Sometimes, I almost sympathize with Bush.

Little Raven

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Admittedly, not often. He's made some terrible, terrible mistakes.

But dang Congress is stupid sometimes.
Anxious for political stability in Iraq, the Senate adopted a resolution Wednesday urging the Iraqis to decentralize their federal government and hand more control to the ethnically divided regions dominated by the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.

The 75-23 vote on the resolution offered by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., has no binding effect on the Bush administration or the Iraqi government.

Now this is just a resolution, which is the polite term for legislative wanking. But even so, it's a dumb idea. The idea that a 'weak' federal government is going to manage equal distribution of oil wealth when the current 'strong' (in theory, anyway) one hasn't done anything of the sort is laughable in the extreme. 'Weak' federal governments + strong ethnic identities = civil war, not happy-smiliy-share-all-the-money cooperation. And then there's the neighborhood to consider. This is the Middle East, remember; one of the roughest, toughest, wealthiest regions on the planet. You really think that Turkey is going to sit and twiddle their thumbs while Free Kurdistan turns into a haven for the PKK? Or that Saudi Arabia will turn a blind eye to isolation and displacement of Sunnis that is sure to happen under such a plan? Or that Iran will...well, actually, Iran probably WILL just sit back and smile. A partitioned Iraq is pretty much win-win for them.

Iraq is way past salvaging. Whenever we go, we're going to have to go.
 
Go now. all the US army is doing now is keeping the lid on the pot. the mission failed; stay longer pointlessly or leave and let things take their course. the country is going to split in the long term anyway
 
Go now. all the US army is doing now is keeping the lid on the pot. the mission failed; stay longer pointlessly or leave and let things take their course. the country is going to split in the long term anyway

So, if you have a lid on a pot in your house you are in the practice of just taking the lid off and letting crap spew out to mess up your kitchen?

Where is the common sense in that?

How about we follow your analogy further and wait until the heat is turned down or almost off before we remove the lid shall we? Much less likelyhood of increased mess that way.

:p
 
How about we follow your analogy further and wait until the heat is turned down or almost off before we remove the lid shall we? Much less likelyhood of increased mess that way.

:p

resentments dating back to the late 70s are not going to dissapate cause the US army is there to stop them being taken out. they will wait as long as it takes I would imagine. This same thing happened in Northern Ireland, the Brits didnt stop the two sides fighting here and the Yanks wont stop them fighting there.
 
Funny, the only folks I hear advocating splitting up the country are the ones living in Europe and NA. As much as Iraqis hate each other, they seem to consistently say (in polls, at least) that they would not want the current state of Iraq to be dissolved in favour of ethnic/religious states.

Seems to me that congress is trying to reduce the problem of Iraq to a single factor: "violence in Iraq is mostly between religious/ethnic sects, ergo, we should split them up", as if that was the only thing bothering Iraqis right now. As a nation, Iraq has a better chance of success united than divided (IMHO), so why not focus on what Iraqis have in common instead of trying to tell them how different they are from each other...
 
I hope it dosent split. I'm not advocating it. but i think it will happen. turkey will either invade the north, be restrained from doing so by the US and possibly walk out of NATO over it, the South East will be an Irinian puppet state and the Sunni section will be dependent on Saudi Arabia. these are all bad things. but that dosent mean they wont happen
 
resentments dating back to the late 70s are not going to dissapate cause the US army is there to stop them being taken out. they will wait as long as it takes I would imagine. This same thing happened in Northern Ireland, the Brits didnt stop the two sides fighting here and the Yanks wont stop them fighting there.

Your not really comparing the situation in Ireland with Iraq are you? Because they are light years apart in their differences. For starters, show me the muslim equivalent of senn finn that is willing to negotiate with us. It doesnt exist.
 
Your not really comparing the situation in Ireland with Iraq are you? Because they are light years apart in their differences. For starters, show me the muslim equivalent of senn finn that is willing to negotiate with us. It doesnt exist.

the situatuion is extremely similar in fact. Foreign occupying army, two/three groups split by religion, social factors, one side having repressed the other for years, political parties with military wings...

No Iraqi group is obliged to negotiate with America. they should be negotiating with eachother. Its their country, they dont need US permission to reach an agreement with eachother
 
Your not really comparing the situation in Ireland with Iraq are you? Because they are light years apart in their differences. For starters, show me the muslim equivalent of senn finn that is willing to negotiate with us. It doesnt exist.

Ermmm, in that case I'd have to ask you to first show me the US government making secret contacts with Al Qaeda to invite them to negotiations.

Everything in its correct order....Sinn Fein wasn't willing to negotiate until approached by the Thatcher government.
 
Isn't the true purpose of that resolution to please US electors, not Iraqi people?
No. The true purpose of the resolution doesn't have anything to do with either group. It's a message from Republican senators to President Bush - our butts are on the line in a year, and we've just about had enough.
 
oh... I thought it was proposed by a Democrat? :confused:

It was, but that's not what's significant about it. Legislators are always proposing various resolutions...it's wanking, after all. What matters about this one is that 26 Republican Senators voted for it. That would have been unheard of just 6 months ago.

Of course, it's still mostly wank.
 
Ermmm, in that case I'd have to ask you to first show me the US government making secret contacts with Al Qaeda to invite them to negotiations.

Everything in its correct order....Sinn Fein wasn't willing to negotiate until approached by the Thatcher government.

