Iraq is going to break up. It is already happening, but no one wants to acknowledge it because no one wants to be perceived as being responsible for the disintegration of a major Middle Eastern country.
There is not much about the Kurdish region of Iraq that is Iraqi. When you arrive at Erbil’s brand new international airport, there are no signs that welcome you to Iraq. I am sure somewhere at the entrance to the airport there is an Iraqi flag, but I didn’t notice it. The only hint that I was actually in Iraq was the stamp a Kurdish police officer put in my passport that says in tiny letters, “Republic of Iraq—Kurdistan Region.” The Kurds have a foreign ministry (actually two, maybe even three, but that is another story), a military, interior ministry, intelligence services, a parliament, president, prime minister, investment authority, and a flag. No one under the age of 30 speaks Arabic (English being the favored second language) and not a single person I met of any age believed themselves to be Iraqi. Why would they? What is the common idea that ties someone from Sulaimaniyah to someone in Basra? There isn’t one. Read more »