just from the back of my head, and without going for sources at the moment: the strength the Kurds have gained as part of their stabilising role within northern Iraq indeed enables them to get closer to their dream of a unified Kurdistan.
The problem is that part of that Kurdistan is what is now part of Turkey. For years there have been fights and a terror campaign by the Kurdish workers party PKK against the Turkish state (which got it banned in some European states), and have resulted in a continuous oppression by the Turkish state, which regards a Kurdish state as contrary to their interests. Also, if I remember correctly, Turkey has been running incursions into Northern Iraq even when Saddam was still in power to stomp on Kurdish separatists. This conflict isn’t new, it’s just getting into focus and gains intensity. Everyone in it is guilty, and a victim at the same time.
I would regard it as one of the many shifts in power that have come with Saddam being taken out of the picture, and I think it exemplifies the general problem with external interventions into any region with complex ethnic and religious conflicts:
- the balance of power tilts; suppressed people rise (supported by larger powers who either feel entitled to foster an ally or bring some form of ideological change);
- violence ensues - terrorism for some, a leap for liberation for others;
- the international community either reacts too slow or is kept from helping effectively by one or more of the larger powers above;
- over the long term, “solutions” are found or enforced which empower some, and create tensions with others, who will then be suppressed to retain the status quo, and the balance of power tilts based on some other intervention… just start at the top again;
This conflict has been around for a long time, and now it looks like it’s ripe to become a major train wreck. Nothing new - just the usual: poor people in less fortunate regions will suffer and die, while the international key players try to sort out what benefits they can gain.