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Letters: The Kurds' quest for statehood

January 11, 2013

Re "Statehood for Kurds?," Opinion, Jan. 4

David Hirst offers the Kurdish question the visibility it is often denied. He stresses the role of external forces in reshaping the Middle East. However, regional and international politics and policies are portrayed primarily as causes rather than manifestations of the colonial division of the Middle East, a division that has impeded democratization and the attainment of minority rights.

The Arab Spring, albeit promising initially, is now leading to a growing Islamization of the region. Kurds in Iraq had already done far more to democratize their own society than the Arab Spring. Although Kurds can derive great hope from Hirst's optimism, the Arab Spring cannot be more promising to Kurds than Arabs.

Moreover, as long as Turkish public opinion about Kurds remains unchanged, Turkish defense of Kurdish statehood in Iraq is not guaranteed.

Amir Sharifi

Bell Canyon

The writer is president of the Kurdish American Education Society of Los Angeles.

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