Again, can you point me to a Sinn Fein equivalent in the region that such 'secret' negotiations are supposed to take place with?
 
Again, can you point me to a Sinn Fein equivalent in the region that such 'secret' negotiations are supposed to take place with?

Presumably, that would be the Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar who's cooperation marked a new phase of the war a couple months ago. Of course, Al Qaeda is knocking them off like flies now, so maybe you have a point.
 
oh... I thought it was proposed by a Democrat? :confused:

It was, but that's not what's significant about it. Legislators are always proposing various resolutions...it's wanking, after all. What matters about this one is that 26 Republican Senators voted for it. That would have been unheard of just 6 months ago.

Of course, it's still mostly wank.

I think one of the Republicans running for president co-sponsored it... Brownback, perhaps?
 
Again, can you point me to a Sinn Fein equivalent in the region that such 'secret' negotiations are supposed to take place with?

Could al-Sadr Medhi militia be counted as one?
 
There's an interesting article in Maclean's this week, by a reporter who has lived in Iraq for a few years.

http://www.macleans.ca/world/global/article.jsp?content=20071001_110054_110054

But watching Gen. Petraeus, I was struck by how familiar his words sounded. The general talked like every Sunni I've ever met in Iraq -- hell, he sounded a bit like Saddam. The old tyrant would have had one of his characteristic chest-heaving guffaws watching Petraeus as he intoned the old Baathist mantra about the dangers to Iraq: Iran, Iran, Iran. Bush took up Gen. Petraeus's views a few days later in a nationally televised speech about Iraq, in which he talked about the threat Tehran posed. It seems that Petraeus and Bush have come to the same conclusion as Saddam: the main enemy is Iran, and you can't govern Iraq without the Sunni Arab tribes, even as you encourage anti-Iranian nationalism among the Shia. This is what Saddam did during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and what Washington is trying to do now.

The great irony of Maliki is that under other circumstances a government like his -- one that is: a) accused by the U.S. of close relations with an American enemy (Iran); b) running a strategically important country (like Iraq); c) involved in the oppression and murder of one of its minorities (the Sunnis), which is closely linked to an important U.S. ally (the Saudis) -- is an administration that many Americans would want to eliminate. There is a good chance that if the U.S. Army wasn't there already, Washington would have invaded to get rid of Maliki. But having toppled Saddam, lost thousands of soldiers, and so far spent some US$500 billion on combat operations alone, the U.S. is now in too weak of a position to do much.

If you look at recent polls, Shia support for partition runs around two per cent, while the majority, 56 per cent, support a strong centralized state. Some Shias in the south may want to create regional blocks, but this is more an expression of regional culture than sectarianism -- they just don't like Baghdad, the way western Canadians don't like Ottawa. The Sunnis, for their part, want a unified, centrally controlled government because they view themselves as the country's natural governing class. In fact, many Sunnis don't view themselves as Sunni, just Iraqi. This is especially true in Baghdad, where every Sunni I know has a Shia parent or grandparent -- until recently class was the primary division in Baghdad, not sect. The Sunnis think of themselves as Iraqi in the way that Torontonians think of themselves as Canadian, not English-Canadian -- it's the other guys who are hyphenated.

The much-repeated line that Iraq is a phony country made up by colonial powers is itself a myth. Indeed, I'm always amazed by the extent of Iraqi nationalism in Arab Iraq, a nationalism that coexists with sectarian suspicions but which is very real. The historian Reidar Visser has written extensively about this, especially the diverse Shia sense of being Iraqi, and the long history of Iraq as a governed unit. But it is too complex an argument to be put forward in the media, and blaming previous colonial governments is easy. As Visser points out, U.S. Democratic party supporters have found the argument for partition to be a convenient solution for a problem they have no clue how to solve, but which makes them sound less clueless and cruel than saying, "Forget the Iraqis, let's leave."

A few years ago, I was asked to speak about Iraq at a conference on insurgencies. At the end of the day, participants were asked to guess what might happen in five years. I said I thought the U.S. would be allied with the Sunnis and fighting Iran. In a limited way, that has turned out to be the case. To some degree, the military has switched sides in the middle of the fight.
 
So, if you have a lid on a pot in your house you are in the practice of just taking the lid off and letting crap spew out to mess up your kitchen? Where is the common sense in that?
There's plenty. That may seem counter-intuitive, but if it's inevitable that the lid will come off anyway, there is no point standing there singing the hair and skin off your arm holding it down.

Look. I was a big supporter of the Iraq War. Even now I think it was worth a shot--well, at least going with my initial wrong assumption that Iraq could become a stable unified democracy--trying to stabilize the region. There are plenty of secular Iraqis who lust for peace, prosperity, and freedom. The problem is that they just don't have the power to take control from the nutters. The pen isn't necessarily mightier than the sword, unfortunately.
How about we follow your analogy further and wait until the heat is turned down or almost off before we remove the lid shall we?
Sounds great, but I wonder how many centuries that will be.

I think there is a lot to be learned from the break-up of Yugoslavia. A nation that was once hailed as a model of tolerance quickly became a horrific genocidal graveyard with opposing ethnic groups trying to annihilate each other. So what brought about this change in the "nation of tolerance" you may ask? The removal of the iron-fisted dictator who enforced the tolerance. Just like in Iraq. The world just is not as black and white as we would like it to be, now is it? :sad:
 
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