Kurdish Independence Under President Trump

By Rauf Naqishbendi:

With any conflict in Mesopotamia, it makes headlines and is of significant importance when the Kurds are involved, even to the United States. The reality is that the Kurds altered the balance of power in Mesopotamia after the US’s invasion of Iraq. Thus, they are to be reckoned with when defending Iraq from ISIS. Without the Kurds, the entirety of Iraq would have fallen under ISIS’s control. As well, the Kurds saved Syria from the wrath of ISIS and its progress. Even with this course of events, the futility of their strength and hard work will be proven once the game is over, as the Kurds will once again end up empty handed.

Nothing is new under the sun. The Kurds have been used by the superpowers of the world and regional powers for their own strategic aims, a common occurrence in history. The Kurds were used, and Kurdish leadership let them be used, but they were systematically left defenseless in the face of their powerful occupiers. And the story continues. At the present time, the Kurds are debating their sovereignty. Surely a sovereign Kurdish state has been their hope and inspiration for generations, but in terms of reality at the present time, there will not be an iota of change in the face of current chaos that plagues the Kurds as a result of their tribal and corrupted leadership under the families of Barzani and Talabani. The Kurds need to resequence their priorities, first burying the current leadership, then attaining independence.

First and foremost, the Iraqi government gave no credit to the Kurds for saving Iraq. That is to no surprise, giving the Arabs’ insane mentality. The U.S., who engineered the disaster in Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the Middle East, was pleased with the Kurds but gave no more than the lip service, while the Kurds fought ISIS with old, antiquated weapons and with mediocre economic aid.

The Obama administration gave verbal support to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighting in Khobani, the most intensive urban battle ever engaged in modern human history. The Kurdish Peshmarga from YPG fought ISIS inch by inch, house to house, street by street in a heroic manner, whereby thousands of Kurdish men and women gave their lives to defend the sanctity of the land and dignity of their people. After their triumphant battle, with Khobani left in utter ruin, its population fled and found refuge in the land of their unfriendly neighbor, Turkey, which is hostile to them. President Obama decided to support YPG, but instead of providing sophisticated offensive weapons, he provided simple defensive weapons because of his fear of the Turks. That same policy seems to be continuing under President Trump.

That is all good on the surface, but it is abusive in its intent as the U.S. administration has not even uttered a sentence supporting the Kurdish demand for an autonomous Kurdish state in Syria. That means they used the Kurds to eliminate ISIS but without any benefit to the Kurds. While the U.S. is asking people in the Middle East to fight ISIS, they also know that fighting ISIS means more refugees, destruction, and bloodshed. The U.S. knows that ISIS cannot be driven out without complete destruction of their strongholds. Yet, people are willing to give their lives and endure the burden of war. However, once the people put up a good fight, driving ISIS out of their towns, it is fair enough to ask the U.S. to help rebuild what was destroyed and to help the local population get back to their lives.

After all, the U.S. is responsible for everything that went wrong in the Middle East, under the misguided U.S. occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan under former President G. Bush, and worse, the inciting of uprisings against the established authorities throughout the Middle East under Obama’s watch.

The Kurds are naively counting on the U.S. to help them achieve their independence. They blame everyone for their misery but themselves and their corrupted leaders. The Kurds first need new, pristine leadership and must bury their tribal leadership, Talabani and Barzani and their cronies.

When it comes to the U.S., the Kurds must understand that since the end of the Second World War, the U.S. has been catering to the occupiers of Kurdistan and avoiding redress of Kurdish human right violations and Kurdish national recognition. Simply put, the United States of America has been a United Snake of America toward the Kurds.

Nothing is new under the sun. President Trump is no different from his predecessors, except that he is honest. During his last visit to Saudi Arabia, and in his dealings with China, he manifested the true intent of the U.S.: that the U.S. is ready to deal with any country, trade with them and sell them weapons as long as that country has money. Everything else is secondary or nonsense, including human rights abuses. This is not a new policy, but rather new honesty as dictated by Trump, whether one likes it or not.

Supposedly, we will all wake up tomorrow to an independent Kurdistan. That will be glorious, and we will celebrate it, for at last we will be free from the shackles and bondage of occupation and subjugation. It will only be inspirational, however, as Kurdistan will still be divided and poverty will keep flourishing under the unscrupulous, crooked, despotic and debauched tribal leaders Talabani and Barzani. Everything the Kurds consume and use still comes from the outside, and the new Republic of Kurdistan will be dependent on others and, therefore, vulnerable. Thank Talabani and Barzani for this, because they proved that the Kurds are not fit to rule themselves because they are like any other lazy oil-producing Gulf country that constitutes a consumer society. Let us resequence our priorities, for I submit to you that the Kurds will never gain their independence with Barzani and Talabani on at the helm. Let us bury these corrupted leaders, and then, with new, pristine leadership, we will have a better chance.

Rauf Naqishbendi has been a contributing columnist for: Kurdishmedia.com(2003 – 2011), kurdistantribune.com,  ekurd.net, and has written Op/Ed pages for the Los Angeles Times.

Books by Naqishbendi:

  1. His memoirs entitled “The Garden Of The Poets”. It reads as a novel depicting his experience and the subsequent 1988 bombing of his hometown, Halabja with chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein.  It is the story of his people’s suffering, and a sneak preview of their culture and history.


  1. My Articles: This is a collection of columns published from 2002-2013 through several web media sites. It addresses Kurdish issues,  American politics and democracy, humanities, religion, terrorism, and Middle East chaos. 


Rauf Naqishbendi is a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Comments are welcome at rxa12@yahoo.com

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