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Iraqi Kurds Declare Independence. How Will This Change the Middle East?

Remind me: Who are the Kurds?

More than 8 million Kurds, a majority-Muslim ethnic group with a distinct culture, live in northern Iraq. Most of them identify as Sunni Muslims, but they stand out as a group that defends religious minorities including Christians and atheists. While they’ve never been their own country before, the Kurds are their own community and want to be independent.

Will Kurdish independence change the Middle East?

“Yes” is an understatement. U.S. officials say the Kurds’ vote for independence on Monday could mean Iraq will be destabilized – again – and the fight with ISIS could be hindered.

The prime minister of Iraq has given the Kurds a Friday deadline to turn over their airports and oil assets; Turkey is shifting tanks and troops to its border with the Kurds; and Iran has shut down all air travel.

How does this affect the U.S.?

The U.S. has invested troops’ lives, time and money into holding Iraq together. Former U.S. officials and policy experts told Reuters that the Kurdish referendum is another blow to American power worldwide.

Glenn’s take:

“It is rare that you witness a true pivot point in history, but that is what is happening right now in the Middle East,” Glenn said on radio Wednesday. “After the dust settles, the entire map of the Middle East will look different.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: We are witnessing the birth of a new country, but nobody is looked. In an act that has been a century in the making, the Kurds in northern Iraq voted yesterday to separate and gain their independence. This is going to be huge.

The fallout from the post-World War I Sykes-Picot agreement continues. If you don't know what that is, go to GlennBeck.com, and we will help explain that to you. It's why ISIS exists. It's why a lot of these troubles exist. Is because of what the West did and England did in World War I.

Stage one was ISIS declaring their caliphate and dissolve the Syria/Iraq border. Stage two begins right now. And it is rare that you witness a true privet point in history. But that is what is happening right now in the Middle East.

And after the dust settles, the entire map of the Middle East will look different. But freedom is never free. The prime minister of Iraq is furious. He's given the Kurds until Friday to turn over all of their airports, all of their oil assets, the border crossings. And if the Kurds refuse, Iraq has promised to begin a travel and goods embargo.

The United States is going to abandon the Kurds yet again. Iraqi troops and Iranian-trained Shia militias are moving to the Kurdistan-Iraqi border. Turkey is also moving tanks and troops to the border with the Kurds and threatening their own embargo. Iran has shut down all air travel. The entire area is set to ignite.

Something else that hasn't been reported: Is the small religious minority currently caught between the Iranian and Iraqi forces moving north and their Kurds holding their ground?

The region of Ninevah will be one of the biggest battlegrounds. This is important. A lot of the work that Mercury One has done freeing Christians, saving Christians, is in one of the oldest Christian lands in the world. And once again, the Christians living there are facing annihilation. They just came back home.

We are witnessing the birth of a new country and change on a massive scale. But change of this magnitude comes at a price. And as usual in this area, I fear the Christians may end up paying the highest price.

RADIO

Glenn Beck celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

It was only 50 years ago, on July 20th, 1969, that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to actually set foot on the lunar surface -- something that just ten years prior had been unthinkable. More than 600 million people around the world listened as Armstrong spoke these immortal words: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Watch the clip to hear Glenn tell the story and bring the historic day to life.