Kurds have their own Army, the "Peshmerga", who keep the peace. And I mean *really* keep the peace. You can count the successful terrorist attacks in Kurdistan on one hand.

I don't even wear my body armor when I visit Kurdish villages. The worst thing that could happen? Someone might throw flowers at me. The worst argument I've been in with a Kurd is over why the Americans can't stay longer.

So let's summarize...

Arabs: always fighting, secretly hate us, innate corruption, support Jihad

Kurds: fierce but keep the peace, love the US, embrace democracy, support Israel

Now here's the part I don't understand: the US is about to throw the Kurds under the bus.

The Shi'a government in Baghdad will soon be sending the Iraqi Army into Kurdish Kirkuk to wrest control from the KRG.

Why? Because of the oil refineries here.

Is there plenty of oil in the rest of Iraq? You bet!

In fact, there is a sea of oil under virtually every province.

Each ethnic group and sub-group could have their own oil refinery and live fat off petro-dollars for the next 100 years.

But people here aren't so big on the whole "looking ahead" thing.

They prefer to marinate in the perceived injustices of the past.

And a scared and skittish American administration wants to turn the page on this particular chapter of Mesopotamian adventurism.

So the Kurds will get screwed out of their territory once again, and our tax dollars will go to "rebuilding" the infrastructure of those who would chop off our heads just as soon as shake our hands.

Can I come home yet?

(Shown above: a poster, published by a Kurdish political party, commemorating the anniversary of "Anfal", Saddam's campaign to relocate the Kurds away from oil-rich areas in northern Iraq. This happened from 1979-2002. Saddam would then move his Sunni Arab tribesmen in. The bulldozer is a symbol of the destruction of dozens of villages and towns by Saddam's army. None of the houses in the Kurdish villages in my sector are over 7 years old - they were all rebuilt when Kurds started moving back in after 2003.)

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