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> Civil War, Is partition the answer?
Wertz
post Sep 12 2004, 05:01 PM
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With the Kurds and the Sunnis vying for control of Kirkuk and the ongoing conflict between Sunnis and Shi'ites - the bombings in Karbala and Baghdad, for example - suggestions of civil war in Iraq have been murmured for months (including such sources as Gen. Abizaid, Richard Lugar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the CIA).

Almost a year ago, I posted the following in another thread:
QUOTE
Has anyone given any serious thought to partition? Iraq is, after all, a thoroughly artificial creation, just as Yugoslavia was - and all that has held it together since 1958 is a series of military despots like Saddam Hussein. As a "republic", it has never really had much more definition than the borders of the surrounding countries. Will the Kurds, the Shi'as, and the Sunnis ever form a cohesive "nation"? Unlikely.

Would it make more sense to create three separate states (with, perhaps, three different forms of government)? Granted, there could still be tensions between such states, but at least they could be mediated by international bodies - but there wouldn't be the prospect of ongoing civil insurrection within the current, capriciously concocted country (such as that with which Hussein himself had to contend), which could mean a permanent presence by international (or coalition) bodies.

In the year since that was posted, little seems to have changed. If anything, tribal tensions have only increased and are contributing to the ongoing violence, perhaps more than any perceived "terrorist" insurrection.

Is all-out civil war in Iraq inevitable?

Should partitioning of the country be considered as a possible option?


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turnea
post Sep 12 2004, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Sep 12 2004, 12:01 PM)
Is all-out civil war in Iraq inevitable?

Should partitioning of the country be considered as a possible option?

1. The prospect of civil war has been raised about monthly since before the invasion. There were times in Iraq when the country was perhaps closer to civil war then it is now and my answer has not changed.

Not likely.

Top Shia clerics have already pointed out that they suspect a plot by Al-Qaeda to perpetrate acts of violence to spark sectarian conflict. This is a theory to which I also subscribe (I posted my evidence in another thread, I'll dig it up if necessary).

They have also pointed out they won't be goaded into so foolish an action.

The Sunnis have enough trouble to deal with, without sparking trouble with the most powerful forces in the country.

The fight over Kirkurk and other parts on northern Iraq is a bit more serious, there has and continues to be violence. However, I believe a political settlement can be reached since the major Kurdish parties seek high standing in the new government. Even if it gets worse, it's likely to be local.

As for partition, I would caution against it. Better to not re-enforce ethnic antipathy by separating the country as if by admission that the groups cannot live together in the same country.

Sectarian violence has been much lower than some predicted and I think a unified Iraq would be better able to provide for it's people.
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Wertz
post Sep 12 2004, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 12 2004, 01:38 PM)
Top Shia clerics have already pointed out that they suspect a plot by Al-Qaeda to perpetrate acts of violence to spark sectarian conflict. This is a theory to which I also subscribe (I posted my evidence in another thread, I'll dig it up if necessary).

As it seems everything from the Oklahoma City bombing to George Bush choking on a pretzel is now being blamed on al-Qaeda, I wouldn't mind a link (if it's not too much trouble). I don't doubt that this has been promoted by by some Shi'a clerics, but I'd like to see what their evidence is.

QUOTE
Sectarian violence has been much lower than some predicted and I think a unified Iraq would be better able to provide for it's people.

I think it's difficult to gauge how much of the violence is sectarian and how much isn't. Any act of violence is now presumed to be terrorist-inspired "insurrection". That said, I don't think we'll see the real civil strife in Iraq until after their elections. A lot will depend on the structure of the new government and its constitution.

QUOTE
As for partition, I would caution against it. Better to not re-enforce ethnic antipathy by separating the country as if by admission that the groups cannot live together in the same country.

But maybe they can't - maybe they shouldn't. Which reinforces antipathy more, locking two wet cats in the same cage or putting them in separate rooms? Most national boundaries - at least those which are not totally artificial - are based on differences of language, ethnicity, religion, or tribe. And boundaries which don't recognize such differences - say in Basque territory or Rwanda or, oh... Israel? - are fraught with trouble. Why should Iraq - which was an artificial construct from the outset - be any different? It's another Yugoslavia - and, to my mind, sectarian violence at least is guaranteed.

