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Iraq! > An Alternative?

Tashah

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Milestones

· The United States commences the Iraq War in March of 2003.
· George Bush announces the end of major hostilities in May of 2003.
· Saddam Hussein captured in December of 2003.
· Iraq elections held in January of 2004.

Private Analysis

The United States initiated the preemptive war in Iraq in the spring of 2003. The major goals of this initiative were to eliminate all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, remove Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party from power, eliminate terrorist elements from Iraq, free the Iraqi people from a repressive government, and introduce democracy to Iraq.

It is now the summer of 2005. No Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have been discovered to date. The United States military admits that many regions and cities of Iraq remain beyond its control. The borders of Iraq remain porous. Iraqi insurgency forces continue to inflict heavy casualties on the US military and civilian population. Scandals such as Abu Ghraib have heavily damaged the image and reputation of the United States. Tribal and religious animosities persist. Coalition partners are removing military assets from Iraq. The Iraqi infrastructure remains decrepit and problematic. Unemployment is rampant. It is impossible to secure the hundreds of miles of oil-pipeline that is essential to the Iraqi economy. High ranking officials of the Iraqi government continue to be assassinated along with foreign ambassadors. The Iraqi constitution as it is currently being formulated denies the equality of law to Iraqi women. The occupation of Iraq has not diminished global terrorism. The financial cost of the war and occupation is well beyond all initial estimates. The morale of US forces in Iraq is on the decline. The occupation continues to rend the very social fabric of America.

All in all, not a very pretty picture. The US has indeed uplifted Iraq in many ways... but at a tremendous and increasing cost in blood and treasure. Additionally, the core problems persist with ferocity. The Iraq of today in no way resembles the dynamic neocon visions of a liberated Iraq. Instead, the worst nightmare has become reality... Iraq has morphed into a quagmire.

Alternative?

The United States cannot just pack up tomorrow and withdraw from Iraq. The consequences of a total abandonment would be staggering. Mindful of this, I present a different alternative path for your consideration... a partition of Iraq.

Iraq is in essence an artificial construct of European colonialism. It was cobbled together from the defunct Ottoman Empire without benevolent regard of the ethnic, sectarian, and religious differences that existed and flourished over the breadth and scope of this territory. Indeed, it was purposefully constructed in this manner to maintain the divisions which deny a cohesive unity to the collective population. Despite the eventual Iraqi independence from the colonial powers, these divisions remain as valid and vibrant today as they were under Ottoman and European rule.

The critical element in a partition of Iraq would be the establishment of an independent Kurdistan. The Kurds of northern Iraq have always bristled under the yoke of the Arab dominance that emanated from Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands have perished in fierce resistance to Saddam and the Ba'ath. The Kurdish peshmerga forces have never hesitated to assist the United States in any military endeavor in Iraqi territory. Indeed, it was the Kurdish peshmerga who filled the military vacuum when Turkey refused to allow US military forces access to Iraq from its territory. Although predominantly Muslim, the Kurds have never allowed Islam to frame their political ideology.

The strategic and tactical advantages of an independent Kurdistan to the United States has many upsides. A consolidation of military forces into a smaller and more managable geographic area. The Kirkuk oil fields could be better secured and pipelines better protected. Arab insurgent attacks would be drastically minimized. Syria would be bracketed between Israel and Kurdistan. US military strength could be redirected to the neglected Afghan theater. The US would continue efforts to instill democracy to the remainder of Iraq, and from a more secure base of operations. Pressure on the US military would lessen, and troops could be rotated more frequently. Those are some of the upsides, but realize also that there are also many dangerous and debilitating downsides.

In closing, I will neither assault nor defend this alternative because I well appreciate the domestic and global ramifications of this radical approach. Embryonic and skeletal in this initial sketch, modification and tweaking would be both expected and incumbant. This is simply a political/military alternative I have been mulling over. I would be very interested to read your thoughts on this proposal and invite everyone to boldly comment.


Tashah


 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Tashah:
The United States cannot just pack up tomorrow and withdraw from Iraq. The consequences of a total abandonment would be staggering. Mindful of this, I present a different alternative path for your consideration... a partition of Iraq.
Their partitioning Iraq alright!

 

Tashah

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Lol... I appreciate the cartoon. No doubt, elements of corporate America are indeed feeding well off the corpse of Iraq. But the corporate gorging on Iraqi pork doesn't address the numerous political and military problems I articulated in the preamble.

The cartoon is merely a figurative partition. What I suggested is an actual partition of the northern third (Kurdistan) of Iraq. This would have distinct tactical advantages for the US military abeit at a strategic and global political price.

