Third, the dynamics of assimilation, repression and Kurdish resistance in each country have affected the direction and outcome of the Kurdish struggles in the neighboring countries.
A fourth shared feature, and the focus of this essay, is that these Kurdish societies are themselves internally complex, and fraught with differences of politics and ideology, social class, dialect and, still in a few places, clan.
In 1992, a Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan was established, but it is economically besieged and functions very much at the sufferance of a Western military umbrella.
In Turkey, a ten-year-old armed struggle has effectively defied the unrestrained efforts of the Turkish state to impose a military solution, but a political solution acceptable to the Kurds does not appear imminent.
In spite of a long history of struggle, Kurdish nationalism has not succeeded in achieving its goal of independence or even enduring autonomy.
Do recent events require us to change this assessment?
 Kurdish destinies changed radically around this time, when the Ottoman and Persian empires divided Kurdistan into spheres of influence, agreeing on a border in 1639.