This post has been edited by Wertz: Sep 12 2004, 09:06 PM
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loreng59
post Sep 12 2004, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE
Is all-out civil war in Iraq inevitable?

Should partitioning of the country be considered as a possible option?

I feel that Iraq is not going to last without continued massive outside intervention. The US can not and should not stay much longer. The country will implode shorter after the US starts to leave.

As to what the world should do, absolutely nothing. Let the people there sort it out. A partition is going to happen no matter what. If the US remains, they will be blamed and be targets. Get the targets out and let them handle the situation.
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turnea
post Sep 12 2004, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Sep 12 2004, 04:02 PM)
As it seems everything from the Oklahoma City bombing to George Bush choking on a pretzel is now being blamed on al-Qaeda, I wouldn't mind a link (if it's not too much trouble). I don't doubt that this has been promoted by by some Shi'a clerics, but I'd like to see what their evidence is.

Well here's the best one I could find just yet, I think I may have more, but this is pretty clear.
QUOTE
US officials in Iraq say they have uncovered what they believe is a plot by a militant linked to al-Qaeda to foment sectarian violence there.  
  
The Americans seized a memo thought to be from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a suspected Jordanian militant.  
  
The message laments the failure to expel US troops from Iraq - but suggests igniting the Shia-Sunni conflict could rescue the resistance. .. 
"There is clearly a plan on the part of outsiders to come into this country and spark civil war, breed sectarian violence and try to expose fissures in the society," US military spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmit told a news conference in the Iraqi capital on Monday....  
The 17-page document, parts of which were seen by the New York Times, was apparently intended for the al-Qaeda leadership and is believed to say attacks on Shia targets could create a backlash against the Sunnis.  
  
This, in turn, would radicalise the Sunnis, driving fresh recruits into al-Qaeda's ranks.  
  
"If we succeed in dragging them [the Shia] into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of destruction and death at the hands of the Shia," the document reads.

US reveals 'al-Qaeda Iraq plot'

QUOTE(Wertz)
But maybe they can't - maybe they shouldn't. Which reinforces antipathy more, locking two wet cats in the same cage or putting them in separate rooms?

I understand were you are coming from, but my hope is that since we are not dealing with cats, but reasoning human beings who have seen much more than their share of war and division, such differences could be overcome. They share more than say the Israelis and Palestinians...

Considering the difficulty in deciding who gets what territory if they were to split up, I think it best to leave things alone. An Iraq with two major oil sectors, both north and south, may also be better able to provide for the Iraqis.
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bucket
post Sep 13 2004, 03:00 AM
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Partitioning the country..well I wouldn't exactly use those words but I have always been in favor for allowing the people of this region to dictate their political desires. The Kurds have been living years now as their separate own nation..they are no longer a part of Iraq..and I don't feel that have been for over 12 yrs.
If Iraq is to reman the country we see drawn on the map on our nightly news it will have to be kept as such by western powers..Iraq is what it is today because of western powers. Saddam invaded Kuwait because he believed Kuwait was a part of Iraq. Saddam invaded Iran because he believed Iran was a part of Iraq...and yet every time the western world stepped in to enforce their borders...so what is Iraq? When were the people of Iraq ever free to decide this for themselves?

All this talk of a strong Iraqi identity..I don't believe it..at all. I don't think Kurds feel more Iraqi than they do Kurdish..and I don't feel the Sunnis feel more Iraqi than they do Sunni or the Shiites more Iraqi than they feel Shia...no way. What I do feel they recognize is that they have strength united against an enemy and I feel America believes this too and that the current reunification..because it is not liberation it is unification we are now working on..as this country has been divided for years... Its unification is needed to help battle regional enemy forces. Without question I think Iraqis fear being swallowed up by Iranians and Islamics a lot lot more than they do by Shias or Sunnis.

If Iraq fractures now we have lost the war...if in the future we prevent her natural dissolution then we failed liberating the people of Iraq.
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Robin_Scotland
post Sep 13 2004, 08:15 AM
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Iraqi stability is something find hard to imagine. I would agree that intervention from the US and her allies inside Iraq is maintaining some sort of shape for now, and also agree that they cannot stay much longer. Eventually, Iraq will have to fully take care of itself, and I'm sorry if I sound a tad pessimistic when I say I don't think it is ready for such a task.

