Video: The Kurdish miracle on “60 Minutes”

posted at 10:00 am on February 19, 2007 by Allahpundit

A cross between a news segment and a tourism video, this 12-minute piece from last night’s show makes the case that not only should Kurdistan be a sovereign state, it pretty much already is. The coming confrontation with Iraqi Arabs over Kirkuk means bad days ahead from jihadi car bombs or, potentially, military action by Turkey, so the tranquility here is a tiny bit misleading. Still, the fact that they’ve gotten this far with the foulness to their south is genuinely amazing. You’ll gawk all the way through.

Exit question: 60 Minutes attributes the difference between Kurdistan and Baghdad to the lack of sectarian tensions in the former, but Anbar is almost entirely Sunni and they’re not putting up any shopping malls these days from what I understand. So what’s the real difference?

Click the image to watch.

kurds004.jpg

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The difference is, of course, the Kurds have been building their mini-state in the north since 1992 and, more importantly, they have a cohesive ethnic and cultural identity that the Anbar Sunni’s do not.

NPP on February 19, 2007 at 10:11 AM

The Kurds went through the some of the same internecine strife that southern Iraq is experiencing, with rival factions, two self-proclaimed presidents, assasination attempts and armed conflicts (OK, maybe not a ton of car bombs). But they did this all 5 years ago. Like most sane people, they eventually figured out that working politcal culture got them further than constant violent chaos.

Clark1 on February 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM

Meanwhile, in the rest of Iraq, AP still sucks at reporting. The latest article of tripe comes from BUSHRA JUHI, who describes the insurgents as brazen, coordinated, well-armed and well-hidden. Also, this piece of scum has the gall to put quotes around the words “criminals” and “terrorists” when Maliki uses them to describe people who slaughter civilians in marketplaces using car bombs.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 19, 2007 at 10:25 AM

With the Kurds, ethnic identity comes before religious identity.

tommy1 on February 19, 2007 at 10:25 AM

“…it was not invasion, it was liberation.” Can you hear that libtards?

Mallard T. Drake on February 19, 2007 at 10:33 AM

With the Kurds, ethnic identity comes before religious identity.

tommy1 on February 19, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Exactly.

The money quotes:

In Kurdistan…”there are more cranes than minarets.”

“The security forces are disciplined and loyal.”

IrishEi on February 19, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Several factors….not the least of which was Col. McMasters formally of the 3rd Armored Cav. The Kurdish area was under his control. He is now part of the new leadership working on the ‘Surge’. He received a lot of respect from the Kurds by shooting first and asking questions later.

Limerick on February 19, 2007 at 10:37 AM

Are the Kurds as tribal as Iraqi Arabs? If they’re not, that also may have something to do with it.

flipflop on February 19, 2007 at 10:44 AM

Are the Kurds as tribal as Iraqi Arabs? If they’re not, that also may have something to do with it.

Yes, flipflop, that is something I’ve wondered myself. I’m very curious to find out if there is a large difference in the rate of cousin marriage between the Kurds and the Arabs in Iraq. Stanley Kurtz at NRO and Steve Sailer at VDARE have both argued that high rates of endogamy are one of the reasons it is so hard for Iraqis, and Arabs generally, to form stable and successful nation-states.

tommy1 on February 19, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Which Muslim are the Kurds? Sunni or Shia?

Babs on February 19, 2007 at 11:04 AM

This is the strongest case for partition yet. Why should the Kurds have to carry the head-chopping animale to the south? I say give them Kirkuk, and arm them to the teeth. Memo to Turkey: You should’ve let the 4th Infantry stage at Incirlik. Payback can take many different forms, including full U.S. support of an independent Kurdish state. I, for one, am happy to see the MsM featuring the good to come out of this war.

Kid from Brooklyn on February 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Which Muslim are the Kurds? Sunni or Shia?

Babs on February 19, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Most are Shafi Sunnis.

IrishEi on February 19, 2007 at 11:12 AM

I like their idea of a deep security trench on their border.

Would look nice along the U.S. Southwest as well.

(Why didn’t the interviewer ask if it wasn’t “racist” and “bigoted”, and so forth, as it is always portrayed when Americans want their own sovereignty resepected and their national borders defended?)

profitsbeard on February 19, 2007 at 11:25 AM

You’ll also want to check out the web exclusive interview by Bob Simon of ’60 Minutes’. He talks with a college age young man who moved back “home” from Texas.

An American In Kurdistan
Only On The Web: Bob Simon asks Ahmed Gilani, a college student, why he returned to Kurdistan after growing up in Texas.

VIDEO – (2 minutes, 38 seconds)
http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2491524n

olympian2008 on February 19, 2007 at 11:33 AM

Here is the story link at the ’60 Minutes’ website that includes a 3 page article, photos and the audio links.

See bottom of page for parts 1, 2 and 3)
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/16/60minutes/main2486679.shtml

olympian2008 on February 19, 2007 at 11:34 AM

And ‘Kurdistan – The Other Iraq’ website -

http://www.theotheriraq.com/

olympian2008 on February 19, 2007 at 11:36 AM

With the Kurds, ethnic identity comes before religious identity.

