The Kurdish Dream
Washington, D.C. – The Iraqi Kurds vote in a referendum today for independence from Baghdad. Congressman Trent Franks has been a long-time proponent of the Kurdish people. He has previously proposed an amendment to the defense authorization bill to directly arm the Kurds who are fighting ISIS, and he has been one of the key figures promoting Kurdish nationalism on Capitol Hill. As the votes are cast today, Rep. Trent Franks released the following statement:
“Baghdad has failed to secure Kurdish rights and effectively protect the Kurdish people from members of the Islamic State and other violent forces, and as any nation in our international community has the right to self-determination, especially if that people faces existential threats, I feel the United States is obligated to support their bid for independence – if it is in our national interest. After all, when America sought its independence as a sovereign nation, we were supported by sympathetic world leaders. It is now time for the Kurdish people to receive the same blessing.
“Thank God for the Kurds – they have delivered countless groups and individuals from the hands of ISIS. Without their armed defense of northern territory, and the protection of over 2 million refugees, the medieval horrors of ISIS could have been much more widespread. During the darkest days of the Iraq War, Kurdistan remained a sanctuary of order in the midst of sectarian chaos.
“If the Kurds can show through their actions that their key ally is the United States of America, and they are neither an ally with the Islamist Sunni regime in Turkey nor an ally of the Islamist Shia regime in Iran, the United States will always gladly support them.
“While the Obama administration dithered and fought efforts to arm and support the Kurds, the Trump administration has the opportunity to stand with a noble people in their time of need. A free and independent Kurdistan can represent hope for peace in the Middle East.
“Even as I stand with the Kurds, I must add I encourage them to support the self-determination of other groups in the region, such as the Christians of the Nineveh Plain, the Yezidis of Shengal, and the Turkmen of Tal-Afar. The Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriac Christians and their coreligionists may soon face a similar decision, and I encourage the Kurds to respect their decision regarding the Nineveh Plain.”