Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Splitting

The Senate is feeling warm and fuzzy these days. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Senate has overwhelmingly endorsed a solution for the mess in Iraq which would result in the country being split into three semi-autonomous regions. The plan, which was developed by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), was approved with a 75-23 margin as a non-binding resolution.

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray quotes Biden as saying: "This has genuine bipartisan support,and I think that's a very hopeful sign,"

Woohoo! Hooray! Everything's going to be great in Iraq!

What am I missing here? That American politicians still haven’t understood the nature of the calamity that they’ve created? Surely not?

But that appears to be the case.
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), who recently withdrew his support for a plan that was to extend leave for US troops in Iraq after being pressured by the White House calls this idea “the high water mark” for bipartisan efforts in Iraq, after acknowledging that Iraq is a problem that basically cannot be solved militarily. What we are seeing is a bunch, there is no other suitable collective term for Senate lawmakers these days, of Senators who believe that because THEY have found consensus on a point, the Iraqis are going along with it.

The incredible, phenomenal arrogance that these people possess is beyond me. War was declared on a reasonably if not well functioning, autonomous country with a declaration that this war would free its people and now, when that has failed and all those responsible are throwing their hands in the air exclaiming “who’d a thunk it!?” they propose to split the country up. But it isn’t their country to split up!

What happened to “Iraq is a free country now?” What happened to the autonomous Iraq? What happened to Iraqis deciding their own future? That’s been wiped off the table after the abject failure of the American military to secure the country and this decision to split Iraq has one, very strong message which flies in the face of everything General Petraeus told Congress: the surge has failed and has no chance of success.

But what are the consequences of a split Iraq? Splitting Iraq up is the parachute the Republicans have been looking for, but it bodes ill for the region. It's the quick 'just add boiling water' quick-fix. Everything we have learned in the past 80 years tells us that drawing artificial demographic lines is a short term solution which produces a time bomb for the future. There is not a region in the world where a European power marked artificial delineations between states that did not end up in turmoil, civil war and strife down the line and the problems in the Middle East primarily stem from that approach.

So when violent war breaks out between the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds and the Turks, because the United States Congress decided on a whim where to draw imaginary lines to produce three so-called semi-autonomous states whilst patting their fat bellies and belching up their martinis, please don’t say “who’d a thunk it?”

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