Civil war in Iraq is one likely path, eventually leading to one side showing its influence over the others. Although the Sunnis and Shi-ites have their problems, and that this may in the future lead to another conflict of interests with Iran, I would be inclined to be more worried about the Kurds - and in particular their desire to separate and form a recognized Kurdistan state.

I think we all know Turkeys stance on Kurdistani separation. The north of Kurdistan is within Turkeys borders, and there are some 20 million Kurds living in the country. Remember how quickly Turkish troops moved into northern Iraq after the coalition invasion? There is certainly tension there.

Civil war could lead to far greater complications than just those limited to Iraq, it could effect other parts of the Middle East and even lead to international conflicts. Thats just one outcome of course; perhaps Iraq will find stability, and maybe civil war is not inevitable.

To prevent a civil war through partitioning is going to touch on the same issues with Turkey. This situation is far more complex than people seemed to realise back in 2003. Sure, Saddam was a bad guy, but harsh dictatorial rule kept the place together. It would be sad to see the West continuing to carve up the Middle East, but at the same time pulling out and leaving Iraq in the mess it is in will be met with as much if not more criticism. I don't think there is any way out for the Coalition now; Iraq is the new Vietnam, no doubt about it in my mind. Iraq has three main paths it can now take: partitioning, civil war, or installing a new hard line leader. I just can't see the fourth path, the one with everyone holding hands and singing songs of peace, ever happening.

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crashfourit
post Sep 15 2004, 09:14 PM
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Is all-out civil war in Iraq inevitable?
Not unless the three sides don't want to compromise.

Should partitioning of the country be considered as a possible option?
Sorda hmmm.gif One possible solution it to have a Federal Government and have semi-autonomous politician unites bellow it (in the U.S. 'states') and give each major ethnic group an equal number of 'states'; each with an equal representation on one house. In addition the other house would directly linked to the Iraqi people. The Iraqi Federal government would then be limited and most, if not all, domestic functions are reserved for the 'states'. This could be a fourth path, but it will be shaky, and it will take some effort on all three sides.
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turnea
post Sep 16 2004, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE(bucket @ Sep 12 2004, 10:00 PM)
When were the people of Iraq ever free to decide this for themselves?

When working democratic infrastructure is set up they will be, then is they should choose to divide, by all means let them I for one don't see it as very likely

perhaps the Kurds may push for a separate country, but three separate states will never happen folks. mellow.gif
QUOTE(bucket)
All this talk of a strong Iraqi identity..I don't believe it..at all. I don't think Kurds feel more Iraqi than they do Kurdish..and I don't feel the Sunnis feel more Iraqi than Sunni
They don't really have to in order to get along, they simply need to desire a peaceful, secure and prosperous nation. These divisions exist in other Middle Eastern countries as well...
QUOTE(Robin Scotland)
Iraq is the new Vietnam, no doubt about it in my mind. Iraq has three main paths it can now take: partitioning, civil war, or installing a new hard line leader. I just can't see the fourth path, the one with everyone holding hands and singing songs of peace, ever happening.

In all due humility tongue.gif

I would suggest you look harder, the first two you mentioned are far less likely than successful democracy in my estimation.

Iraq as the new Vietnam, well I hope that watching the situation closely from a variety of sources would instill some doubt. I have been doing so since the war began, I find the idea of Iraq as Vietnam as rather humorous. laugh.gif

I believe crashfourit I on the right track when he suggest allowing Iraq to exist as a federation of local governments but I think a strong central government is also need, one that could enforce political rather than violent solutions.

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Robin_Scotland
post Sep 17 2004, 10:37 AM
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My comments on Vietnam are, I hope you realise, related to how long this is going to go on for (with ot without the presence of active US troops), and the damage it will do to the current US administration when it is reviewed in the future. I do not think that Iraq is going to settle into a stable democracy anytime soon with all ethnic tensions settled, or that attacks from terrorist factions will have stopped a year from now.

I think you will have to agree that no US conflict has created quite as much backlash from the world and its own citizens since Vietnam. Take into account that, while by no means comparable to the death toll of the Vietnam conflict, US soldiers and Iraqi civilians continue to die on a fairly regular basis 18 months after the conflict apparently ended. Not a good start.

Comparisons can be drawn in terms of popular culture and popular music, as well as in public opinion and horror stories from the front. In that respect, Iraq is George W Bush's Vietnam. Perhaps it will be more clear when he is out of office and his leadership can be more closely scrutinized - but all the same, it is irrelevant to this particular debate.

