Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Sunday, October 08, 2006

  Partitioning Iraq: the final insult

In its desperation to find anything like a plan for George Bush to follow in Iraq, which might give the appearance of salvaging some tiny thread of his reputation, the "Iraq Study Group" led by the truly vile James Baker is sending out feelers hinting that it might propose partitioning Iraq.

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.

The Iraqi government will be encouraged to hold a constitutional conference paving the way for greater devolution

The impetus for this horrifically bad proposal, we're told, is the desire to stave off civil war. Even the American public has noticed by now that the Bush administration's cute pronouncements notwithstanding, a civil war began long ago.

What too few Americans know, however, is that a partition is practically impossible on the ground, as things stand for Iraqis now. There are many reasons, but the most important is that nearly half the population of Iraq lives in a few large, ethnically/religiously mixed cities. The brutal campaigns of ethnic cleansing now going on in these cities will be as nothing compared to what will surely come, if the hacks working with Baker on this 'study' group manage to convince Bush to go along with their 'solution'.

That's not to say there can be a solution to the disaster Bush has created. But Baker is looking for something that will allow Bush to save some face, not necessarily for what is advantageous to any or all Iraqis. It has seemed obvious to me, since the existence of the Group was announced, that it would produce some such half-witted 'compromise' rather than face up to the consequences of Bush's failures.

The Baker commission has grown increasingly interested in the idea of splitting the Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish regions of Iraq as the only alternative to what Baker calls “cutting and running” or “staying the course”.

If Iraqis decide upon their own country's partition, that is their business. But they are more capable than foreigners to make such decisions. This "soft partition" of Iraq (yes, Baker really is trying to sell the idea by means of an empty slogan) is designed to allow Bush to depict the mayhem that will follow partition as the "birth-pangs" of a new Iraq.


  • I get the sneaking suspicion that Baker is making a run to replace Rumsfeld very shortly...

    By Anonymous Wil Morat, at 9:20 PM  

  • wil, yeah wouldn't that just be dandy? The talk has always been he wanted the job originally.

    By Blogger : smintheus ::, at 11:51 PM  

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