Despite all its draw backs, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has progressed a lot since 2003. Since it’s a safe and secure haven in Iraq, the Region has become a business hub where giant firms have started investment, especially in the last three years. I’m not going to speak more about its achievements and progress here. However, I’ve come up with plan B for the Kurdish president Massoud Barzani to not lose all achievements.
There are two threats, above all others, that can destroy Kurdistan Region. One is the PKK issue and the other is Kirkuk. The Kurds expect the implementation of the article 140, a constitutional article talks about solving Kirkuk issue in three stages: normalization, redress and referendum.
The Kurds have two ways to get Kirkuk back. The first is through the article, whose time is over and would not be implemented. Secondly is through a war. The first is a dream which never come true and the second destroys Kurdistan. Therefore, Kurdistan is better without a war over Kirkuk as it will not win it. The war cannot be made by the Kurds as Turkey, Iran and Iraq would be in one front all against Kurds. And the American forces will not meddle in that war and will not protect the Kurds who think of the US their savior.
So the plan B for Barzani is to give up the claim about Kirkuk. The survival of Kurdistan is better than Kirkuk. There is no way for Barzani to repeat the same scenario of his father in 1974 to destroy everything on Kirkuk. The wisest act for Kurds now is to have a third of Kirkuk. The Kurdish leadership can give up that claim with some conditions and get a part of that big cake.
To announce giving up Kirkuk would be negatively reflecting on Barzani. The local oppositions, Gorran movement, Kurdistan Islamic and Kurdistan Islamic Group, will exploit that and weaken his position. But a decision to maintain the survival of Kurdistan within Iraq is better and much greater than the blames of the oppositions whose fight is only for power and money not for the greater good of the Kurdish nation. Barzani should fight for the survival of Kurdistan rather for Kirkuk which might end Kurdistan at the end of the day. Having 30 percent of Kirkuk is much better than losing everything. Being pig-headed on Kirkuk will lead Kurds to lose the main goal which is announcing independence in the next 15 years. The biggest stateless nation will have their own state by such a decision not being persistent on Kirkuk which is in the mouth of several wolves, would not be taken back by the deer (the Kurds).
To give up Kirkuk means to open more doors for Kurdistan. Only then Turkey and Iran will become true friends and neighbors of Kurdistan. The friendship of neighbors is much better than to be friend with the United States which is the Kurds’ friends basing on interests. The United States cannot help Kurds who consider themselves the closest ally of US in the Middle East. But US does not care about it once it has no interests with Kurds. US follow its interests not Kurds.
PKK has been destroying Kurds and other countries around, such a self-eater organization. The second part of plan B for Barzani is to choose help Turkey to crack PKK down or convince them to disarm. In return, Turkey will help Kurdistan a lot if it would be for nothing, it would be for its 16 billion USD investment in Kurdistan now. Turkey and Iraq do not help Kurdistan Region of Iraq for its claim about Kirkuk and PKK.
Note: this article is also available on http://www.rudaw.net/english/science/op-ed-contributors/3277.html