However likely democracy is in Iraq (keeping in mind that democracy itself does not prevent civil war or continued terror attacks), I still maintain that I find a stable (non corrupt) Iraqi democracy a very difficult pill to swallow at this time. Personally, I cannot see civil war happening either, nor partitioning - mostly because the situation is far too difficult to read.

Still, it has only been just over a year since Iraq was won. Taking into account the tense relations of the different ethnic groups in Iraq, which have become more tense over the years of Saddams rule, and how can you not expect further trouble? These groups will not simply get along with each other when democracy gives them the freedom to fight for independence - remember that it was the third option I listed (harsh dictatorial rule) that kept everyone in line. There have been ethnic, religious, political etc conflicts of interest within countries for centuries: and many of those conflicts of interests continue today. In my opinion, stable democracy is a long way off, and therefore it is impossible to estimate its likelihood of success.

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Rupertvdb
post Sep 17 2004, 11:52 AM
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http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/09/17/us.ir...ntel/index.html

Bush doesn't seem to think so. Despite some officials ceding the fact that things aren't going quite so well as they would hope.
I personally don't think it is inevitable because it is always possible that the various groups involved can come to a reasoned and agreeable position.

But inevitable is a strong word. 'Probably' is my position, the general elections scheduled for January seem fairly rushed, with whole regions of Iraq in 'terrorist' hands and the chances of a result even being recognised being so low I think that the forced route Iraq is taking shall help spark a civil war rather than prevent it.
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Vermillion
post Sep 17 2004, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 16 2004, 02:15 PM)
I would suggest you look harder, the first two you mentioned are far less likely than successful democracy in my estimation.

Iraq as the new Vietnam, well I hope that watching the situation closely from a variety of sources would instill some doubt. I have been doing so since the war began, I find the idea of Iraq as Vietnam as rather humorous. laugh.gif

I agree with you, the compairason of Iraq to Vietnam is not really fair: there is no slow deployment of troops thus turning a conflict into an undeclared war, there was no recognised and significant local government lending its support to the cause, there is no need for the brutal jungle-style warfare necessary in Vietname.

No a MUCH better parabole for the new Iraq is Soviet Afghanistan, the parallels there are striking. Massive interventioj on a nation that had supposedly transgressed international law, subsequent abandonment of the initial justification for the war, establishment of a friendly if powerless government, highly publicised 'acts of kindness' such as liberation of women and building of schools by the Russians, slow but growing resistance to the clearly long-term occupation of the country, anger over abuses of local prisoners and captives by Russians... heck, there is even the support given tio the local insugents by shadowy groups supplying arms and trainign, if not actual man, then it was the CIA, now its Al qaeda.

Yes, the parallels between the current situation in Iraq and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan are astonishing.
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popeye47
post Sep 17 2004, 07:52 PM
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QUOTE


Is all-out civil war in Iraq inevitable?



I wouldn't say for sure, but that is one of the options in the following article.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial...ths_about_iraq/

QUOTE


IT SHOULD not be surprising that a classified National Intelligence Estimate completed late last month projects three scenarios for Iraq over the next year and a half that range from dicey to disastrous -- from fragile stability to civil war among Sunni Arabs, Shi'ites, and Kurds.



and TURNEA

Could it be possibly true that you may have made a incorrect assumption about an UNLIKELY CIVIL WAR.

Civil war being one of the possible scenarios in Iraq, it is a vision of hell. And the Bush adminstration acts as if it's a model kitchen. The president and vice president brag about liberating Iraqis and reassure us that they are stopping terrorist violence at its source and inspiring democracy in the region by bringing it to blood-drenched Iraq.

But what they haven't mentioned is that they have known since July that their rosy scenarios are as bogus as they WMD's. Thats when the president received a national intelligence estimate that spelled out "a dark assessment of prospects" for stability and governance in Iraq in the next 18 months. Worst -case estimates include civil war or anarchy.

QUOTE


Should partitioning of the country be considered as a possible option?





Yes I believe "partitioning of the country" is more of a possibility than democracy proclaimed by the President.

I good example was Yugoslavia, that was dismantled in the 1990's into different countries, which came after ethic cleansing on behalf of the dictator in power during this period.

