The old world rolls on: With the defeat of ISIS almost complete in Iraq, Iraqi forces have now moved into Kirkuk, aiming to retake control of that region from Kurdish forces.
The overnight advance was the most decisive step Baghdad has taken yet to block the independence bid of the Kurds, who have governed an autonomous tract of northern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and voted three weeks ago to secede.
Kirkuk, one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in Iraq, is located just outside the autonomous Kurdish zone. Kurds consider it the heart of their homeland; they say it was cleansed of Kurds and settled with Arabs under Saddam to secure control of the oil that was the source of Iraq’s wealth.
As is usual in these typical old world waves of ethnic conflict, there are now thousands of Kurdish refugees fleeing Kirkuk.
The problem here is the desire of the Kurds to create a country based solely on ethnicity. Such a nation by definition, in the end, must be bigoted and must oppress everyone of the wrong ethnicity. Nor are the Iraqis innocent, as there is ample evidence that they have responded in the past in kind, trying to wipe out the Kurdish population because of its ethnicity. Thus, the Kurdish refugees now.
Once again, the real solution is to not define people by their race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, but by what each person does individually. Build a nation where each person can live and follow his or her dreams, irrelevant of these issues, and you will have justice, freedom, and prosperity. Build a nation based on these racist issues, and you will instead have war, bigotry, and hate. History has shown this repeatedly. It is tragic that we imperfect humans have trouble seeing it.