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Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Why Kurds Are Happy for Joe Biden's Victory?
Jwan Dibo

When Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of U.S., many Kurds in the Middle East as well as throughout the world have expressed their extreme happiness. The main reason of their gladness was because of retaliation against Trump, who let them down more than once.

The first time was in September 2017 when Trump’s administration did not uphold the independence referendum of Iraqi Kurdistan. The second time was in October 2019 when Trump granted a green light to Erdogan’s Turkey to occupy several Kurdish regions in Syria.

Trump’s loss is likely to be the half of the story behind Kurdish contentment. The other half of the story is because of Biden’s triumph. On November 7, the day Biden was elected president of U.S., many Kurdish activists posted on social media a photograph of Biden with

the former president of Kurdistan region, Masoud Barzani. The picture was accompanied with a sentence in different languages which says: “Mr. President, you are more than welcome in Kurdistan”.

It is true that, in general, every time when a new American president is elected, Kurdish hopes for freedom and getting rights are growing. In some parts like Syrian Kurdistan, obtaining some rights within a new democratic Syria might be enough. While, in other parts like Iraqi

Kurdistan, the independence is likely to be the most desirable goal. Yet, these aspirations have become much greater when Biden has become the new president of the United States.

Kurdish expectancies are built on some of Biden’s distant and near statements on Kurds and the states that persecute them and divide their homeland, viz., Kurdistan. In 2006, when Biden was a Senator, he proposed that the best solution to Iraqi ancient ethnic and sectarian

dilemmas is to be decentralised and divided into three regions. The south is for Shiites, the centre is for Sunnis, and the north (Kurdistan) is for Kurds.

Political leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan viewed this proposal as a tacit support by the Democrats for Kurdish independence. But when the Democrats took over the administration in the White House from 2008 until 2016 and Biden himself was a Vice President, this proposition was not discussed at all, as if it was never proposed by the Democrats.The second point of Kurdish relative optimism stems from poor personal relationship between Biden and Erdogan regarding latter's blatant interference in the Syrian affairs.

In addition to the painful successive attacks that Turkey launched against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who are considered Washington's staunchest allies in fighting ISIS.

In October 2019, during a debate between Biden and other candidates for the presidential election inside the Democratic Party, Biden declared that “Turkey is the real problem here and I would be having a real lockdown conversation with Erdogan and letting him know that he’s going to pay a heavy price for what he has done”.

It is axiomatic to say that no one can predict exactly what kind of policies will Biden adopt regarding Kurdish issues in the Middle East, especially, in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan. However, “In politics, there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent

interests”. All states, specifically, the superpowers espouse foreign policies according to their interests only, not according to ethical obligations. Sometimes, the interests of most powerful nations in the world converge with the interests of the Kurds. For instance, when U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, then Kurdistan region became a federal region in post-Baath Iraq. Historically, the interests of the great powers have not met too much with the interests of the Kurds, but rather they were mainly incompatible. It happened in 1923, 1946, 1975, 2018 and 2019.

It is probable that Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan to be subject to fundamental changes during Biden’s tenure in the White House. The transition of Iraqi Kurdistan from a federal region to an independent state, and the transformation of Syrian Kurdistan into an officia and constitutional federal region within a new prospective Syria. But at the same time, these pivotal alterations expected to occur during Biden period may also be contrary to the anticipations and ambitions of the Kurds.

Everything is possible in the immoral realm of politics, meaning that the winds can blow counter to what Kurdish ships desire. Therefore, what is required of the Kurds is not only to wait for what Biden will do during his presidency. But to commence to fulfil significant changes in terms of unifying Kurdish positions to confront the enormous challenges affecting Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan alike

by : Jwan Dibo