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I think we are going to be responsible for the partition of Iraq.  Actually, I think we SHOULD be responsible for the partition of Iraq.  This is not a country that works when it is together.  It is a colonial construction.  
But what about partitioning?  Would that work?
You have three major groups (Kurds and Arabs -- the latter further divided into the religious groupings we hear so much about -- Sunni and Shiite).  Generally the country would split sorta into north (Kurd), south (Shiite), and middle (Sunni).  
But this is not an easy "fix" to the problems of Iraq.  What can be done about the capitol?  Baghdad is problematic -- parts are Sunni and parts are Shiite.  There aren't many Kurds there outside of the government job-holders.  I have not come up with great ideas about Baghdad, but I have been thinking about the other problem -- the oil.  That I have some ideas about.

The oil is really problematic as well -- the oil is in the north and the south, but not in the middle, so the smallest ethnic group, the one that was most powerful under Saddam Hussein, and the generally more secular group of Arabs, and the one that the Saudis have threatened to step in to support, would be really hurt without any sort of a power-sharing (power in terms of oil) agreement.  
My idea is to split the country, give the oil to the north (Kurds) and south (Shiites).  Then let us work with the middle to develop some economy that is not dependent on oil.  Provide a significant amount of wind power and solar power, which would have the added benefit of creating a demand for producing the equipment in the US and an intensive laboratory to see what would be the most effective and efficient ways of producing alternative energy.  It could also demonstrate to Americans that non-petroleum power sources work just as well.
Oil is going to become less valuable as a resource eventually -- we should take advantage of this to help the country that needs the help most develop a newer renewable resource, one that is appropriate for the area (there has been very little incentive to develop these in the Middle East -- but Iraq's Sunni area should provide an opportunity for that).  We could help to build the infrastructure necessary, and develop an alternate economy.  Perhaps one built on information technology, along the lines of what Malaysia has been doing.  
We have destroyed the country, we should do something to help it get back to livable conditions.  With "allowing" export of oil, and not getting involved in forcing one group to provide support to another, but helping the poorer group to develop its own resources maybe we can help stabilize the circumstances of the mess that was once Iraq.

Originally posted to annetteboardman on Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 11:15 AM PST.

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This would never work because

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Berlin Wall (0+ / 0-)

    is not the answer.

    •  Do you mean in Baghdad? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      The Berlin Wall split a city along colonial lines (between the Soviet sector and the western sectors).  The country of Iraq was never a country until modern boundaries were drawn.  Prior to that it was a part of various empires, most recently Ottoman.

  •  (rather late) tip jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, TomP

    I apologize if it is not completely coherent -- I had a tooth pulled today.  It looks cool, but it is weird to hold a tooth in your hand that was just this morning in your mouth (in other words, codeine is a really cool drug...).

  •  partition would force us to remain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, annetteboardman

    to keep the Turks from overrunning the North

    • they don't want an independent Kurdistan because of fears of what it will mean to their own "mountain turks" as they call their domestic Kurds
    • they will use as a justification protection of the Turkmen minority in the North.

    And oh, if they COULD get control, they would also have control of the oil in the North.

    Partition MAY eventually happen, but I'm not sure we can impose it.  If it does, it will be at least in part because of imposition by adjacent powers.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 11:24:42 AM PST

    •  Yeah, I must be on drugs (0+ / 0-)

      I should have remembered the Turks.  As I said, I am a bit incoherent right now.  Believe it or not, I actually spent a summer in Turkish Kurdistan right as things were heating up in 1984.  Yes, the Turks would love the oil.

  •  I Think It's Quite Arrogant and Imperialistic... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scotslass

    ...to discuss partitioning other people's country.  

    •  More than creating it in the first place? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ponder Stibbons

      The Kurds do want their own country.  Is forcing them to remain "arrogant and imperialistic"?

      •  That's for the Kurds To Work Out... (0+ / 0-)

        ...with their brethren not for outsiders to decide.  The Europeans weren't happy about their cotton being blockaded in American ports, in a nation that obviously 'didn't work well together,' but they didn't invade a weakened U.S. and divide up the "old colonies."  And yes, it was imperialist for outsiders to create an Iraqi nation in the first place, but what's done is done and my understanding is that Iraqis developed a sense of national identity despite their beginnings.  Partition is no less imperialistic and arrogant than the invasion and occupation.

      •  partition as an exit strategy has rarely worked (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grand Poobah

        Palestine? India? Ireland? Cyprus? Korea?

        anyone?

        •  It worked in Bosnia due to peacekeepers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annetteboardman

          with sufficient numbers and firepower, and flexible rules of engagement. Iraq would require the same, which means a substantial commitment from other nations that have an interest in Iraqi stability. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates come to mind. They might be willing to fund peacekeepers from poorer, more populous Muslim nations to guard a Sunni-Shiite DMZ.

          I agree with teacherken that we might have to keep U.S. troops at least in the Kurdish zone. No one else seems to have an interest in preserving them. Maybe we can make Kurdistan part of NATO, like Turkey. That would commit Kurdistan and Turkey to nonaggression and provide a legal framework to include European troops in the Kurdistan peacekeeping force.

          "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

          by berith on Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 03:03:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It depends on what you mean by "worked." (0+ / 0-)

            I think people in that part of the world think about it in much longer terms than a decade. Officially, Bosnia is still one country. It's government is one government, much as Belgium or Switzerland are composed of disparate parts. That country may yet be split asunder.

            Turkey has obvious benefits of settling its Kurdish problem, as you point out, but Turks tend to think in much, much longer periods than short termers like George Bush. While it may make sense to tie them into NATO now, what happens when NATO dissolves? What happens when the oil's gone and that part of the world is about as interesting as Africa is to the powers that be? How strong would a fully armed and supplied Kurdish rebel group be if it had a relatively powerful state supporting it (Kurdistan). The PKK doesn't have the money now to launch an effective assault against the Turkish military, but with oil money and training, the PKK might be very dangerous for Turkey. And Turkey is completely unwilling to risk such a future, even if a tangible benefit--as you point out--might be suggested.

            Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

            by upstate NY on Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 02:51:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  How about a partition down the Mason-Dixon line? (0+ / 0-)

    Works for me.

  •  There was a partition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    His name was Saddam. We removed him. And only someone as brutal and repressive as him can:

    A. Partition the country, or
    B. Unite the country as one.

    I don't know what's going to happen to Iraq, but I don't think it's our business anymore. Or maybe it is. I don't care. I just don't want to see any more of our men and women die trying to re-make it in our image.

    George Bush: "I made a name by being compassionate." Pappy O'Daniel: "I invented moral fiber!"

    by droogie6655321 on Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 12:53:11 PM PST

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