Defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will offer Baghdad a fresh state-building opportunity to correct the mistakes following the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. As Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds pursue their own interests, a serious effort toward communal understanding is the key to progress.
The risks are high, but an independent Kurdish state is within reach of a fractious leadership.
This is the moment to shed the ghosts of 1916 by affirming citizen rights in Arab lands, not to perpetuate them by bowing to the dictates of failed authoritarian powers.
Supporting Kurdish groups in Syria could empower them to play a role in resolving regional conflicts, not just in Syria but also in Iraq and Turkey.