What is the first thing you should do when you have dug yourself into a hole? The obvious answer is: stop digging. This is the advice that those involved in the imbroglio over the so-called independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, due to be held on September 25. But still in the suspense of writing this column, would do well to heed.
The idea of holding a referendum on so contentious an issue at this time is bizarre, to say the least. There was no popular demand for it. Nor could those who proposed it show which one of Iraq’s problems such a move might solve at this moment. In other words, the move was unnecessary, in the sense that Talleyrand meant when he said that, in politics, doing what is not necessary is worse than making a mistake.
If by independence one means the paraphernalia of statehood, the three provinces that form Iraqi Kurdistan lack nothing: They have their president, prime minister, cabinet, parliament, army, police, and, even, virtual embassies in key foreign capitals. They are also well-furnished with symbols of statehood, including a flag and national anthem.
Having said all that, one could hardly deny the Kurds a desire for independence.
In a sense, some Kurds have dreamt of an independent state since over 2000 years ago, when the Greek historian Xenophon ran into them in the mountains of Western Asia. (See his account in his masterpiece Anabasis).
Source: for MORE