I am not saying it is the same example. But iit is a good example

Try as we may, we are not going to turn Iraq into a model democracy. The Sunnis don't want democracy. The Shiites don't want a democracy. The Kurds don't want a democracy. The Kurds don't want a democracy.


The Saudis do not want a new democracy as a neighbor. Nor do the Kuwaitis. Nor do the Syrians. None of the countries in that region with despotic rulers want us to succeed. And don't think for a moment they're above slipping terrorists into Iraq to kill Americans.

After WWI the Turks were promised a autonomous state.

QUOTE


After the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty was ratified, the most pressing issue confronting the newly established constitutional monarchy was the question of boundaries, especially in the former Ottoman wilayah of Mosul, now known as Mosul Province. The status of Mosul Province was complicated by two factors, the British desire to gain oil concessions and the existence of a majority Kurdish population that was seeking independence apart from either Iraq or Turkey. According to the Treaty of Sevres, concluded in 1920 with the Ottoman Sultan, Mosul was to be part of an autonomous Kurdish state. The treaty was scrapped, however, when nationalist leader Mustafa Kamal (1881-1938--also known as Atatürk) came to power in Turkey and established control over the Kurdish areas in eastern Turkey. In 1923, after two failed British attempts to establish an autonomous Kurdish province, London decided to include the Kurds in the new Iraqi state with the proviso that Kurds would hold government positions in Kurdish areas and that the Kurdish language would be preserved. The British decision to include Mosul in Iraq was based largely on their belief that the area contained large oil deposits.



So much for the British being concerned about the welfare for the Kurds. At least the Kurds should have a independent state or nation.

As for the Sunni and Shiite, they have never gotten along and probably never will. Is there a solution?
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overlandsailor
post Sep 17 2004, 09:05 PM
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As I understood it, wha feels like forever ago, the original plan was to create a confederate government in Iraq. Split the country in 3 With the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi'ites ruling themselves in their own states. And having a central government that was merely a tool to use when dealing with foreign relations and international trade.

It seems like a good idea to me, but then again I am a major proponent of states rights in America.

I understood, back in the beginning of all this that this Confederation was the focus of the White House reconstruction plan. It seemed like a good one, allowing the individual peoples to control their lives as they see fit. Unfortunately, it seems that this pan fell out of favor (if it ever existed at all) with the administration.

I think a Confederate Model is the way to go. It allows the country to come together for trade and defense while allowing the individual power groups to maintain their power over their people, allowing each culture to flourish as they choose.

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turnea
post Sep 17 2004, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 17 2004, 11:53 AM)
Yes, the parallels between the current situation in Iraq and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan are astonishing.

Of course you neglect to take into account the vastly different capabilities of support that the CIA and a number of other groups could give the mujahedin which dwarfs (to put it lightly) any support Al-Qaeda could offer on every level.

The Afghan resistance was a real military threat to the Soviets, the resistance in Iraq kills enough to have propaganda value, but strategically they stand no chance.

Of course that will have little effect on chances of civil war, which since power structures in each ethnic group at well as the vast majority of the population don't want one...
is still highly unlikely
QUOTE(popeye47)
Could it be possibly true that you may have made a incorrect assumption about an UNLIKELY CIVIL WAR.

Possible, unlikely. laugh.gif

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bucket
post Sep 18 2004, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE
When working democratic infrastructure is set up they will be, then is they should choose to divide, by all means let them I for one don't see it as very likely

perhaps the Kurds may push for a separate country, but three separate states will never happen folks.
Why do you act as if this is such a far fetched idea? This is one of the major reoccurring themes in Iraqi history, political turmoil, tribal war, social conflict..I think it is safe to say this is a far more likely scenario the Iraqis will offer ..I think a peaceful democratic nation-state is the least likely.

QUOTE

They don't really have to in order to get along, they simply need to desire a peaceful, secure and prosperous nation. These divisions exist in other Middle Eastern countries as well...

But when have they all gotten along..when did they forge this nation state unity? Firstly to defeat what they felt was a colonization..and secondly when they were forced to under great violence and restriction of a military state..is America willing to do either of these?..I think that question has already been answered.
And what other ME country do you have in mind as comparison?

QUOTE
I agree with you, the compairason of Iraq to Vietnam is not really fair: there is no slow deployment of troops thus turning a conflict into an undeclared war, there was no recognised and significant local government lending its support to the cause, there is no need for the brutal jungle-style warfare necessary in Vietname.

