Revisiting Paris 1919

The other night Kyle expressed (lukewarm) support for Joe Biden’s (non-binding) partition resolution, which was “overwhelmingly endorsed” by the Senate 75-23, including 26 Republican votes.

Others aren’t so hot on the idea.

Toby Dodge, consulting senior fellow for the Middle East at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, explains why proposals like Biden’s “fundamentally misunderstand Iraq“:

If you look at the three communities that are allegedly going to be partitioned, go down to the supposed Shiistan in the south. What we have in the south is a low-level civil war between the two main Shiite parties led by members of the Badr Brigade and al-Sadr. So, are we going to partition the south into a Badristan and a Sadristan? When we come up to supposed Sunnistan, we have a fight between al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a largely indigenous organization with foreign leadership, and the so-called sheikhs of Anbar— that is an intra-Sunni fight. Then we have Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan fought a vicious civil war in the 1990s, where the KDP actually asked Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard to come in and help them. The idea that we have three neat communities is sociologically and politically illiterate. It has deliberately ignored the sociological complexities of Iraq in order to get a neat policy prescription that allows America to get out of Iraq. That is dangerous and reckless, and it isn’t the solution.

Or, as Lenin bluntly states:

If this goes through and there is a serious effort to implement it, then the ethnic cleansing and civil wars you have seen to date will look like a teddy bears’ picnic.


Iraqis didn’t support the sectarian constitution, and they don’t support partition, but no one in the American political class gives a shit.

Despite strong nationalist sentiment among many Iraqis (and opposition to a key US benchmark), the recent Blackwater massacre, Order 17 and now the Biden Resolution make one incontrovertible fact all too apparent: a ‘sovereign’, democratic Iraq is no more real than Saddam’s WMDs.

2 Responses to “Revisiting Paris 1919”

  1. I think the crux of where I was going with that was that if three state is the way to go, that has to be something, like any solution, that the Iraqis do themselves.

  2. matttbastard says:

    Hence the parenthetical ‘lukewarm’ qualification. 😉

    Hope things seem less mordant in the ‘morrow.

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