I agree. Iraqi Kurds are like the Muslim equivalent of lapsed Catholics. Their lives are basically secular and they don’t think God’s going to show them any favoritism for suicide bombing Shi-ites. So they live in relative harmony, and the only threat to their well-being comes from religious extremists who believe that they understand God’s will.

Yet another example of how peaceful people can thrive in the absence of God!

Enrique on February 19, 2007 at 11:44 AM

there will be no Kurdistan, Turkey will see to that. I think it was just last week that there were news reports of Turkey massing their army at the border and threatening to come into the Kurdish areas to attack some terrorists associated with a group called the PKK and they warned the US to butt out. Iran also cannot allow the Kurds to flourish in the area since they have quite a few Kurds on their side also. The Kurds live in three different countries and the goal of the Kurdish people, just like the Paleos, is to claim all land they have feet on as their won and to make it a separate country or region. So I don’t know how much longer they can flourish but surely good honest Muslims cannot allow anybody or group of people to think they can move beyond the Dark Ages.
If Hillary gets her way the cleansing can begin in about 90 days.

LakeRuins on February 19, 2007 at 11:54 AM

Wow! Success in Iraq, who would have guessed? Certainly not from the news the MSM feeds us, at least most of it anyway. In fairness CBS did bring this piece to us.

Are Kurds “Moderate” Muslims? From this video I see a people more interested in their nation that conquering others. Where are the tenats of Islam that dictate conquer or kill the infidels? Where is the intolerance of other religions, killing of apostates, and restriction of civil rights? Is this under the surface or are we really looking at Muslims we can live with?

Can the Kurds be the icon of the “Moderate” Muslim?

omegaram on February 19, 2007 at 12:02 PM

I think I’ve just decided on my next vacation spot.

silenced majority on February 19, 2007 at 12:12 PM

want to talk about a real people that have been deprived of the right of having their own state? Frak the Palestinians, the Kurds have been screwed over too much in hte past. Most Kurds aren’t muslim, so it doesn’t work like that. And most Arabs wouldn’t follow the Kurds.

Defector01 on February 19, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Frak the Palestinian? Wasn’t he a deputy interior minister or something?

Enrique on February 19, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Who gives a flip about some Kurds? If I want Kurds I’ll eat cottage cheese. They’re not worth 3,000 American lives, I’ll tell you that.

What Nancy Pelosi would say if she were given truth serum.

smellthecoffee on February 19, 2007 at 12:49 PM

LakeRuins on February 19, 2007 at 11:54 AM

While you’re definitely right that Turkey would abhor a Kurdistan, I wouldn’t underestimate the influence of the EU on Turkish politics. They have basically rewritten their Constitution and spent billions and billions of dollars trying to make Turkey acceptable for EU membership. If the EU demanded Turkey allow a Kurdish State as a condition for membership, I bet Turkey would think about it long and hard.

And on a side note, if the Kurds do get their own country I hope they name it something better than Kurdistan. Everyone has laying that lame name on them for years. If they finally get their chance I hope they step up to the plate and name it something creative.

JaHerer22 on February 19, 2007 at 1:00 PM

If recognizing Kurdistan as an independent nation-state (and arming them to the teeth) will de-stablize Iran, perhaps this is something we should use as a bargaining chip.

I’m sure this has already been thought of and discussed in the Bush Administration, but I just made this connection now after watching the 60 Minutes piece and reading some of these comments on Hot Air.

asc85 on February 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM

If recognizing Kurdistan as an independent nation-state (and arming them to the teeth) will de-stablize Iran, perhaps this is something we should use as a bargaining chip.
asc85

Its not just the Iranians, its the Syrians (not a bad thing) and the Turks who have the biggest Kurdish population and have had fights with Kurdish terrorist groups for years (REALLY BAD)

Anyone up for a Hot-Air trip to Kurdistan? And not just Michelle and company who goes, lets get some of us posters out there too and pump up their economy

Defector01 on February 19, 2007 at 1:22 PM

I think that if Kurdistan can go through a few more elections, and prove its stability, it should be given more autonomy if not outright independence. And I’ve no problems with a little payback for the Turks for giving us grief.
Here’s a place with a Pro-American sentiment. I think that’s something we should be doing everything we can to encourage.
Apparently there’s also more religious freedom in Kurdistan, with Christianity quietly growing there.

Iblis on February 19, 2007 at 1:23 PM

A while ago I watched a 3-hours special on C-Span with P. J. O’Rourke. While not pc, he said that there are cultural superiorities, here and there. Maybe this applies in part to the Kurds.

This topic aside, he is an interesting writer/person. I just can’t get over the fact that he doesn’t use a computer and knows nothing about the internet. I hold that against him and Bill Clinton.

Entelechy on February 19, 2007 at 1:43 PM

That was excellent. Michael Totten has written extensively on Kurdistan and visited the area least year — a good read.

mesablue on February 19, 2007 at 1:57 PM

So, the only place in Iraq that is peaceful is the only place that is not multi-cultural? Hmm.

