Kurds Group/Nation in Iraq
Similar to most groups all over the world, the Kurds possess their own identity that is grounded on their various aspects, including their language, religion, geographical territory of Kurdistan as well as their common race. There are various questions that can be raised in line with the identity politics of the Kurds group. These questions include the definition of nationalism and its role in the formulation of views, the nature of the Kurdish views in light of nationalism and questions that are directly related to the identity of the Kurds. The success of the Kurdish group in the fight for autonomy and their rights and freedom in line with the politics of identity can be correlated with the use of political parties and political organizations as well as the participation of the Kurds in armed warfare.
Historical Context of the Kurdish Identity
The current condition in line with the politics of Kurds’ identity can be understood by the analysis of the group’s historical background. The Kurds are on numerous occasions addressed a nation or rather as a “non-state nation” as they total up to 35 million individuals (Rubin, 2016). The Kurds are sometimes named a nation on the basis of the fact that this ethnic group possesses characteristics of the nation. The homeland of the Kurds is located in between four countries which are Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria (Rubin, 2016). The governments of the nations mentioned above relate differently to the Kurds. Therefore, the government of Turkey barely recognizes the existence of the Kurds, hence their denial of their cultural and linguistic rights in the country. In my opinion, when individuals are denied the rights that they perceive as important for their existence, they become weak and indifferent to the fight for their rights. In this regard, the denial of cultural and linguistic rights to the Kurds led to identity recognition struggles in relation to this group.
On numerous occasions, when specific individuals in a given country are violated their rights by the government of that country, they start fighting for their autonomy. Furthermore, when the government fails to listen to them, they defend their rights harder and strive to achieve them at any cost. Therefore, the major factors behind the politics of identity on the part of the Kurds are their historical struggle for social and political freedom. The case of the Kurdish community fighting against the Iraq government is different from that in Iran and Turkey. At the point when Iraq gained its independence in 1932 as a nation-state, the government identified an objective or rather an aim of guaranteeing the Kurds autonomous rights (Kirmanj, 2013).
However, this objective was never materialized until the period of the Kurdish uprising following the results of the Gulf War of 1991 (Rubin, 2016). During this time, the Kurds had established legal reasons for claiming greater say as far as their affairs and that of the nation were concerned. Apparently, this led to chauvinistic responses in respect to Baghdad’s consecutive governments. The responses were very brutal with the use of chemical weapons in ethnic cleansing in addition to genocide campaigns with the aim of eliminating the Kurdish individuals. In my opinion, it is quite evident that the correlation that exists between nationalism and conflict at the ethnic level is crucial in the determination of nationalism origin in the case of the Kurds. The Kurdish nationalism arose as a political movement in the course and after the Ottoman Empire dissolution with the aim of achieving progression as well as statehood. Conclusively, it can be said that the Kurds have serious justifications for their grievances, which are further elevated by the failure of the government of Iraq to adopt a respectful attitude to the demands of the Kurds.
The Aims of the Kurdish Group
The grievances that a resistant group has in a particular nation express their dissatisfaction in line with the manner in which they are treated. Additionally, the feeling of being mistreated often leads to the establishment of aims to address them clearly. The Syrian War and the war in Iraq have thrust the Kurdish group into the spotlight, thereby highlighting the divisions as well as the alliances that exist between the factions (Hadji, 2009). A wide network in line with political parties, bureaucratic parties in addition to armed groups haves been established in the Kurdistan territory. In this respect, the first ultimate aim of the Kurds is the achievement of greater autonomy. The second aim is the protection of the language and culture of the Kurds (Kirmanj, 2013). In my opinion, making the aims clear is indicative of the group’s resolve to earn identity by all means, making the government understand their role in the society.
