reaction to partition fantasies in iraq

Iraq: Biden Backfires

by Salam Adil

Or so says Al-Ghad. In an analysis by the Iraqi Communist Party (Central Leadeship) published in the blog Al-Ghad, they said, “Senator Biden’s motion [in congress calling for the partitioning of Iraq] has already backfired. It was condemned by the great majority of the Iraqi people and the political personalities, including high-ranking officials of the US installed government.”

And given the universal criticism in Iraqi blogs, they may have a point.

Before the senate voted on this bill, Iraq the Model was suggesting that, given the political conditions in Iraq, the American administration should move to promote unity. They wrote:

This would be a good opportunity for the administration to convince the Sunni, Shia and Kurds that it’s time to accept one another and that there’s no other choice but to learn to coexist and work together. And, most importantly, to tell them that America doesn’t want to meet Sunni, Shia or Kurdish leaders defined as such; that it’s more interested in speaking to leaders who identify themselves as Iraqis first and foremost.

And then along came Senator Joseph Biden’s resolution which instead suggested that Iraqi should be split into three sectarian regions. Here is a selection from blogs that cover a spectrum of Iraqi political opinion.

Criticism

Wafaa’ was outraged:

We, Iraqis, have invented the wheel, the alphabet and the law, we began lavish construction of hospitals and libraries, and have made endless scientific discoveries and inventions through the millenniums… Collectively, we refuse intimidation and occupation and so we are willing, able and ready to prevent IRAQ from being divided.Let us read this as a reminder and act upon it. We, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmans and other ethnic groups must work together and not allow the division of IRAQ to take place, ever.

And so was Hammorabi:

It is not up to the others like the American Congress to decide about the fate of Iraq or to vote to divide it into states. The division is nothing but one of the ugly outcomes of the war and the imperialist occupiers of the 21 century.Only the Iraqis will decide for themselves and they got history going back to more than 6,000 years as one state. Death to those who got ill intention to divide Iraq.

Fayrouz reminded us of past racist comments of Senator Biden and wrote:

I wasn’t really surprised when the Senator from Delaware proposed a bill to divide Iraq into three regions. Again, I wasn’t surprised when the bill passed the Senate. Always remember, Washington is run by politicians who voted for the war in Iraq, want to get re-elected and/or are running for President. Senator Biden matches the whole criteria. …What amazes me most about this plan is the ignorance of Senate. Theoretically, Iraq is a sovereign country — at least on paper. But when it comes to what’s wrong and right for Iraqis, the American politicians suddenly become the most knowledgeable folks in town.

A&E Iraq wonders what right congress has to legislate on dividing Iraq and suggested the resolution will focus Iraqi anger against America. He writes:

who gave the Congress members the right to discuss our future and the future of our country like we’re their slaves. Who gave them the right to suggest dividing a land they claimed that they’re doing a mission in it and will be leaving soon. I wonder if the American government will apologize for such stupid attitude of its Congress.Those people believe that they’re masters and they’re teaching us something, and whenever we disagree with that we’re just in denial.

… This kind of thinking helps Iraqis cope with the madness, I think. It helps them focus their rage on an enemy they have hated all their lives: the US and UK.

Fatmia agrees: “Who gave them that right? As my sister in law said, ‘didn’t know that the U.S. had added a 51st state.’”

And Raed suggests that congress has some strange bedfellows in its wish to partition Iraq:

Bush administration, with the support of Congress, has taken the same side as Iran’s hardliners and the same side as the Sunni fundamentalist group called al-Qaida in Iraq.

And Analysis

But criticism alone is not enough without some counter argument. One must also look to the causes of the internal strife in Iraq. And here also there is much in the blogs.

Ali does not believe the sectarian war is from the Iraq people but from a combination of lack of security and “a government that is full of thieves, racists, extremists, and murderers.” He writes:

They are not loyal to Iraq, but to neighboring countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. None of them is passionate about Iraq but they are still in power.Four years went by and people with education, passion, plans for Iraq have not been listened to and have not been protected. Many of them have been killed and the rest have fled the country and what is the result? The result is the Iraq that we see today.

While 24 Steps to Liberty thinks that the parties in power are at fault and should have never been allowed to stand for election. He explains why:

The political leaders in Iraq now are Shiites by name only, but they don’t care about Iraq or Iraqis, obviously. They are all traumatized; they were forced to leave the country decades ago, many of their family members were killed by the baathist regime in Iraq. Hakim alone lost more than 60 relatives to the baathist government….How can someone with a history of sorrows and agonies like Hakim be trusted to govern Iraq? He has all this hatred in his heart, understandably, and the only thought he has in mind is to take revenge. Not only by ordering his Badr “organization” to kill Sunnis everywhere and for no guilt of theirs, but also by turning a deaf ear and blind eye on the corruption of the government. Why should he care? This is the country that killed his relatives and sent him to exile for years and years.

Raed on the other hand says the violence is all political. He writes: “those defining the civil war within Iraq as a religious conflict alone miss the point. Iraq’s war is over control of the country and its energy supplies, not over Allah.”

Free Iraq sees an insidous link to the partition plan in a leaked document on corruption from the American Embassy in Baghdad. He writes:

Note, in pages 14 and 15 [of the above U.S. Embassy report] how Corruption cases are divided into Shia/Sunni/Kurd. Since when do belief and ethnic background make a difference when it comes to stealing? Perhaps this demonstrates how the State Dept is preparing for partitioning Iraq?

And Al-Ghad considers this a sign that war has reached a dead-end. It wrote:

the motives behind the Senate’s motion is the realisation that the war on Iraq has reached a dead end. US forces in Iraq are exhausted and are facing un-glorious defeat, and the US might end up [quoting Senator Biden] “having to go to a draft”.

All this just reminds me of my favourite quote from a Financial Times editorial which said: ‘given a series of bad options in Iraq, the American administration usually chooses something even worse’.

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