No a MUCH better parabole for the new Iraq is Soviet Afghanistan


You think the Iraqis see thse comparisons too?...especially the bulk of the insurgents who happen to be uneducated and poor...do they see these correlations also? I seriously doubt Iraqis are all abuzz about how similarly they view this is to what happened in Vietnam or Afghanistan..so much more so than they would ever view this war in the context and mindfulness of their OWN history. I disagree completely with all of these comparisons..I think it resembles mostly Iraq's own past..with the British mandate. There are not parallels in this comparison..there is actual time line extensions..continuations of the same conflicts, the same groups and the same struggles. It took over 35 yrs for the British to fail..now that they convinced the Americans to have another go at it ..how long do you think it will be for failure to occur again..or will we finally succeed?

In my opinion the only manner in which we will succeed will be for us to not stand in the way of Iraqi dissolution.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Sep 18 2004, 01:50 AM
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QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Sep 17 2004, 02:05 PM)
As I understood it, wha feels like forever ago, the original plan was to create a confederate government in Iraq.   Split the country in 3 With the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi'ites ruling themselves in their own states.  And having a central government that was merely a tool to use when dealing with foreign relations and international trade.


I like the confederate state idea. I agree that splitting the country up into seperate states under a central government would be prudent, and likely a far better option than splitting it up into separate nationstates. I can't imagine why they abandoned that idea.

There are some potential irreconcilable problems I see with the nationstate partition solution. The Sunnis and Shiites are not exactly completely separated into their own zones. THere are roughly a million Shiites living in what would be the country of Sunnistan, around Baghdad. Would they be relocated? Would they go without the use of force, or would that turn into some sort of reenactment of ethnic cleansing as went on in Kosovo/Bosnia?

Then, there’s the oil. most of Iraq's population is around Baghdad but the oil is in the north and south. Would the Sunnis in Baghdad stand for an unequal split of resources? Would the Shiites and Kurds share the proceeds from those resources? Doubtful.

And I have the same reservations mentioned by Robin Scotland regarding making Kurdistan an officially autonomous entity…I was under the impression that Turkey threatened to use force in that case (the Kurds in their country have been demanding the same). Have they agreed to play nice? Is that threat gone?
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turnea
post Sep 19 2004, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE(bucket @ Sep 17 2004, 07:52 PM)
Why do you act as if this is such a far fetched idea?  This is one of the major reoccurring themes in Iraqi history, political turmoil, tribal war, social conflict..I think it is safe to say this is a far more likely scenario the Iraqis will offer ..I think a peaceful democratic nation-state is the least likely.

I would hesitate to count the scenario that is supported both by the major-power-brokers in Iraq as well as the vast majority of the people as the least likely. ermm.gif

I say three states is unlikely (nigh unto impossible, really) for a number of reasons.

1. The Kurds may be well separated from the rest of society but Sunni and Shia cohabitate in central Iraq especially in Baghdad. Getting them to separate out into groups is not going to work (Saddam did it in Kirkuk, but he used methods we would not).

2. Iraqis do have a sense of national identity (the Kurds again a possible exception) they would likely not support to dissolution of their state.

3. The massive difficulty that would be involved in figuring out who gets what, if you want to start a civil war, there's the way to do it.

QUOTE(bucket)
But when have they all gotten along

...in large part they get along now, it ain't broke and fixing it would be a nightmare.

This post has been edited by turnea: Sep 19 2004, 12:15 AM
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bucket
post Sep 20 2004, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE
I was under the impression that Turkey threatened to use force in that case (the Kurds in their country have been demanding the same). Have they agreed to play nice? Is that threat gone? 

No it is not gone..but it is why I feel Bush has been so pushy about Turkey joining the EU..as insurance. I think Bush made special promises to the Kurds and I think after what Turkey did in regards to this war..their "needs" are less likely to carry weight. With Turkey in the EU ...America and Uk could safely allow a Kurdish state knowing Turkey had new restraints, economic incentives and moral obligations to behave.

QUOTE
I  would hesitate to count the scenario that is supported both by the major-power-brokers in Iraq as well as the vast majority of the people as the least likely.

