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A True Kaniggit

Middle East and North Africa

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I want to discuss the upcoming Iraqi Kurdistan referendum on 25 September.

From what I've read so far (unless what I've read is bullshit), there is no way it's going to end in a no vote.

So what will happen?

The least disturbing thing I can see happening for the region is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) uses a yes vote as leverage to gain some concessions from the Iraqi government, without actually trying to create their own country. But why would they? Aren't they already independent for all intents and purposes?

But if they do try to create an independent Kurdistan somewhere down the line, wouldn't that cause a shitload of problems? Would Iraq let them go quietly?  And there is no way neighboring nations with Kurdish minorities (thinking Turkey in particular) would be pleased with an independent Kurdistan. 

Edit: Of course, other discussion for the region also welcome.

 

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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I can understand the Kurds' desire for independence, given how long they have been denied a chance at having their own country, and this is probably the best chance to finally make it happen. That said, I think this move creates a lot more problems (especially if the referendum succeeds, which it probably will) than it solves. In short, it's a clusterfuck either way.

 

On a separate note, Saudi women at last will be given the right to drive. A small, symbolic step, but small symbolic steps not infrequently are crucial. Here's the story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41408195?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

Edited by Ser Reptitious

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I don’t know how it will end since, apparently, Kurdistan has taken control of their airports and Iraq is starting to make some moves asking them to surrender.

But the thing is that Iraq let them vote (other countries from Europe such as Spain these days are not even permitting people to vote), they have voted and more than 90% of the votes are pro-independence. Iraq had previously said that the results would not be legal so by asking them surrender the airports are acting in a logical way; let’s hope it doesn’t end up in a major conflict..... The results might not be legal, but they have spoken, so they will probably reach some kind of agreement if there is not conflict. Otherwise, it could not end well. 

As for Saudi Arabia….I saw that today and I think it’s great news. I have been following this movement since it started with some women defying the rules and posting videos of them driving on the Internet. Meanqhile, they started to vote in 2015. And the other day they were also allowed to go to a stadium with men for the first time. It’s a first step but they still lack a lot of human rights. But it’s a good thing, I’m glad for them.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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13 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

But the thing is that Iraq let them vote (other countries from Europe such as Spain these days are not even permitting people to vote)

Since, as I understand it, the Iraqi government's control of the Kurdistan region is very nominal they probably weren't in much of a position to do anything about it.

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1 hour ago, ljkeane said:

Since, as I understand it, the Iraqi government's control of the Kurdistan region is very nominal they probably weren't in much of a position to do anything about it.

I don't know, could be. The thing is by ignoring them and letting them vote in peace nobody was injured (as I recall from the TV news, I could be wrong), which should be the main concern for everyone. 

Today some troops have been sent to some areas. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/27/over-92-of-iraqs-kurds-vote-for-independence

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I really hope this doesn't end in fighting.  Apparently both sides of the dispute are sending in more soldiers around Kirkuk. Even if this is just supposed to be a show a strength, that many armed soldiers that close together can easily cause an accident that leads to full scale war.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-middle-east-41607823

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Anyone know what's actually happening around Afrin right now? I read a couple days ago that Turkey launched a ground assault into Northern Syria to displace some of the Kurdish fighters there. But I've not been able to find any updates since then. The only thing I've seen is that Germany is kinda pissed that Turkey is using some Leopard tanks in the attack. 

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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On 10/13/2017 at 5:18 PM, Meera of Tarth said:

It doesn't look well :(

 

It was awhile ago, but for anyone interested the Iraqi Kurds attempt at independence failed. The Iraqi Army reoccupied the disputed territories some months ago. 

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22 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Anyone know what's actually happening around Afrin right now? I read a couple days ago that Turkey launched a ground assault into Northern Syria to displace some of the Kurdish fighters there. But I've not been able to find any updates since then. The only thing I've seen is that Germany is kinda pissed that Turkey is using some Leopard tanks in the attack. 

As far as I know the YPG claims they pushed some of Turkey's client FSA (TFSA henceforth) off a key mountain position. That's about it. In general, the Afrin YPG are on their own,as they aren't under the umbrella of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Russia has withdrawn its token presence. That said, they've been expecting this campaign for the best part of two years, appear to have a stockpile of anti-tank missiles and face an underwhelming TFSA and a Turkish army that's just been through eighteen months of purges -- not the worst hand.

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29 minutes ago, Horza said:

As far as I know the YPG claims they pushed some of Turkey's client FSA (TFSA henceforth) off a key mountain position. That's about it. In general, the Afrin YPG are on their own,as they aren't under the umbrella of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Russia has withdrawn its token presence. That said, they've been expecting this campaign for the best part of two years, appear to have a stockpile of anti-tank missiles and face an underwhelming TFSA and a Turkish army that's just been through eighteen months of purges -- not the worst hand.

