Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Will Bush push the official collapse of Iraq past election day?

Joe Biden, me, senior Iraqi leaders, Les Gelb, and unnamed experts have one thought in common: partition of Iraq is inevitable, and better to do it soon, in an organized way, than wait for the bloodbath to run its course.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush is reading from Al Qaeda travel brochures while standing in front of a map of Iraq, telling the same lie over and over (and admittedly getting a few more adherents after each speech).

Democracy in Iraq is no longer leading the speech, because democracy has failed, and whatever happens after the Congressional elections, the next Bush mistake won't be the democracy promised eight short months ago.

How long can Bush and Rove distract the electorate from the sickening civil war of death squads or from the Iraq "reconstructed" for the benefit of his and Cheney's corporate buddies? Will it be long enough to get past the election, when "non-democratic" US action is the plan?

We posted here, let's see, in July, June, May,(on the roll-out of the Biden/Gelb plan) and March on the logic and desirability of partitioning the country and allowing the Iraqis to rebuild.

In August, Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, repeated in compelling terms a plan for order and stability that involves partition, a plan developed with Les Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations. ("A Plan to Hold Iraq Together," Washington Post, August 24,2006)

Specifically, (quote)

  • First, the plan calls for maintaining a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions. The central government would be left in charge of common interests, such as border security and the distribution of oil revenue
  • Second, it would bind the Sunnis to the deal by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue. Each group would have an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.
  • Third, the plan would create a massive jobs program while increasing reconstruction aid -- especially from the oil-rich Gulf states -- but tying it to the protection of minority rights.
  • Fourth, it would convene an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments
  • Fifth, it would begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007, while maintaining a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.
(end quote)

The whole Biden piece is worth reading. Finally a way out. A hard way, no doubt, but better hard reality than simplistic fantasy.

Unmarked in this space, but the subject of a floor speech by redoubtable Jim McDermott in the House, was the July revelation in Britain's Independent, that high Iraqi officials admitted "A sectarian break-up of Iraq is now inevitable."

"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said.
"The government is all in the Green Zone like the previous one and they have left the streets to the terrorists," said Mahmoud Othman, a veteran Iraqi politician. He said the situation would be made worse by the war in Lebanon because it would intensify the struggle between Iran and the US being staged in Iraq. The Iraqi crisis would now receive much reduced international attention.
We have created an environment of weak government, a failing state, with convenient US soldiers as targets. Just the sort of vacation spot terrorists might enjoy.

It's time to get the security and reconstruction on the road, by admitting the inevitable and enabling the natural domestic leadership to take responsibility and giving the indigenous population, over 60 percent of whom are unemployed, a job rebuilding their country.

Or wait until the day after the election to see what Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney have in mind.

P.S.: In recent days the "federalism" (read partition) idea has gained currency among the Shiites. It is already a fact for the Kurds, who have their soldiers guarding the border. Below is a possible map. See the Independent for a discussion of the current federalism plan.

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