And what exactly is the most likely scenario we have seen the US project for Iraq's near future? And I am not talking about the things our president proclaims on the campaign trail..in reality what does our intelligence feel is the most likely scenario? Too bad we are all not allowed access to that NIE report or at least a President with enough courage to be a little more honest with us on what is awaiting around the corner. A peaceful democratic nation-state in Iraq is a long long time off. I would be curious to see any current scenarios supported by..." both the major-power-brokers in Iraq" that states otherwise. And..Both? As in there are only two? have you forgotten about Iran..I know she does not fit in well with the peaceful democratic nation-state..yet that is her purpose.

How can we expect to hold elections in a country in which we can not even walk down the streets in many of their cities let alone ask them to participate in a little game we like to call democracy? How are we going to get the people in Sadr city to vote? Fallujah? Mosul? and how will we ever have legitimacy (the lack of which is a very common theme in things like this) without out their participation?


QUOTE
I say three states is unlikely (nigh unto impossible, really) for a number of reasons. 
 
1. The Kurds may be well separated from the rest of society but Sunni and Shia cohabitate in central Iraq especially in Baghdad. Getting them to separate out into groups is not going to work (Saddam did it in Kirkuk, but he used methods 


I never claimed it would be three states..who knows. The only way to ensure such strict divisions is to enforce them...once again by Western powers. Dissolution has nothing to do with "getting them" to do what we think is best. I purposefully chose that word.

QUOTE
 
2. Iraqis do have a sense of national identity (the Kurds again a possible exception) they would likely not support to dissolution of their state.

Yes true I already pointed this out Iraqis have had a history of being united under their national identity.. in a throwback to Nazism..that is the heart of Arab nationalism..and the Iraqis feels this sense of identity most in the face of an invader..who will this invader turn to be? Who inspires this ideal of Arab nationality more?

QUOTE
3. The massive difficulty that would be involved in figuring out who gets what, if you want to start a civil war, there's the way to do it. 


As if the difficulty of getting them to all cooperate in a democratic nation-state is not massive.

QUOTE
...in large part they get along now, it ain't broke and fixing it would be a nightmare.

I don't understand this comment. They obviously are not getting along well right now and they certainly are not getting along well with us..and doesn't that matter for our success in Iraq? Over 1800 Iraqis killed in just the past 3 mo alone (source). And it is broken..and we broke it..we promised to bring liberty and and a free and democratic state to Iraq..we MUST fix this..we can not allow it to remain the broken violent state it is now..but you are right fixing it is going to be a nightmare.
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Vermillion
post Sep 20 2004, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 17 2004, 11:13 PM)
Of course you neglect to take into account the vastly different capabilities of support that the CIA and a number of other groups could give the mujahedin which dwarfs (to put it lightly) any support Al-Qaeda could offer on every level. 
 

No, I don't. Regardless of the 'capacity' of the CIA to give aid, the aid they gave was relatively limited, they provided at first only basic logistical support and training for some of the Mujahadin commanders, later in the conflict they supplied stingers to combat the USSR helicopter threat, thats about all. Al Qaida has provided training, weapons, tactical advice and even local commanders. What is the 'comparative' value? Well nobody knows, but certainly the aid Al Qaida has given Iraqi insurgents in the last year is comparable to the aid the CIA gave to the Mujahadin in their first year of the struggle.

QUOTE
The Afghan resistance was a real military threat to the Soviets, the resistance in Iraq kills enough to have propaganda value, but strategically they stand no chance. 


Really?

Soviet losses in the ten years of the Afghanistan war:
-14,453 Dead,
-37,000 Wounded

US Losses in the first 18 months of the Iraqi resistance:
-1,033 Dead
-7,033 wounded.

Projected death rates over 10 years, assuming casualty rates do not increase: (which they have been, steadily, since the handover of power)

-7,000 dead
-47,000 wounded

That is, remember, assuming no increase in death rate, which is unrealistic considering the increase in death rates every month since the US handed over power.

So in fact, the US is suffering MORE casualties on average then the Soviets did in Afghanistan, though more wounded and fewer dead due to improved protective technology.

I am sure the USSR had no idea they would be in Afghanistan for so long either, but once the civilmwar started, and the abuses of Afghani prisoners in Soviet jails became public knowledge, then the resistance just continued to grow, dispite the attempts of the legitimate but impotent Afghan government to stop it.

Still think there is 'no comparason'?
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