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Iraq's Partition

Moon of Alabama

newiraq3.gif

October 8, 2006

The discussion within the U.S. foreign policy establishment on the future of Iraq has come to a conclusion. The U.S. will, now officially, work to dissolve the Iraqi nation and state into three independend statelets under a powerless sham national government and, of course, total U.S. control.

The current version of the idea was first floated back in May by Senator Biden and Leslie Gelb, both Democrats, in a NYT oped.

The Baker Iraq Study Group, set up to look at new policy options in Iraq, leaked its coming results, i.e. the implementation of the Biden/Gelb plan, to Murdoch's London Times:

His group will not advise "partition", but is believed to favour a division of the country that will devolve power and security to the regions, leaving a skeletal national government in Baghdad in charge of foreign affairs, border protection and the distribution of oil revenue.

A few days ago, Middle East expert Col. Pat Lang has called this inevitable:

Iraq is going to be partitioned.  This may be either de facto or de jure but it will be partitioned.  The process of disintegration launched by the United States in eliminating the mechanisms of state integrity has progressed so far that effective dissolution of the old Iraq is inevitable.  The recent frustrated desperation evident in the statements of the US command in Baghdad, and the ridiculous futility of Dr. Rice's latest trip are unmistakable signs of disintegration.  Indeed, the partition is now underway.

Professor Juan Cole warns against partition:

This is a very bad idea for so many reasons it would take me forever to list them all.

Well, he lists a few, the most important one is the inevitable resistance against such a partition by the powerful shia leader al-Sadr. The London Times avoids to mention al-Sadr but says:

Many Middle East experts are horrified by the difficulty of dividing the nation. "Fifty-three per cent of the population of Iraq live in four cities and three of them are mixed," said Anthony Cordesman of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, who fears a bloody outcome.

But the situations is  already bloody.

The record numbers of wounded U.S. troops point to some urgency. But an official policy change away from the forever repeated "staying the course"  and which is no less than an adoption of a published Democratic position, can not take place before the current election is over.

Rice, Khalilzad, Warner and others have annouced as much when they warned the mayor of the green-zone Maliki, that he has two month left to fix what can not be fixed. Then some kind of coup will happen and another figure with even less power will be installed.

The one positive point in this sorry drama may be that Baker thinks the new policy can only be implemented with the help of Iran.

The Iraqi government will be encouraged to hold a constitutional conference paving the way for greater devolution. Iran and Syria will be urged to back a regional settlement that could be brokered at an international conference.

So this official strategy change may hold back plans for a new war on Iran.

As Col. Lang emphasizes, the seeds for partioning were laid when Cheney and the neocon figures around him ordered the Iraqi army to be disbanded and the de-Baathification of the Iraqi government, i.e. its total annulment. The idea of partitioning Iraq may even have been the very reason for the war.

The New Middle East expression goes back to the "Clean Break" document (pdf) prepared 1996 by U.S. neocons as a strategy for Israel's Netanyahu government. The first modern  partition Iraq argument was made by Zionist strategist Oded Yinon in 1982. In A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties he recommends:

In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

The now imminent, new policy of partitioning Iraq is indeed only the announcement of the result of a process that has been the plan and the policy all along.

This is a real "Mission Accomplished" moment.

If the policy is effective, which will be decided on streets of Iraq, this is a huge success for a clique of neocon U.S. supporters of Israels colonial strategy to divide and conquer.


:: Article nr. 27322 sent on 09-oct-2006 11:16 ECT

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Link: www.moonofalabama.org/2006/10/iraqs_partition.html



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