Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, October 20, 2017

About 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk for fear of sectarian reprisals since Iraqi government forces took over the city after a Kurdish independence referendum condemned by Baghdad, regional Kurdish officials said on Thursday. Baghdad's forces swept into the multi-ethnic city of more than 1 million people, hub of a major oil-producing area, largely unopposed on Monday after most Kurdish Peshmerga forces withdrew rather than fight.

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Iraqi forces also took back control of Kirkuk oilfields, effectively halving the amount of output under the direct control of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in a serious blow to the Kurds' independence quest.

Baghdad's recapture of Kirkuk, situated just outside the KRG's official boundaries on disputed land claimed by Kurds, ethnic Turkmen and Arabs, put the city's Kurds in fear of attack by Shi'ite Muslim paramilitaries, known as Popular Mobilization, assisting government forces' operations in the region.

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Welcome to the next major Middle East conflict, the Kurds v., well, everyone around them.

#1 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-10-19 04:22 PM | Reply

The Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in West Asia after the Arabs, Persians, and Turks. Our only true Middle Eastern allies, whom we have repeatedly abandoned and betrayed.

#2 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-20 07:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

I completely agree with BAYVIKING, it is sort of time we stood up for these courageous fighters who just want to govern themselves. They have assisted us and the Iraqis in major conflicts for decades, it's time they get some reward for all of their efforts and their huge sacrifices. We should not desert them as we did in the past allowing them to be slaughtered by Saddam Hussein and now, surprisingly (not) by the current Iraqi government. We are only dissing them because of Ergodan, screw that Turkish dictator, we should never side with that murdering, torturing bastard who loves Putin.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 08:19 AM | Reply

I've said it before and will say it again. The majority of the problems in the middle east stem from two things: 1) the f'ed up way the Brits and French divided up the Middle East following the end of World War 1, rewarding friends, punishing anyone who didn't help, and ignoring traditional tribal boundaries and 2) the endless fight over whose version of God is better.

#3 And Danni, that's twice this week I've not only agreed with you on something, but I've actually cheered what you wrote. We better knock this ---- off or people will start talking. Erdogan is a pig who fancies himself the next Caliph of the Ottoman Empire and if someone doesn't knock that ----------- off his throne, he's going to be the person that starts WW 3.

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-20 08:32 AM | Reply

Mustang, I think reality is something both of us are aware of. I've never considered you unintelligent though we have disagreed. On the Kurds though, I'm very glad we do agree, those people have suffered immensely yet still been so courageous fighting ISIS. We can't dictate to the Iraqis but we do have influence, the Kurds should be allowed to recreate Kurdistan. If they haven't earned that right then non one has ever earned a similar right.

#5 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 09:10 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The majority of the problems in the middle east stem from two things

You forgot oil. The presence of oil means that the foreign meddling in the region never stops.

#6 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-10-20 09:18 AM | Reply

We will never help the Kurds enough to matter because our fake ally and real ally to ISIS, Turkey, forbids it.

#7 | Posted by Sully at 2017-10-20 09:22 AM | Reply

"You forgot oil. The presence of oil means that the foreign meddling in the region never stops."

Totally right. I did , momentarily forget that and thought justice had a place in the world. I know, that's just dumb. I recognize the truth of what you say, oil means everything.

#8 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 09:22 AM | Reply

And I am not being snide in my last post. It's just reality.

#9 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 09:32 AM | Reply

my ex wife was kurdish.

half her sibings (and she was 1 of 11) were somehow involved with the USA military.

#10 | Posted by klifferd at 2017-10-20 09:48 AM | Reply

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#6 I think oil was the spark that ignited the conflagration. Without oil, the disputes would be over an oasis or camel-rustling. The basic issues, though, are arbitrarily drawn borders and religion.

#11 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-20 10:44 AM | Reply

"The basic issues, though, are arbitrarily drawn borders and religion."

The borders probably affect who gets the oil. I suspect the religious differences are useful tools for those who want to control the oil.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 10:51 AM | Reply

#12 EXACTLY. Because the borders were drawn arbitrarily, the leaders of the newly formed nations could use religion, border sovereignty, "insurgency", etc... to justify "defending", "repatriating" or annexing (e.g. Iraq and Kuwait). Oil made it worthwhile financially to fight over a piece of crappy land, but the borders and ethnic squabbles were going to result in a fight anyway.

#13 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-20 11:12 AM | Reply

In reality though, the United States should support the Kurds. They are a more reliable ally in that area than any of the other players. It would be especially fun to disrupt the Turkish dictatorship of Ergodan. We should be doing anything we can to make his life difficult. Turkey should be expelled from NATO immediately. No dictatorship should ever be allowed to be a member nation. Let Turkey ally with Russia but also accept the economic consequences of leaving EU.

#14 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-20 11:24 AM | Reply

#14 I agree. The Kurds are probably the only trustworthy group in the region.

#15 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-20 11:49 AM | Reply

"You forgot oil. The presence of oil means that the foreign meddling in the region never stops."

I hope that's the case, because if it is, our "allies" in the gulf states will soon be forced to resort back to eating camels. Petroleum will soon be going down the same route as whale oil. In 50 years, no one is going to be willing to fight for it.

#16 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-10-20 12:18 PM | Reply

Oil has hundreds of years of life left in it. You can't even make the polymers for solar panels and wind turbine blades without it.

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-10-20 01:01 PM | Reply

"Oil has hundreds of years of life left in it. You can't even make the polymers for solar panels and wind turbine blades without it."

Maybe it does...we'll see...but the importance of petroleum is inevitably going to be a snapshot in human history. Wood as a fuel source has had a far greater impact.

#18 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-10-20 01:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#18 Maybe, but give progressives long enough and we won't be able to use wood, either. They'll probably shut down the steel industry because "environment", too. Oh, and they'll kill nuclear (danger!) and hydroelectric (fish!). No polymers to make wind turbines or solar cells, no wood or oil for heat, no steel or iron.... we'll just huddle together in renewable bamboo huts or concrete block houses and try not to freeze to death every winter.

#19 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-20 01:53 PM | Reply

Doesn't the Iraqi Army have better things to do? Isn't there an Isis crisis going on there?

#20 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-10-20 10:29 PM | Reply

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