Kevin M on February 19, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Yet another example of how peaceful people can thrive in the absence of God!

You misunderstand the nature of the conflict. Religion is being used as an excuse for violence to archive and maintain control of the people in this region, and that violence is not a by-product of religious believes. That violence is actually a cultural by-product as the region in question still has tribal based cultures, just like in Afghanistan. It’s the tribal based culture that is fomenting or preventing conflict.

Most of the people on earth belong to one religion or another, and many have very strong beliefs in their particular religion, but the majority of people are not at war with each other. If you look at history and current global events you’ll see that it’s the lack of religious believes and suppression of religion, like in communist countries, that cause mass suffering and strife. How many millions dies in Soviet Russia during the last century? 40 million? 50 million? We don’t really know, but Soviet Russia suppressed religion as a threat to governmental control so it would be difficult to blame religion for what happened.

In western countries, where religion is allowed to flourish that type of mass suffering does not occur nor do we see massive violent attacks by by the followers of one religious belief upon other of different beliefs as you do in countries that have a more tribal based culture..

Yes, religion can be used as a motivator for violence, as can a lot of other issues, but most religious believers are not violent. It’s the cultural beliefs that determines how much violence a society endures, not the religious beliefs.

RedinBlueCounty on February 19, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Religion is being used as an excuse for violence to archive and maintain control of the people in this region

That should read achieve and not archive. Stupid spell checker!

RedinBlueCounty on February 19, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Exit question: 60 Minutes attributes the difference between Kurdistan and Baghdad to the lack of sectarian tensions in the former, but Anbar is almost entirely Sunni and they’re not putting up any shopping malls these days from what I understand. So what’s the real difference?

The difference is that they are Kurds not Arabs. While they have numerous internal conflicts, their common goal is independence. Here is a good article I read last week. From The Nation of all places.

Theworldisnotenough on February 19, 2007 at 2:39 PM

That was awesome. I can’t believe that CBS actually did it.

tickleddragon on February 19, 2007 at 3:34 PM

It’s high time we abandoned Turkey as an ally. Less than a quarter of their population is secular. The rest are moving towards this infernal Islamism that Kemal Ataturk tried to supress while he was alive. Arming the Kurds as the way to go. A determined group of mountain people are very difficult to defeat, and that’s what Kurdistan is. Though they are Muslim, they appear to be a lot less Islamic than their arab counterparts. I noticed hijabs, uncovered women, and no burkhas in the video.

PRCalDude on February 19, 2007 at 3:44 PM

God bless the Kurds.

It will be a sad day in U.S. history if we abandon them to their hostile neighbors.

infidel4life on February 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM

Hear, hear, Infidel4life. I agree.

tickleddragon on February 19, 2007 at 4:06 PM

It’s high time we abandoned Turkey as an ally.

Yes, I agree. This isn’t the 1950s or 1960s anymore when we needed the Turks to counter the Soviets. The Turks are increasingly trending towards Islamification and they are becoming difficult to deal with. (To think, some idiots want them in the EU. Shudder.) Time to find a new ally in the region. Due to the establishment of a de facto state with the establishment of a no-fly zone and the invasion of Iraq, we have a bond with the Kurds that is much stronger than anything we’ve had with the Arabs.

tommy1 on February 19, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Sorry but I disagree. We want to try to keep Turkey on track. Cutting her off at the knees would guarantee she turns to radical muslim. Why the hell would you want another Iran/Syria in the area? Better where she is then where she would go.

Limerick on February 19, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Islam is cutting Turkey off at the knees, not us.

PRCalDude on February 19, 2007 at 4:47 PM

Thanks so much for posting this. Since I’d rather throw a brick through my television than watch CBS I’d have never seen it, or even known about it.

Yet another reason I make Hot Air a must read each day. :)

dustoffmom on February 19, 2007 at 5:41 PM

This is the strongest case for partition yet. Why should the Kurds have to carry the head-chopping animale to the south? I say give them Kirkuk, and arm them to the teeth. Memo to Turkey: You should’ve let the 4th Infantry stage at Incirlik. Payback can take many different forms, including full U.S. support of an independent Kurdish state. I, for one, am happy to see the MsM featuring the good to come out of this war.

Kid from Brooklyn on February 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Absolutely!!!!

Arm the peshmerga further so that they can defend against Turkey and stand back. They will succeed as a nation. In addition to the TV story(ies), there is much written about the subject that also confirms the determination of the Kurds to be successfully independent. They can be the strongest ally that America has in the region – if we don’t blow it.

God bless the Kurds.

It will be a sad day in U.S. history if we abandon them to their hostile neighbors.

infidel4life on February 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM

Indeed – God bless the Kurds!

Emmett J. on February 19, 2007 at 10:55 PM

Though they are Muslim, they appear to be a lot less Islamic than their arab counterparts. I noticed hijabs, uncovered women, and no burkhas in the video.
PRCalDude on February 19, 2007 at 3:44 PM

A shining example of moderation for any other Muslim aren’t they?

91Veteran on February 20, 2007 at 1:35 AM