Kurdistan Independence Vote Today –

What happened, I wonder?

78% voter turnout. They are tallying results and expect them within 72hr.

92%. Wow, that is a “mandate.”

Meanwhile, the US president is yelling at football players, while Puerto Rico (someone tell him that’s part of the US?) is without power and thousands of people may die from a collapsing damn, Iran has resumed testing the ballistic missiles, and North Korea is engaging in nuclear provocation while standing in the shade of China. A decade ago, Iraq’s shattering into pieces would have been big news but nowadays it’s hardly a blip.

As an anti-nationalist, I suppose I think it’s good when countries fragment semi-peacefully; it helps establish the idea that a democratic process can be used to establish new borders. One of nationalism’s great lies is that borders are somehow sacrosanct.


Results worldwide are interesting. [rud]

The US State Department has said that despite being “deeply disappointed” by the Kurdish independence referendum, its relations with the Kurdish people “will not change.”

I read that as the US saying “we are going to continue doing whatever we want.”

The Iraqi parliament voted on Monday committing the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to deploy troops to the areas that came under the control of the Kurdish forces after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Iraqi army ran away from ISIS; they’ve been blooded since then, and now have some seasoned troops, but so does  Kurdistan. Iraq’s military depends heavily on US air-power; if they call for air-strikes and the A-10s don’t come, they’ll know they’re in deep doo-doo. The US is going to pretend it’s not our problem, but actually it’s a problem entirely of our creation.


  1. John Morales says

    USA used to spruik democracy, but this current administration is a bit more honest.

    (It spruiks USA dominance, which is much more honest)

  2. says

    One of nationalism’s great lies is that borders are somehow sacrosanct.

    A border is where it is, because 200 years ago such and such king married such and such princess. Alternatively — because 100 years ago such and such army went this far. Or because, when the colonial dreams fell apart, somebody decided to draw borders with a ruler with no regard for who lived where. Yeah, I’m sure going to believe that borders are sacred.

    Ultimately referenda are the best idea for how to decide upon borders. Yet it usually doesn’t work. We get either vote rigging or just ignoring the referendum results altogether. Unfortunately, it is a lot simpler to ignore a referendum than to ignore tanks and armies.

    Puerto Rico (someone tell him that’s part of the US?)

    I must admit I was shocked when I found out about U.S. territories and their “unique” status. Just as I was shocked when I found out about gerrymandering and voter ID laws meant to deny the opportunity to vote for some citizens. Other countries who claim to be democratic at least bother to do a decent act; they at least try to pretend to care for all their citizens.

  3. Siobhan says

    Preliminary results are close to unanimous. 92-94% voted in favour of independence depending on the source.

  4. jrkrideau says

    Let’s see. An independent Kurdistan almost certainly scares the devil out of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and, of course, Iraq. Have I forgotten anyone? Armenia, perhaps?

    Well, it’s one way to unite a disparate group of states. I am not sure that this is what the USA wants.

  5. says

    jrkrideau@7: I think Kurdish-Armenian relations are mostly pretty good these days. They have Turkey to unite against.

    I love the lyric from The Foggy Dew (about the Easter Rising in Ireland)

    ’twas Britannia bade our wild geese go, that “small nations might be free”