The brave fighters of Kurdistan are working to ward off ISIS in Iraq, and they are receiving a great deal of help from Uncle Sam to accomplish their noble goal. However, the Kurds are receiving a rude awakening that any help from Washington D.C. comes with many strings attached. Congress has proposed a non-binding resolution threatening the removal of foreign aid as a warning to the Kurds that secession from the Iraqi government would come at a potentially steep price.
“The committee notes that funding provided to the [KRG] is to enhance Government of Iraq-KRG cooperation and support a unified effort to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” the draft National Defense Authorization Act reads. “Such funding should be contingent upon KRG participation in the government of a unified Iraq and on their continued good faith cooperation in the anti-ISIL campaign.”
The Kurdish Peshmerga are the beneficiaries of a staggering amount of U.S. foreign aid. They were allocated $480 million throughout the current fiscal year, which expires on Sept. 30. Preparing for an independence referendum later in the year, the Kurds are learning a hard lesson about American assistance. By receiving the aid, compliance with the greater U.S. agenda becomes mandatory.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is not happy with this meddling attempt by the U.S. Congress.
“It is the democratic right of the people of Kurdistan to hold a referendum on their future, and no one that we have met in Congress has denied this fact,” an official with the KRG office said to reporters.
While the U.S. government propagandizes ad infinitum in the homeland about Russian forces supposedly exerting undue influence over last year’s Presidential election, they shamelessly attempt to influence the upcoming election of a foreign government at the same time. This hypocritical gesture may seriously weaken U.S.-Kurdish relations moving forward.
“The KRG wasn’t expecting US support, but they would be happy if the United States would not oppose, and this language is therefore bad news. It has the hallmarks of opposition,” Bilal Wahab, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said to Al-Monitor.
Let this be a lesson to the Kurds: Accepting U.S. federal aid means that the independence and sovereignty of your nation is jeopardized. Perhaps after they vote to secede from the Iraqi government, the Kurds could vote to secede from the U.S. empire as well.