Something Rotten in the State of…

There is something rotten in the state of…

Kurdistan.

This one caught me a Little by surprise, but it makes so much sense… well, I don’t know why I wasn’t talking this one up. Let me try and make up for lost time.

There is something really rotten going on among the Kurds.

Kurds? Like curds, but with a K? Are we talking about spoiled milk production?

Let me give you few lines of description. This will be kinda boring, but trust me. Throw a few bits of this around at a party, and they’ll think that you’re a foreign policy guru – or nuts. (Or both)

The Kurds are an ethnic group distantly related to the Iranians. They even seem to have descended from the Medes, or the Median Empire – which was centered in the region of northern Iran. (Hu maveen yaveen*)

They inhabit mountainous areas of a region where five countries meet: Turkey, Syria, Armenia, Iraq and Iran. Each of the countries in which they live has tried to ‘pacify’ them with mixed results. But, more importantly, they’ve also tried to use them as a thorn in the side of their neighbors.

This is where the rottenness comes in.

There’s this group called the PKK, which is a Kurdish acronym that stands for the Kurdistan Workers Party. They are a communist terrorist group formed by a hot-headed Kurdish student back in 1978 – Abdullah Ocalan** (pronounced: Oe-zsha-lan). He’s a little less hot now, ‘cuz he’s been in jail since 1999. After this Abdullah guy was captured, the PKK have became less and less of a problem for Turkey.

That is, until earlier this month.

For some reason, the PKK is resurgent. They have been rebuilding capacity and launching attacks into Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. They have gotten to be such a problem that Turkey has had to go over the border into northern Iraq and attack the PKK bases located there.

Well… I said ‘for some reason’. I actually know that reason. Remember how I said that countries in the region have used the Kurds for their own ends? Well, the US took out one of those countries, but the others are still playing the game.

It shouldn’t surprise you that both Syrian and Iranian intelligence agencies have been rebuilding the PKK with the hopes that they will destabilize Turkey. However, they’ve had an even bigger goal, and we’ve seen evidence of that goal yesterday: Turkey coming over the border into northern Iraq.

If Iran and Syria can stir up Turkey, it’s a win. If Iran and Syria can get Turkey to stir up Iraq, it’s an even bigger win.

Starting to get an idea about what is rotten in Kurdistan? 

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* Hebrew: “The person with understanding will understand”

** One of the annoying things about this guy is that we share a birthday. I HATE that.

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