Why the Aspirations Are Held by the Kurds
The aspirations mentioned above were formed as a result of the Iraq’s invasion in 2003 and the civil war of Syria (Rubin, 2016). These two events acted as a catalyst for the obtainment of greater autonomy by the Kurds. Moreover, since the establishment of the Iraqi state, the Kurdish community has been treated as a key minority in the state. Apart from making constituting the largest percentage of the population in Iraq, the Kurdish people have a huge political significance in Iraq as a result of their political activism and their reluctance to comply with state repression (Hadji, 2009). In fact, there were made various agreements between the Kurds and the Iraqi state; however, they have not been achieved as the agreements were broken, leading to the dismemberment of the Kurds. In my opinion, the Iraqi government does not seem committed to the interests of the group, and it would take a lot of time before the realization of any agreement supporting their ideas.
Furthermore, the ethnic cleansing as well as the mass murder performed by the regime of Saddam Hussein also inspires the Kurds to fight for their autonomy. Apart from this, the fundamental ethnic conflicts that exist between the Kurds and the Iraq individuals are also a motivating factor to defend the aspirations (Natali, 2015). The Kurds have from time immemorial refused to abandon their ethnic identity to their controlling government. They have, thus, decided to continue their patriotic struggle at whatever price. They desire to have better lives and to possess their own place. The aspirations are also held by the Kurds due to variations in the interests of the Kurds and the Iraqi state. The Kurds are continuously fighting for their independent recognition, while the Iraqi state is fighting to repulse and disallow the efforts of the Kurds (Natali, 2015). The urgent need to acquire the Kurdish identity, specifically taking into account their urge to be connected with the Indo-European language of the Kurds, is another reason behind the aspirations held by the Kurds.
How They Seek to Achieve Their Objectives
The Kurds have vigorously pursued the achievement of their objectives by the use of various groups. To begin with, the Kurds have established political parties in addition to political organizations that are legitimate with a view of promoting the rights and freedom of the Kurds (Rubin, 2016). From my point of view, political parties are formed with the intention of gathering all the members for the realization of their aims. Moreover, the Kurds have participated in armed struggles. Thereafter, some of the Kurds use guerilla tactics in addition to terror attacks on the civilians with a view of fighting for their rights and freedom. In fact, the Kurdistan Alliance has been employed as a crucial background for the formation of political parties affiliated to the Kurds. Therefore, there are various political parties that have been formed under this alliance. These political parties include the Kurdistan Islamic Union, Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Group, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (Natali, 2015).
Most political parties and political organizations associated with the Kurds are much concerned with the autonomy or rather their independence. However, I am of the opinion that the existence of a wider array of political parties in addition to groups is a clear reflection of the internal feuds among the Kurds. Often, the feuds are associated with language, tribe and political disagreements. For instance, the political feuds that existed between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan caused a civil war that led to the killing of a large number of Kurds in the 1990s (Hadji, 2009). Furthermore, there have been much more fractures witnessed between these political parties to the extent of compromising their brotherhood or rather their unity.
The Success of the Kurds Group
In line with the success of the Kurdish group as a result of their fight for autonomy, there is the growth of autonomy in Turkey and in Syria. Apart from this, currently, the Kurdistan Iraq is continuing to be independent in Iraq. In fact, Iraq Kurds achieved success as a result of the Iraq invasion. There was the replacement of a democratic constitution with a genocidal dictatorship. However, there has been steady growth in the Kurdistan territory. The development can be observed in relation to the oil and gas sector, rapid growth, the rapprochement with Turkey that is historic in addition to improved living standards (Rubin, 2016). The success of the Kurds is worth emulating as they have fought every nook and cranny to acquire what they believe is their true identity in addition to their fierce fight for their political and language rights. However, the rise in the ISIS is a serious threat to the Kurds as they have to seriously battle with this group to successfully continue improving their position.
In conclusion, with a view to understanding the major aspirations of the Kurdish group in Iraq, it is essential to analyze the historical context that shaped the aspirations. From a historical point of view, the Kurds group was treated as a minority in Iraq, hence the failure in the recognition of their political and language right. Therefore, this led to the fight for their rights, particularly for their identity. In this regard, their aspirations were the achievement of autonomy as well as their political and language recognition. The Kurds employed various strategies in their fight for their rights and freedom, including political parties and political organizations which have, consequently, helped them to achieve success.