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JSPES, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Winter 2008)
pp. 405-425

The Kurds in Post-Invasion Iraq: The Myth of Rebuilding the Iraqi State

Aram Rafaat

University of South Australia

The Kurds are an ancient Indo-European people who are different from any of the neighbouring nations. Their language is quite distinct from Arabic. For the past 80 years or more, Iraq’s centralized system of control has failed to accommodate those Kurds who live inside the borders of Iraq, and the author believes that federalism within the Iraqi state will fail to satisfy their desire for self-rule. He argues that the ultimate goal of the Iraqi Kurds is independence is apparent from the system they have developed within their region. The nature of Iraq’s divided multi-ethnic society constantly results in ethnic tensions, and the reality is that the Kurds are a nation with strong feelings of their distinct ethnic identity, and those that live inside the borders of Iraq resent their being forced to live as a subordinate minority in a state dominated by Arabs.