Is a Kurdish state viable in 2012 ?

By Alan Rawand

Alan Rawand, an independent Kurdish thinker and activist currently residing in Sydney, Australia.

April 6, 201

Currently the president of Kurdistan is on an official visit to Washington, and on Wednesday he met with President Obama, FM Clinton and VP Joe biden.

Today in an article from the official KRG (Kurdistan regional government) website (KRG.org) it was published that it was agreed that the US would broaden the services provided by its consulate in Erbil.

While the exact nature of this is currently unclear ! but yesterday there was an article from http://www.foreignpolicy.com, which I would like to highlight 2 important suggestions from the author of the article:

*Allow Visas to be Issued From Erbil
*Let U.S. Planes Fly to Kurdistan

If these services begin we can say that Kurdistan has stepped up its efforts in making the region more self-reliance from Baghdad, but unfortunately it seems for what ever reason, supporting a Kurdish state was postponed by Obama's administration, it might change with the republicans coming to power, or could it be related to pipeline under construction connecting Kurdistan oil directly to Ceyhan port in Turkey, either way the reason was not published and remains unclear at the moment.

In my opinion, KRG should not wait for US to support the Kurdish state which currently enjoys prosperity despite corruptions among some of the politicians, but the situation in KRG is much more better compared with Arab Iraq which is a recognized country,

President Barzani should go ahead and declare the state, pressures would then can mount up for US to support it, as we all know, no one would come knocking on your door "here is your recognized Kurdish state",

Barzani should announce it and then Kurdish people can wait for Americans to come and recognize our state specially if 6 million Kurds in KRG hold a referendum then it will be more legitimate, even though in 2005 in an independent referendum, 98.8% of the 4 provinces (Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, Kirkuk and Duhok) voted YES for independent, I don't think anyone should or cant turn down the votes of 6 million people ...

What remains unclear is the news, that CIA boss urging Turkey to accept a Kurdish state in KRG, this happened back in March 12 last month ( it was also published by Washington post and no US official ever denied the news), something is definitely going on there, our President must be more clear with the Kurdish people .

In all case scenarios, once a Kurdish state is declared, the disturbing factor that could emerge, is that US might be using Veto against such a state, i personally doubt they would,

KRG is no Palestine and all in all this state can be a good ally for Israel as currently Turkey has stepped up its anti campaign towards Israel, but even if they do use Veto, KRG can then be independent without a seat in UN like Czech republic is (Russian veto prevented it from a UN membership), but there are many other countries who are prepared to recognized this state as soon as its declared and some have already established their consulates in Erbil.

One thing I would like to point out here is, if the former Kurdish state "Republic of Mahabad" which was declared in Eastern Kurdistan in 1946 by first Kurdish President Qazi Mohamad can last 11 months without a strong army, without 20 plus consulates, without over 40 oil companies exploring and drilling oil, without having the capacity to produce 200,000 oil bpd, which is said to be reaching up to 1 million bpd in 2014 and it was without the giant oil reserves of Kirkuk which KRG currently controls 2 third of it ( Avana and Khurmor structures), then one would then remain certain a Kurdish state in KRG and in the Arab spring era with these advantages can hold itself together.

Another question some people argue about is, can KRG survive with closed borders by Iran and Turkey once the Kurdish state is declared ?

this is a weak approach towards the situation, KRG has already experienced this scenario from 1991-2003 as the result of the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq, and KRG been part of Iraq the sanction also included KRG with no exceptions, the sanction was an international one imposed by UN,

and also imposed on Kurdistan from Iraq itself, but because it is Kurds who live on the other side of the borders in Iran and Turkey, who were importing goods to KRG even if one could classify it as 'smuggling'.

Therefore the sanction was not that effective on Kurdistan than it was on Arab Iraq, and comparing KRG in 2012 with 1991 one wont even find one comparison in its currently statues of all fields.

A declared Kurdish state wont have an international sanction this time but possibly mainly coming from Turkey and Iran even though they have invested billions of Dollars so it might not even be a full sanction from them, and as for Syria, she is going through an uncertain destiny for years to come.

Thus Iran and Turkey might not even close their borders, they first might not officially recognize this state, like Iran's Shah did with iraq ; when iraq was declared in 1921, Shah of Iran was against such a state and only later recognized iraq in 1928, 8 years later.

KRG is a wealthy unrecognized state, how is it fair that Bangladesh is a recognized state and KRG is not ! this is by far definition unfair and unrealistic.

The only issue KRG is currently facing is the sliced off areas known as "disputed areas", whose statue were settled in the Iraqi constitution article 140 which Maliki has delayed its implementation since 2007, but KRG can take on this matter on an international level, if Maliki keeps refusing to abids by his own Constitution, KRG then can use 'UN arbitration' to settle these areas,

by the way Kurds have no doubt over Kurdish identity of these areas as the majority of residents are Kurds and the iraqi 1957 census can be used as evidence for this matter as well.

My conclusion is, the main reason for US delaying full support for a Kurdish state in KRG, can be categorized into few lines but most possible factor might be because KRG is to wait till oil production reaches 1 million bpd,

that way a Kurdish state can stand strong and wealthy, the world as we know is now in more need of natural resources than ever.

Nevertheless KRG's oil minister, Ashti Hawrami told bloomberg in US, that KRG is building a new pipeline to bypass the Ceyhan-Turkey pipeline which is under Iraq's control, that way Kurdistan will have its own independent oil export route, as currently Kurdistan oil is sold via Ceyhan-Turkey pipeline.

Alan Rawand, an independent Kurdish thinker and activist currently residing in Sydney, Australia, exclusive for Ekurd.net