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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by miloblithe, Dec 28, 2005.
The Turks will be happy. Not.
How can Iraq not become fragmented is the question. The sad fact that Shiites are the majority, that sunni's hate shiites and that most in this country are islam means a theocracy is taking place. Kurds aint going to stand for that. Civil war or a country split into 2 or 3 is what i see in my crystal ball. Way to go George, a Shiite ran iraq.
Nor while Iran, which has a 7% Kurdish population.
But their positions seem more or less doomed. Eventually, Kurds will get the autonomy or independence they desire. The alternative is genocide, or such a compelling economic situation that they won't mind being non-independent people.
But even Wales and Scotland have independence/autonomy movements.
Yes, a devoutly Shiite Iraq complete with morals police and women in veils and Islam as the source of the laws.
Oh and friendly to Iran too. Can't forget that little side benefit.
But if full EU membership is covertly conditional upon playing nice with the big boys of NATO, then that might be a bitter pill they just may have to swallow...
It has been one thing that the Ba'athists have always played upon: that such brutality and rigour of state control was necessary to hold the country together.
But do you think Turkey would be willing to trade EU membership for 15% of its eastern territory?
Ah but for that you'd have to get covertly conditional US acquiescence as far as NATO goes... And I'm not sure that the US has a long-term strategic interest in a vigorous and growing EU.
Also I'm not sure this is a problem the government of Turkey would have full control over. They could lose their Kurdish region or plunge their country into bloody conflict. And that despite a decision to try to deal with the problem, if the Iraqi Kurds make a move.
And remember, the US has promised Turkey that any Iraq solution will absolutely not involve an independent Kurdistan. It was their price for the support they did give in the run up to Dubya Dubya 2. Not that a US promise means much these days of course, but it is an extra thorny issue.
The US wants Turkey in the EU though. In terms of a strong EU, the US subscribes to the same theory that the UK does: that broadening the EU (adding members) slows the deepening of the EU (adding competencies and making more competencies decided by qualified majority rather than unanimity). The US wants Turkey in not to strengthen the EU but to keep Turkey as "western" as possible as a launching pad to and buffer zone against the region of fun and profit.
Also, the US doesn't owe Turkey much for Dubya Dubya II because, as you'll recall, they denied the US a northern invasion route. It was an interesting situation because the leadership called for letting the US through while the Parliament vetoed it, so in a sense Turkey got the best of both worlds: they could say they were a willing ally to the West and a say they stood up to the US to the East.
yes. they'll scream bloody murder the whole time, but when it comes down to it, they'll do it.
Maybe. It's a difficult call. I haven't got much of a pulse on Turkish nationalism, but I do get the sense that they can only be pushed so far. The drawn out process of accession seems to have made a number of people disenchanted. Discussing Armenia is still exceedingly touchy.
I think Turks feel like they already gave up the empire 90 years ago and they don't think they should have to do it again.
out of curiosity, from where did you get 15%? is that what the kurds are asking for? if so, have they defined the area? and does it include diyarbakir?
Oh, I made it up off the top of my head. I just looked up that Kurds are 20% of the population; figure they're squeezed a bit so 10-15% sounds plausible. I would think it includes Batman though, which is the best named city in the world!
I think in the long run screaming bloody murder might be a good idea. Make it a big concession that demands a big reward. And besides, getting rid of the poorest (on average) 20% of the population could only make Turkey that much more attractive to EU members who are concerned about Turkey being too poor and populous for membership.
Why does the UK want Northern Ireland or Wales? (Wanting Scotland we can all understand.) Why does Israel want the West Bank? Why does China want Uigherstan and Tibet?
Sounds like George's version of "freedom" to me.
Sounds like you just made a big jump here. The Turks have made it clear that they will oppose any independent Kurdistan in Iraq, but how do you get from there to the conclusion that if they do accept it they must also surrender Turkish Kurdistan to this new state? Perhaps an independent Kurdistan emerging from a splintered Iraq will become the nightmare scenario for the leadership of Turkey, Iran, and Syria, but it is more likely that a newborn nation of Kurdistan, with US support and plenty of oil reserves, would not make immediate claims on any neighbors' lands.
Not that the division of Iraq wouldn't be a disaster, but I don't think the biggest problem would be attempts by Kurdish authorities to claim land in Turkey or elsewhere. More critical is what happens with the Shiite dominated south falling into a vassal state relationship with fundamentalist Iran and the collapse of the Sunni Arab nation into total chaos and economic instability. Just how many ways can we help create the ideal conditions for al Qaeda's dream scenario?
any such compromise on the part of the turks would take a while to come about, like a 10 year timeframe. depending on how the whole iraq/iran thing turns out, turkey may see a very good reason for having a kurdistan as a buffer zone.
I think that idea is more or less US propaganda. Remeber that Shiite Iraqis and Shiite Iranians are completely different people who speak different languages and faught a rather major war against each other (albeit under Sunni leadership). Furthermore, can you point out any cases in which one Islamic state (or even less a predominately Muslim state) is the vassal of another Islamic state?
The only way Shiitistan becomes an Iranian vassal state is if they are pushed there by having no other choice.
As for the Kurdistan point: you're right; I don't think they would immediately advance territorial claims. But I think Kurds on the other side of the border would quickly get antsy, and in a matter of years the issue would be at hand.
I know about the ethnic and cultural differences between the two states, but I don't think the worry about this is US propaganda. In fact, if anything the US is downplaying the close ties of the Shiite religious fundamentalist parties to Iran following the elections. Many of the religious leaders in Iraq lived in Iran in exile during Saddam's regime and have very close ties with their fellow clerics. Would there be differences that would emerge between the two? It is hard to tell, but a Sistani-led Iraq would likely be more moderate in its application of theocratic rule than what takes place in Iran. While Sistani has had differences with the Khomeini inspired regime, leaders like Muqtada al Sadr would fit right in with the Iranian government's view, religiously and politically, of the world. Who would win out in a leadership struggle in such a mini-state is anyone's guess.
More importantly, a Shiite mini-state (whoever were its leaders) would be easily dominated by its much larger northern neighbor both economically and through likely military ties. I don't think you have to accept any US government propaganda, far from it, to be worried about such a possible development.
As to the use of the term "vassal" to describe Iranian/Shia Iraq relationship, I didn't mean to use it in the strict sense of paying tribute, but rather in the very real dominance Iran would have in such a relationship.