Last week’s acceptance by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court decision barring secession represents the Kurds’ capitulation to Baghdad in the standoff surrounding September’s independence referendum.
The effect of the infamous Balfour Declaration was best summed up by the late British author and journalist Arthur Koestler: “One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.” It had no legal or moral right to do so.
Weeks on from their independence referendums, both the Catalans and Kurds are undoubtedly on the back foot. Neither leadership has yet declared independence, and the likelihood of doing so — let alone implementing it — is receding.
If one had been told in advance that in the space of a fortnight there would be two independence referendums — one in Europe, the other in the Middle East, one peaceful and orderly, the other chaotic and violent — the assumption would be that the chaotic one would take place in the Middle East.
“What we are seeing is… the beginning of the end of this war,” UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Friday, referring to his prediction that Daesh’s remaining Syrian strongholds will fall by the end of October.