Michael Totten is reporting from Erbil, Iraq.
Erbil (Hawler in Kurdish) is the capital of the de-facto sovereign Kurdistan Regional Government. Baghdad is thought of as the capital of a deranged foreign country.
In January 2005 the Iraqi Kurds held an informal referendum. More than 80 percent turned out to vote. 98.7 percent of those voted to secede from Iraq. Not only have the Kurds long dreamed of independence, when they look south they see only Islamism, Baathism, blood, fire, and mayhem.