by Mick Krever, CNN June 23rd, 2014
Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave his strongest-ever indication on Monday that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq.
“Iraq is obviously falling apart,” he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. “And it’s obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing – the army, the troops, the police.”
“We did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown,” he said through an interpreter.
“The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold.”
Iraqi Kurdish independence has long been a goal, and the region has had autonomy from Baghdad for more than two decades, but they have never before said they would actually pursue that dream.
But the latest crisis, in which Sunni extremists have captured a large swath of Iraqi territory on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to have pushed the Kurds over the edge.
“Now we are living [in] a new Iraq, which is different completely from the Iraq that we always knew, the Iraq that we lived in ten days or two weeks ago.”
“After the recent events in Iraq, it has been proved that the Kurdish people should seize the opportunity now – the Kurdistan people should now determine their future.”
Barzani said that he would make that case to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when they meet in Erbil Tuesday; America is a close Kurdish ally, but opposes independence for the region.
“I will ask him, ‘How long shall the Kurdish people remain like this?’ The Kurdish people is the one who is supposed to determine their destiny and no one else.”
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Jeremiah the Hebrew prophet saw the "kings of the Medes" -- the people now known as "Kurds" -- lead their nation into battle against the "land of the Chaldeans" and completely overwhelm and defeat them, plundering their treasures.
When this blog was started in 2006, it seemed impossible that the Kurds would have the power, let alone be able to be considered a "nation", to fulfill this prophecy. Today, not only is Kurdistan on the verge of declaring its independence as a fully autonomous and independent nation, but it has developed into what Forbes calls a "world oil power." Its oil wealth, political and economic stability, and now military strength is becoming recognized by the world.