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The War Nerd November 19, 2007
 
Da Kurds: Boo Hoo Who?
Why Kurdistan is not a nation and never will be By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 5
 

You don't need to bother your little head too much about sending away for the 2-CD "Learn Old Prussian" set though, because it vanished along with the poor proto-victims who spoke it when the New Prussians, a bunch of aggressive Germans who fought like Tasmanian Devils (and were just about as good at making alliances, which is why they ended up losing it all). For a while there, Prussia was a small nation that didn't need any crap about "rights" or any New Jersey high-collar deacon defending it. They had this thing called The Prussian Fucking Army, the one that actually won the battle of Waterloo. (By the way, if you think Wellington beat Napoleon at Waterloo you need to go back to War Nerd Summer School. The short version is Napoleon beat Wellington, then Blucher mopped up the French when they'd worn themselves out stomping the Brits. If you've ever watched one of those one-day UFC tournaments, you know how it works: the winner is the one who drew a bye or a pushover in the first round and came in fresh like Blucher's boys did.)

So let's get real: small nations have no rights. Nobody has any rights. People have the guts and the guns or they're nothing. So the central fact about Kurdistan is that it hasn't managed to claw its way to existing, which means it doesn't have any "right" to exist.

Now I want to be fair here, so let me say up front it's not because the Kurds are cowards. Nobody ever said that about them. Besides, lots of cowardly tribes have managed to become "independent nations" with their little flags and seats at the UN and local big boys who get paid a million dollars to support Japan when they have one of those whaling votes. (And speaking of whales, they have about as many "rights" as an Old Prussian's skeleton sitting in a museum, meaning none. Don't get me started on the damn whales.)

The Kurds don't have a country because they have no discipline and plain old bad geographical luck. The wimpy countries are usually little islands, and when the sea powers like Britain and us were setting up the world, it just seemed natural to us that one island full of wogs talking their own little language equals one country. Why not? Nobody needed those little atolls anyway. Let'em have their flag and their little anthem and take the tourists for a few million every year.

But this "Kurdistan" footprint, this peanut of land, happens to be not just landlocked but dropped across the bloodiest borders in the world, the backwoods of the Fertile Crescent that people have been killing each other over since Sumerians started telling war stories with little bird-print writing on clay tablets. This is not Tahiti; it's Ground Zero. You want a country in these parts, you better be prepared to cross off most of your family tree in the process.

And the Kurds are willing to die, I'll give them that. Always have been. Good fighters; Saladin was a Kurd, after all. They just can't stay united for more than the time it takes to sign a manifesto. By the time they've got pen in hand to initial their latest United Front for Kurdistan memo, the Supreme Commander of the Kurdish Liberation Front has stabbed his imported Parker Pen into the throat of his ally of two minutes ago, the Generalissimo of the Free Kurdistan Army.

The Kurdish Descent: From Saladin to Tribal Rambos

It's not hard to fight people like that, or keep them "oppressed." You just farm it out to their relatives. Most of the time, you don't even need to use your own tribe's troops. Kurd-on-Kurd violence will do it. Which is why bravery isn't anywhere near as important as discipline in a military force. A force of 200 German clerks or Vietnamese insurance agents, no matter how many of them wear glasses and can't bench-press a Starbucks latte, will beat 200 Rambos every time on the battlefield, because 200 Rambos is pure chaos, nobody willing to obey orders. And Kurds, too bad for them, are a pretty Rambo-y group, all macho yelling, counting coup and strutting instead of sticking together. You get this a lot with mountain tribes, and the Kurds are mostly--not all--mountain people. "Our valley vs. the world," that kind of small-time crap. Cute if you're Swiss, but only because the Swiss valleys usually had enough sense to unite against foreign invaders. Kurds don't. They have what the professors call "local loyalties," meaning whatever little baron family always ran their valley.


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Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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