In recent days, two referenda have been overwhelmingly approved by electorates seeking independence for their people. These otherwise unrelated demands for self-determination are setting in train profound reactions in their respective regions.
Many Kurds live outside the area of northern Iraq where one vote took place. And the governments currently controlling the others – the authoritarian regimes in Turkey, Iran and Syria – are no happier about the Kurds’ vote for independence than is the Iranian-dominated one in Baghdad.
The Spanish government was so opposed to a Catalan referendum that it used force to disrupt the balloting. More seems likely in its aftermath.
An independent Kurdish state is in America’s strategic interest, especially if, in the process, it weakens hostile regimes. The same might be said of Catalonia in the event its departure from Spain weakens the pretty hostile European Union, as well.