Can't say I disagree with the bolded. Especially if there is any truth to the claim that Turkey rushed the attack in response to the U.S. announcement to create a "Syria Border Force" that would include Kurdish forces.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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Turkey doesn't want the Kurds to have thier now state give that  they have large Kurdish population  that might include a good chunk of Turkey in their state.

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::Use Phoenixdown::

With a possible looming conflict on Syria there was small discussion on Iraq lessons in U.S politics. I did not see one is when does certainty of a matter blind to other explanations. The accusations of Iraq continuation of a chemical weapon program morph into a policy of Regime Change that any contrary evidence of the continual existence was ignored or attacked.

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The imminence of military action in Syria has seemingly evaporated, rather surprisingly (catching the Russians by surprise, who by some accounts have been moving military personnel out of the likely target sites in a hurry), with now there being talk of a wait whilst the chemical weapon inspectors examine the site.

I'm wondering if there is some back-room brokering going on between Moscow and Washington, perhaps the Russians offering to dismantle and destroy the Syrian chemical weapons programme with independent verification in return for the US and her allies not attacking. That removes a possible casus belli for WW3 (very helpful), makes the Russians look good ("Hey, look at our elite diplomacy!"), stops the Syrians from doing this again (you can bet your bottom dollar there was some cold words from Moscow to Damascus on this) and potentially makes Trump look strong for getting the Russians to do this. So it kind of works all around, apart from for Assad but it's rather clear that no-one's going to cry too much about that.

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On 12/04/2018 at 6:29 PM, Werthead said:

The imminence of military action in Syria has seemingly evaporated, rather surprisingly (catching the Russians by surprise, who by some accounts have been moving military personnel out of the likely target sites in a hurry), with now there being talk of a wait whilst the chemical weapon inspectors examine the site.

I'm wondering if there is some back-room brokering going on between Moscow and Washington, perhaps the Russians offering to dismantle and destroy the Syrian chemical weapons programme with independent verification in return for the US and her allies not attacking. That removes a possible casus belli for WW3 (very helpful), makes the Russians look good ("Hey, look at our elite diplomacy!"), stops the Syrians from doing this again (you can bet your bottom dollar there was some cold words from Moscow to Damascus on this) and potentially makes Trump look strong for getting the Russians to do this. So it kind of works all around, apart from for Assad but it's rather clear that no-one's going to cry too much about that.

Well, that all worked out just fine.

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Southern Turkey, western Iran and northern Syria are all majority ethnic Kurd areas. I can't imagine them being thrilled with the prospect of Kurdish independence anywhere as it creates a precedent they'll be expected to follow.

The rebels holding Syria's northern one-quarter-ish of area are mostly ethnic Kurds. Their holdings have been chewed away, especially as they tended to bear the brunt of the attacks against ISIS. Assad seemed content to let them battle it out and then crush ISIS once most of the work was done, weakening the Kurdish opposition in the meantime.

Edited by Yukle

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To avoid further off-topic discussion of Israel-Palestine conflict on the US Politics thread, I'm switching it to this thread instead. I'm quoting my last post on the subject:

Quote

But Israel did remove the Palestinians, first in 1948, then again during the 1949-56 period, then again in 1967. This is why more Palestinians today live in diaspora than in Palestine and Israel combined.

If their primary interest was simply securing a safe space, they would stop supporting West Bank settlements, as well as creating new ones.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is, primarily and above everything else, about land. Both sides would like 100% control of the entire land, either de iure or de facto, with a clear demographic majority for their side on that area. Since this is not achievable, they will both settle for an acceptable compromise, but they have different definitions of acceptable compromise. No Israeli government would accept the return to 1967 borders and the right of return (unless given an outright ultimatum by the US), which is the bare minimum that Palestinians demand.

 

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This post was interesting (coming as it did from a Christian blog), as it talks about "incremental genocide", that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the US did to the Native Americans. Aside from a few nutjob extremists, no-one said "let's murder every one of these people", but instead incrementally stole their land, marginalised them, tolerated them if they conformed but ruthlessly crushed them when opposed. And every time they signed a peace deal or ceasefire, they may have meant it, but five years or six months later the situation changed and they no longer considered the agreement valid and started taking more. They also make the point that genocide can be cultural (erasing a people's identity and legitimacy) rather than actually murdering every single one of them.

More on point I think is the phrase "sleepwalking into apartheid". No-one wants this, not even the Israeli hardliners, but their current course is inevitably leading that way and there seems to be no likelihood of anyone averting it, so Israel is going to end up as the South Africa of the 21st Century (at least) with no clear route to get out of it.

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