Friday, March 9, 2012

Greater Kurdistan?

Today's New York Times has an article about Kurds fleeing Syria and taking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. It gave me, as Poirot used to say, "a little idea."

Regulars may recall that I have little hope of Nouri al-Maliki maintaining Iraq in one piece — and particular doubts about his hanging onto the Kurdish area in the north. Hell, they've been almost entirely autonomous for years. They're well-armed, well-funded, and more than a little nationalistic. They're willing to fight.

Syria is a mess, Bashir al-Assad is channeling Idi Amin, and none of the real countries feels able to do anything about it. So here's my idea: somebody just might want to suggest to the Kurds in Iraq that the current state of affairs might offer a splendid opportunity to "rescue" their fellow Kurds by moving into the northeastern tip of Syria (see the map) — and keeping it. Hail Greater Kurdistan!

Mind you, both the Iranians and the Turks would totally freak, but it's very unlikely they could manage any sort of coordinated response. In the meanwhile, the "Free Syrian Army" (if it really exists) might take advantage of the diversion and make some gains in the Sunni regions. Hooray for the simplicity of tribal, ethnic, and religious divisions of territory! (If you keep the nation-states small enough, all you can get are little wars.) Hillary Clinton would wear out her wedgies running around the region, and John McCain would want to bomb everybody!

Okay, it's just a fantasy — but I can't be enraged all the time. Sometimes I just need to amuse myself.

No comments: