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The US Should Support an Independent Kurdish Nation

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By Joel D. Joseph. Mr. Joseph is an attorney who has litigated international treaties including the Panama Canal Treaty (representing 60 members of Congress), and enforced the Hague Convention in the

Hungarian Gold Train case.

To compensate the Kurds for our disloyalty to them and for allowing Turkey to invade their land, we should now support an independent Kurdish state.

Kurdistan contains more of the basic elements of a nation than Switzerland. The Kurds are one people, speaking one language. The Swiss have four national languages. The Swiss are divided roughly equally between Catholics and Protestants. In sharp contrast, the vast majority of the Kurds are Sunni Muslims. In addition, the Kurds were promised nationhood nearly one hundred years ago by the Treaty of Sèvres. Thirty-five million Kurds live in northern Iraq, North Eastern Syria, Southern Turkey and Northwestern Iran. Now is the time to recognize an independent Kurdistan.

More than 92% of the three million people who cast ballots in a recent Northern Iraq plebiscite voted "yes" to independence, according to official results announced by the Kurdish electoral commission. In addition, the Kurds have shown that they have the will to protect their homeland by helping to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Historic Role of United States in Supporting Self-Determination and Popular Sovereignty

Historically, the United States has supported independence and self-determination in South Sudan, Kosovo, East Timor, former British and French colonies, East Germany, Eastern Europe, Tibet, South Africa and Cuba. The U.N. enshrined the principle of "equal rights and self-determination of peoples" in its charter. Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized these values in a speech to a meeting of the Community of Democracies in Washington. "We must support emerging democracies in the struggle to become nations that respect human rights regardless of ethnicity," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state." Eliot Engel (D., N.Y), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, came out in strong support of the Kurdistan region's "right to self-determination." U.S. Congressman Trent Franks (R. Arizona) said that now is the time to support Kurdish aspirations for independence. "While the Obama administration dithered and fought efforts to arm and support the Kurds, the Trump administration now has the opportunity to stand with a noble people in their time of need. A free and independent Kurdistan can represent hope for peace in the Middle East," wrote Franks.

A One-Hundred-Year-Old Promise

In 1920, the Treaty of Sèvres promised a Kurdish state that would have mirrored the boundaries of the present-day state envisaged by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Kurdistan region was scheduled to have a referendum in the 1920s to decide its fate according to Articles 6264 of the Treaty of Sèvres. The Ottoman Empire, predecessor of Turkey, Russia, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, were all signatories of the Treaty of Sèvres. Unfortunately, the Treaty of Sèvres was never implemented. But it is not too late. The treaty can be implemented now to protect the Kurdish people and prevent a massive genocide.

Nation States are a Relatively Modern Development

Nation states are a relatively recent phenomenon. Italy and Germany did not become unified states until the middle of the nineteenth century. At the time of the 1789 French Revolution, only half of the people living in France spoke French. During the Italian unification, the number of people speaking the Italian language was even lower. In contrast, nearly all the residents of the Kurdish regions speak Kurdish.

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Chairman, Made in the USA Foundation, economist and lawyer, author of ten books and hundreds of articles.
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David William Pear

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Well, one big problem is that it is against the United Nations Charter and international law.

The US is in Syria against international law. The reason the US went into Syria was not "the war on terror", it was to (illegally) overthrow Bashar al Assad.

The US funded terrorists including al Qaeda, ISIS and many other terrorist groups. The US engaged with the Kurds to break up Syria, and to overthrow Assad. The US was illegally backing the Kurds in the first place.

The US is an international criminal, war criminal and is in violation of the UN Charter. That is how the whole mess started, Obama said "Assad has to go", and started an illegal regime change operation. The way out of the mess in Syria and elsewhere is for the US to obey international law and the UN Charter.

P.S. It was the Russians, Hezbollah, and Assad forces that beat "ISIS". Now the US wants to take credit for it, when it was the US, KSA, UAE, and Turkey that was funding terrorists, and from the legal government of Syria is concerned the Kurds are a terrorist group, funded by the US illegally, although the Kurds can claim that they are a legitimate national liberation movement, still the US has no business getting militarily involved, because it is against international law to do so!

Submitted on Friday, Oct 11, 2019 at 11:32:46 PM

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