On ‘Radio Times:’ Inquirer’s Trudy Rubin on America’s support for an independent Kurdistan

 Children in traditional Kurdish clothing, pose for the photographer during the Newroz celebration, in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Thousands celebrated the Newroz festival in Istanbul and in Diyarbakir, a mainly Kurdish city in a region where Kurdish militants regularly clash with government forces. In Turkey, the spring festival traditionally serves as an occasion to demand more rights for the Kurdish minority.(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo)

Children in traditional Kurdish clothing, pose for the photographer during the Newroz celebration, in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Thousands celebrated the Newroz festival in Istanbul and in Diyarbakir, a mainly Kurdish city in a region where Kurdish militants regularly clash with government forces. In Turkey, the spring festival traditionally serves as an occasion to demand more rights for the Kurdish minority.(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo)

Kurds, an ethnic group living in parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, have long played a unique role in the long-standing conflicts in that region.

In Iraq, they hold a semi-autonomous area in the north and are backed by the U.S. military.

On Tuesday, Marty Moss-Coane hosted a discussion about the Kurds, and the prospect of them becoming an independent state. One of Marty’s guests was University of Pennsylvania professor of political science Brendan O’Leary, who has advised, and will advise, the Kurds of Iraq on their constitution and statehood. At one point during the discussion, O’Leary mentioned that the Kurds of Iraq supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign over Hillary Clinton’s, adding “fundamentally, Republicans have been in favor of intervention in Iraq.”

Marty was also joined throughout the hour by Trudy Rubin, the “Worldview” columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She explained that America supports an independent Kurdistan in part because “Kurdistan is a more open society. While the population is normally, traditionally religious … there’s basically a more secular outlook on toleration of minorities.”

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