The Middle East has endured invasions, occupations, genocide, and ethnic cleansing by European colonialism, Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Zionism, and now Americanism, the sole remaining super power in the world. Hegemony, not spreading democracy, was the prime goal of all such powers. When England and France ruled the MidEast between World War I and II neither was concerned with democratizing the region, rather they installed kings and puppet regimes. After World II, the U.S. inherited the Persian Gulf from England, yet not until Bush’s democratization through gun diplomacy did the U.S. belatedly and hypocritically proclaims "democratization" of the MidEast as a strategic objective. America fears democracy in the MidEast lest "Islamists" carry the day.
From the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement between France and England that dismembered the defeated Ottoman Empire into newly drawn and created Arab states under their respective influence to today’s Biden/Gelb partition plan of Iraq; ("Unity through Autonomy in Iraq", NYT, May 1, 2006); powers from afar have decided the ethnic makeup and borders of Arab nations. The Biden/Gelb plan to partition Iraq along ethno-religious lines violates Article 2.7 of the United Nations Charter as well as International law that forbid nations from domestic interference of sovereign states. Their plan calls for partitioning Iraq into three autonomous regions; a northern Kurdish, a middle Sunni, and a southern Shiite province, also violates the Fourth Geneva Convention since it entails mass movement of populations across borders while under foreign occupation. The plan ignores the fate of Iraq’s minorities; the Turkoman, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Jews and others. Will these minorities have their separate provinces or will they be divided among the three partitioned provinces, and who decides?
Bush’s catastrophic Iraq policy and non existent exit strategy from Iraq brought Democrats to power, but they too are clueless on an exit strategy. Regardless of the feigned debate on an exit strategy by both parties, America can’t afford to simply abandon Iraq’s oil and strategic location after paying such an extraordinary price in lives and treasure. After failing to find WMD’s, spreading democracy became the raison d’Ãªtre for America’s invasion and devastation of Iraq. As George Orwell put it: "Global democracy means ensuring that the world is run for our benefit"
Both Senator Biden and Dr. Gelb supported Bush’s illegal catastrophic invasion of Iraq. Bush’s stubbornness and repeated lies regarding Iraq’s invasion, the surge, and democratic progress is best described by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s quote: "Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle." Bush’s failed policy and non existent exit strategy brought Democrats to power, but they too are clueless on an exit strategy as well. Exiting Iraq has become the political football of both parties and the issue du jour for presidential candidates. Ignored in this political competition is the immoral and illegal devastation of an entire nation mired in terrorism and a civil war; both non-existent before the invasion. Given the enormity of lost lives and wasted treasure, America can’t afford to just walk away from Iraq’s oil and strategic location. America is in Iraq to stay, witness the multiple military bases and the building of the largest most expensive Embassy in the world.
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), a left behind presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination; wrote a joint op-ed in the New York Times (May 1, 2006) with Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council for Foreign Relation, detailing a five point plan for partitioning Iraq into three ethno-religious provinces with a central federal government. In characteristic western arrogance a simple op-ed piece outlines the fate and destiny of 27 million Iraqis.
In the article, the Sunnis were identified as problematic toward this plan and thus can be enticed to join this plan through "an offer they couldn’t refuse". Gelb previously proposed this plan in a NYT op-ed entitled "The Three State Solution" (Nov. 25, 2003). In the article Gelb wrote: "American officials could then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate their ambitions or suffer the consequences". Reminds one of the Mafia poster, "If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you". Now that America has annihilated Iraq, both men proclaim that now Iraq is the world’s problem.
Perhaps Senator Biden latched on to Gelb’s plan as a campaign niche during this presidential campaign. In debates he can present himself as the only candidate with an "exit" plan to bring the troops home. Thus, they came, they conquered, they divided, and then they left.
The Biden/Gelb plan totally ignores the wishes and opinions of the Iraqi population, much like Lord Balfour’s comment regarding the British promise made to the Zionists of a "national homeland" for Jews in Palestine. He said: "In Palestine, we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. Zionism, be it right or wrong, is rooted in age-old traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land".
Historically, the wishes or fate of indigenous populations were irrelevant to western colonial powers. It wasn’t what lived above ground that mattered to them, but what resources lied beneath the ground, a fact that remains to this day. To understand modern politics, simply follow the money.
If Biden and the other seventy four Senators who voted to divide Iraq ever bothered to review the August 2007 BBC/ABC poll of Iraqis, they would’ve found that:
- 98% of Iraqis REJECT separation along sectarian lines.
- 47% want the U.S. to Leave Now
- 72% say U.S. presence is making the situation worst.
- 57% approve of attacking U.S./Coalition forces.
- About equal percentages blame the U.S. as blame AlQaeda for violence.
The partitioning of Iraq is opposed by Iraq’s Prime Minister Nur Al Maliki, a Shiite, who called the plan a "catastrophe", the Iraqi Parliament, the O.I.C, representing all 57 Muslim nations (Organization of Islamic Conferences), the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council (includes Saudi Arabia), the Iraq Study Group, and President Bush.
The Arab world opposes partitioning Iraq lest this becomes a prelude to further dismemberment of other Arab nations. Beyond the displacement, movement, and breakup of Iraqi families to settle in their partitioned "niche", the plan may potentially export the Sunni Shiite rift across the Arab and Muslim world. Turkey will never accept an eventual independent Kurdistan and Iran will simply strengthen its hold on Iraq’s southern Shiite province thereby destabilizing the Persian Gulf, the very area Americans are dying to protect. Consequently, in this chaos, terrorism will increase, not decrease.
But, the Biden/Gelb plan is miniscule compared to another American "expert" on the MidEast, Ralph Peters, a retired military officer and author. Mr. Peters wrote a commentary in the Armed Forces Journal, June 2006, entitled "Blood Borders, How a better Middle East would look" where he resolves MidEast conflicts by redrawing new borders along ethnic lines for the entire region. In the article he writes: "Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history. Ethnic cleansing works." Perhaps the entire west is suffering from "intelligence failure".
In the MidEast and the Muslim world America’s foreign policy is seen as driven by oil and Israel’s hegemonic interests. Senator Biden, like all presidential candidates, pays his allegiance to Israel to ensure campaign funds, votes, and good press. Recently, Biden declared on Shalom TV, March 28, 2007, "I am a Zionist."
Partitioning Iraq has also been an Israeli goal. Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent for Ha’aretz, wrote on June 2, 1982, about the ‘best’ that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq is, ‘The dissolution of Iraq into a Shiite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part".
If only the U.S. could seriously and forcefully resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, much of the animosity of the Muslim world toward America will dissipate, and with respectful dialogue and constructive diplomacy the Muslim world can be enlisted to solve what is essentially a Muslim civil strife in Iraq; ergo an exit strategy, although American bases will remain to ensure SUV’s live on cheaply with Muslim oil.
America will force the Arab regimes to attend Bush’s fall conference; and as usual; the Arabs will once again demonstrate their allegiance to America’s interests, damn the Palestinians, their people, and the Muslim world. Arabs and Muslims have never had the courage to "Just Say No" to America. History has proven that Israel has never sought peace with the Palestinians and the entire world is impotent to force it to any accommodation with the Palestinians. Credit the powerful Israel Lobby; the noose around America’s Government and America’s Achilles Heel in world diplomacy.
Tragically, President Bush’s political temperament is to rather fight the world than change his policy.