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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thomas Friedman, "5 Principles for Iraq": Kurdistan Is Not a Nation, But It Should Be!

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "5 Principles for Iraq" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/opinion/sunday/thomas-friedman-5-principles-for-iraq.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0), would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman tells us that the US doesn't have a dog in the fight in Iraq and should avoid intervention without justification. En route to reaching this conclusion, Friedman asks:

"Why is it that the two states doing the best are those that America has had the least to do with: Tunisia and the semiautonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq?"

Well, first it should be noted that the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, which Friedman recently visited, is not a state, although it certainly should be. There are some 30 million Kurds, who have been relentlessly persecuted and oppressed by Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey for the past century. Moreover, the Kurds have long been friendly to American interests in the region, and an independent Kurdistan, countering Sunni and Shiite militancy, should be embraced by the United States, notwithstanding opposition from Turkey. Indeed, the time has come to redraw the artificial borders imposed upon the Middle East by France and Britain following the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire at the conclusion of World War I.

Friedman continues:

"We still want to forge a nuclear deal that prevents Iran from developing a bomb, so we have to be careful about how much we aid Iran’s Sunni foes."

Hold on, did I hear Tom correctly? We need to restrain ISIL in order to reach a deal to prevent Iran from building its first atomic bomb? Just this past Friday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi warned, "Iran will resume enriching uranium to the 20-percent purity level, if the country’s nuclear talks with the world powers come to an end without an agreement" (http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930323000745). At a time when Iran is threatening to pursue its march toward nuclear weapons, the US needs to toss the mullahs a bone?

Quite the contrary: The US needs to maintain constant pressure on Tehran, which is yet another reason to support a fully independent Kurdistan, holding Iran's maniacal mullahs at bay.

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