Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finally, Someone's Thinking

It was slow in coming, very slow. The solution to the Iraq, problem, as I have stated previously, was in the partition of the country into various slices, mostly likely upon ethnic/sectarian lines. It is unfortunate that it should come to this, but keep in mind that the country borders of Iraq and much of the Middle East was constructed not by their own people, but by the colonial powers that contained power over the area at the early point of the 20th century. France and England were the principal participants, and when they were forced to give up power and return the land to the people of the region after WWI, they drew arbitrary lines and left it at that. They have a reputation of this, for the colonial powers did the same thing in Africa, which was one reason that led to the genocide in Rwanda so recently.

And, as it has been proven time and time again in the news and reports on the ground, the majority of the violence has been intra-sect homicide. These are three sets of people, with apparent intractable differences which prohibits them living together in one nation. There is nothing wrong with that; there are incompatible people all across the world. However, when forced to live under one flag, one border, conflicts can arise quickly. Can they ever get over this hatred? The optimist in me wants to say yes, but that is not easy or quick to achieve, and cannot be looked upon as a solution in the near future.

So, why divvy up the country? Well, the partition method also has some historical success. In Bosnia, when faced with factions that were at constant war and genocide, was broken into partitions in the 1990s, and has had considerable success since then. It may not be the popular thing to do right away, but it certainly can separate the factions into their respective corners, so to speak.

With the U.S. so bogged down here, with the troop surge generating mild if any successes, it is wise to look to a new direction. Senator Joseph Biden, D-Del, has been the chief sponsor of a plan to start a power-sharing partition plan in Iraq. It would de-centralize the government, putting more power in regional centers controlled by Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd forces. What is even more impressive is that the U.S. Senate approved the non-binding resolution. This is a powerful statement that the direction must change with respect to our plan in Iraq, even more than just removing troops, as senators have repeatedly suggested. I'm glad that someone is finally looking forward and in a "outside-the-box" fashion. Well done Senator Biden.

Of course, there are those who oppose it. The Iraqi central government condemned the resolution, with prominent Iraqis calling it a "
flagrant interference in Iraq's internal affairs." This is to be expected; even though historical inequalities led to the government being formed, the people at its stead have the desire to keep the status quo going, even if it is not the best thing for its people. They do not want to see their own power diminished, so they will fight this plan however they can. The United States Embassy, which is beholden to the executive branch, also decried the resolution. However, partition for them, and our President, would only look like some sort of "defeat" in their eyes, even if it might be a more proactive, stabilizing direction to move. They also have things to lose: prestige, votes, finances, party loyalty. All that petty politics seems to drive men to do great or horrid things.

I urge you all to read that resolution, and think honestly about the implications it has for the country, for our country, and for the future of stability in the Middle East. For isn't it better to have three smaller, stable countries operating and peaceful, than one larger quagmire of destruction and misery?

1 comment:

OutofIraqNow said...

Peter Galbraith of the NY Times also put this opinion forward in today's paper.

Make Walls, Not Wars