Friday, July 18, 2014

Thoughts on Kurdistan

In 2007 I figured that the Kurds ought to have their own country, but nobody was particularly interested. Ostensibly the game was to keep Iraq together, but underneath there were concerns. Turkey has it's own Kurdish population, and the multinationals had their interests. Instead of a declaration of independence these days, what the prospective young country needs to do is court the multinationals.

The Official Website of the Kurdistan Board of Investment

The Kurds may make out as the smartest kids in the Middle Eastern room. They appear to have managed to present themselves as partners with the Turkish government, eliminating a major threat on their border. There already are many multinationals in Kurdistan, with assets Baghdad can't secure. It is doubtful ISIS will play nice with the multinationals either.

There are even rumors that the Israelis are all for a free Kurdistan, which would make some sense. The Israelis need oil and a convenient way to do deals with Muslim neighbors who need to maintain a public attitude of hatred for appearances sake in their particular countries. Obviously these ties would need to be vigorously denied. But, if it were true, it means a higher likelihood that Kurdistan ends up looking like a functioning country, rather than the raw deal that the Palestinians get.

But in all of this work apparently being done to set the stage for an independent Kurdistan, well I worry about how independent it will be exactly. The diplomatic work with Turkey, the business deals with multinationals, etc- will Kurdistan be free? Can they act like a modern socialist country with the multinationals (and other countries) on oil matters while simultaneously dealing with their own people in a manner conducive to freedom?

Technically, they will probably be freer than Americans by default because their politicians aren't used to scheming quite as well as ours are, but is the principle of the thing- the idea that a nation ought to be able to come into being without all these foreign interests having such a say in it. Maybe that principle never really existed- the French did appear to tilt the odd in America's favor, though the Atlantic Ocean probably had more to do with it than anything else.

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