We simply cannot sustain or maintain the current disadvantageous status quo. We have placed our military in almost the same untenable tactical position that the Russians faced in Afghanistan. Despite lofty strategic goals, this is a lose-lose military scenario.

What I suggested, in essence, would reward the tireless Kurdish assistence to US interests vis-a-vis Iraq while at the same time allowing our military forces a friendly and defensible safe-haven from which to assist the millions of Iraqis who desire and continue to struggle for a more representative form of government. The partition would not be a US abandonment of Iraq, but rather a coming to terms with the painful realities of an occupation and a device to reposition our military forces for greater tactical advantage. Hmmm. Perhaps this line of reasoning is more Israeli than American. Anyway, it's just a proposal for consideration.


 

Simon W. Moon

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I'm not sure what I think about the idea. On the one hand, there's a certain amount of partitioning of sorts already underway.
My impression of the whole ME is that for most folks in most places the tribe/clan/family allegiance come much higher up the list than nation. I suspect it's from generation upon generation of having governments imposed from the outside in one form or another. I think that this has led to a fundamental meme of distrust for the govt. Often the govts have been seen as either incompetent and/or unwilling to manage things that we take for granted. Like some have said that the Mafia grew out of the lack of adequate police enforcement in Sicilian neighborhoods (true? I dunno). The lack of police protection was made up for by strong familial ties. The same forces are at play in US gangs in and out of prisons. There's a need for prtection and a lack of adequate official means to obtain that protection.

So, already, there're Arab, Iraqi Shi'is whose militias have become the police force. they have the official position, yet the operate along older, tribal, ethnic and religious divides.

The Kurds are already (still) mostly autonomous.

Of course, Turkey has repeatedly voiced it's objections to an official Iraqi Kurdistan.
I'm not sure how well Iran's Arab neighbors would welcome a second Shi'i State. There're already allegations that Iraq'll be Iran's quasi-proxy state.

So, while there're already some elements of separation greater than the hoped for federalism, the prospects of a divided Iraq may be destabilizing to the region.

I'm too ignorant to gauge the depth of these things well enough to find an justifiable opinion.

This has kept me from posting here in this thread. I liked you OP and all. I just wasn't sure of what I had to say
 

GarzaUK

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A free Kurdistan? If the US could indeed make a free Kurdistan they would have.

But I'm afriad as soon as a independent Kurdistan is set up, Turkey will invade it. Alot of Kurds live in Eastern Turkey, who will no doubt rebel against the Turkish Government. Don't forget those explosions in Turkey the other week were not Islamic guerillas, but Kurdish.

If Turkey invaded from the North, the US would be in alot of difficulties. In fact the worse thing that could happen to Iraq would be the parition of it.
 

Simon W. Moon

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GarzaUK said:
If Turkey invaded from the North, the US would be in alot of difficulties. In fact the worse thing that could happen to Iraq would be the parition of it.
Depending upon the situation, we could be obigated to come to Turkey's aid via NATO.
 

Bestial_Pagan

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If US leaves now, there will be a total chaos. Iraq´s neighbors will slice it up. There was better alternative in 1991, but Bush senior did not take it to end. And Iraq is artificially created by France and GB, to speak of the reasons. God would I love to punch that coward def frog in the face.
 

nkgupta80

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US will leave when the pliant Iraqi government they set up is in full control, and they can conduct business in the country without any serious threats.
 

cnredd

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Bestial_Pagan said:
If US leaves now, there will be a total chaos. Iraq´s neighbors will slice it up. There was better alternative in 1991, but Bush senior did not take it to end. And Iraq is artificially created by France and GB, to speak of the reasons. God would I love to punch that coward def frog in the face.
I've NEVER understood that....

Bush41 was told BY THE UNITED NATIONS to kick Saddam out of Kuwait, but NOT to enter Iraq and remove him....That is exactly what was done....

And people accuse him of not doing enough...Doing more would have gone against the United Nation's wishes.

Now Bush43 is told BY THE UNITED NATIONS to wait for the completion of inspections and NOT to enter Iraq and remove him....The exact OPPOSITE was done...

And people accuse him of doing too much...He is already going against the United Nation's wishes.

Let me get this straight....

The right thing to do for Bush41 was to NOT listen to the UN and invade Iraq.

The right thing to do for Bush43 was to listen to the UN and NOT invade Iraq.

There is only one logical reasoning for this, and it is plainly obvious....

The United Nations suck....
 
