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On Sunday the 26th of September the Kurds in northern Iraq passed a non-binding referendum expressing an overwhelming interest in establishing an independent Kurdish state (as was promised to them by the Allies at the end of World War I). Some have suggested that the Kurds are at least distantly related to the Medes who were in the region almost three thousand years ago. That is a long time to establish a national identity, especially when everyone else wishes you would go away.

Almost every nation in the region plus the US expressed horror that the Kurds would hold this referendum, in spite of the fact that they have already established a de facto state on Iraqi territory and have been fighting a terror-counter-terror campaign with the Turkish army for a couple of decades. Only Israel, Israel ! for God's sake, supported the Kurds in this. Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria contain large Kurdish minorities. Their concern is inevitable. The US fears another widening war zone in which it might be caught - this time while it is led by a president who could not tell a Kurd from the curds in cottage cheese. Drain one swamp and the next one appears.

The question of the Syrian Kurds in their emerging "poltical entity" Rojana will certainly complicate matters.

In the long run (and the Kurds are good at long runs) the regional powers may decide that a Kurdish state is more palatable (and profitable) than decades more conflict. By that time President Trump may have located Erbil on the map.


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