The Kurds are said to be the largest ethnic minority in the world without a homeland. The last few years have shown progress for Kurds in Turkey -- not a great deal of progress, not enough progress, but the motion has been to improve (somewhat) life for an oppressed and discriminated against minority.
The Kurds are throughout the Middle East and they're around the world.
The closest thing to a homeland currently is northern Iraq.
The Kurds have three (or four*) provinces in northern Iraq which make up the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The Kurds claim that Kirkuk belongs to them -- the central Iraqi government out of Baghdad also insists Kirkuk is their province. Were Kirkuk not oil rich, the debate might not have dragged on so long.
But the "four*" actually refers to a move the Kurdistan Regional Government made immediately ahead of last April 30th's parliamentary elections -- when they split up a province to create two.
At the end of 1991, the Kurds won semi-autonomy. They've remained semi-autonomous.
An e-mail asked about any thoughts or positions on the Kurds and independence?
They have every right to move towards full autonomy if that's what they chose. Some provinces in Iraq, tired of Nouri's corruption and worse, have attempted to declare independence.
Whether that will continue to be attempted or not, I don't know.
But my take on it is and has been, if that's what they want, that's what they should go for.
The only way in which I have opposed independence is when it was imposed 'independence.'
I don't know that then-Senator Joe Biden's idea was 'nutty' -- Iraq would split into three semi-independent regions (one Shi'ite, one Sunni, one Kurd) and be part of a federation.
Joe's plan was wrong for one reason -- it was being proposed by the US.
Independence is not imposed.
If this is what is decided in, for example, the KRG by the Kurds, I'm all for it. I'm for independence and self-rule.
I am not in favor of the US -- or any country or international body -- declaring this is what will happen.
Focusing on the Kurds, if they decided to go for full autonomy, I would support it.
I'm a citizen of a country that declared its independence from England. Why wouldn't I support an effort at independence by others?
There are a lot of good questions in the e-mails but I felt this one needed to be addressed by itself because we used to go over it all the time but when it failed in the US Congress (2008), it didn't continue to be as pressing an issue here as it had been.
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