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Billo_Really

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Originally posted by cnredd:

The United Nations suck....
If you belong to an organization, are you not obligated to follow their rules?
 

cnredd

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Billo_Really said:
If you belong to an organization, are you not obligated to follow their rules?
Oil-for-Food...Why follow their rules when they don't follow it themselves?
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by cnredd:
Oil-for-Food...Why follow their rules when they don't follow it themselves?
Two wrongs don't make a right. And while your at it, why don't you do a little research into the US involvement in the Oil for Food scandel. You would be surprized that were not without sin there.
 

nkgupta80

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its all about self-interest. Right now the countries in the UN who are against the war had various oil contracts with Iraq. The US going in would mean that the contracts would be nullified. Countries like France, China, Russia, and Germany were afraid of this, thus found excuses to go against the war. US and UK saw Iraq as an economic asset and thus saw the war as key to serving the countries' interests. Of course they came up with the terrorist and WMD excuses to justify the war. As long as the self-interests of each country are served, the UN would work. Once there is difference in interests, the UN ceases to work properly. Rules don't mean much in the UN.
 

Simon W. Moon

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nkgupta80 said:
The US going in would mean that the contracts would be nullified.
Where'd you get the idea that these contracts've been nullified?
 

nkgupta80

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any time a government is toppled, all associations with that government are gone. Sadaam is gone, so are the contracts with his regime.
 

nkgupta80

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western interest in the mideast since the early 1900s has always been about oil. What else really is there in that area...
 

Simon W. Moon

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nkgupta80 said:
any time a government is toppled, all associations with that government are gone. Sadaam is gone, so are the contracts with his regime.
Hogwash.
Iraq stilled owed all of the debt that was incurred under the former regime. James Baker went on a whirlwind world-wide tour seeking debt forgiveness for some of Iraq's debt.

Since the debt was not repudiated, why should one think that the contracts are nullified? I"m not saying that hy weren't, this is just the first I've heard of it. And, if the only source is you say-so, I'll continue to hold the idea as suspect.
 

nkgupta80

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debts are national aren't they? Iraqi debt is what the nation of Iraq, the people as a whole owe. The US Debt applies to every single citizen of the US. I don't think oil contracts were established with the Iraqi nation itself...
 

Simon W. Moon

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nkgupta80 said:
debts are national aren't they? Iraqi debt is what the nation of Iraq, the people as a whole owe. The US Debt applies to every single citizen of the US. I don't think oil contracts were established with the Iraqi nation itself...
The oil company was a nationalized company. Iraq owned the oil company. It was not a private venture.

Furthermore, if Iraq did not own the oil company, then the debts of the company would not be affected by a change in government.
 

robin

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humans.. the most intelligent & the most stupoid creature on the planet !

Shame anyone who thinks this must be a dreamer :-(
"Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace..."

I guess separating the Muslim tribal group in India from the Hindu tribal group by giving them Pakistan worked. Amusingly absurd really. It's like.. you guys stop killing each other or we'll bomb you :) rather like in Bosnia. Peace at the point of a gun !
Seems to have worked there also, but why do I feel it seems rather unlikely to work in Iraq I wonder ?
I think there is such a hard core of insurgents & redundant Republican guards there will always be trouble. Maybe they should start by giving the Kurds independance. Would Turkey swallow that though ?
Well if they don't maybe they could be bombed into the idea of liking it :)

Christ humans make me sick. We are supposed to most intelligent creature on the planet & but it seems alas we are also the most stupid.
I mean have you ever seen a religious ape ?
Or an ape that puts on a uniform or waves a flag & struts around saying... "Look at me I'm from this tribal group or that tribal group" !

Or spells 'stupid' as 'stupoid' :)
 
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Bestial_Pagan

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Re: humans.. the most intelligent & the most stupoid creature on the planet !

robin said:
Christ humans make me sick. We are supposed to most intelligent creature on the planet & but it seems alas we are also the most stupid.
I mean have you ever seen a religious ape ?
Or an ape that puts on a uniform or waves a flag & struts around saying... "Look at me I'm from this tribal group or that tribal group" !
So we aren´t crown of creation after all! Thank Devil, I´m not the only scum. We are all scum! Doomed! We are lowest of the low. Can´t think of any other reason for this stupoidity but morality. According to Christianity man is the only being that has moral, and animals don´t go to heaven. No more room here for You ape!
PS. Actually I´ve seen religious apes in past but I don´t belong to church anymore.
 

robin

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Re: humans.. the most intelligent & the most stupoid creature on the planet !

Bestial_Pagan said:
PS. Actually I´ve seen religious apes in past but I don´t belong to church anymore.
............ :lol:
 
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