As Hugh Fitzgerald has discussed here many times, Western governments should evaluate this possibility solely from the standpoint of whether or not it would help them defend their countries against the advance of the global jihad.
“Iraq’s break-up will lead to “˜100 Years War,– from Today’s Zaman:
The idea of splitting Iraq into three — Kurdish, Sunni and Shia — has been circulating for a while in the US and Israel. Do you think it could be a remedy?
The definition of Sunni and Shia is an erroneous one, because after all many of the Kurds are Sunni and if we add Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds, then we are talking a majority in numerical terms.
Secondly, the sectarian realties of Iraq were contained between 1925 and 1958 by the constitution of the monarchy that was established by my late great uncle King Faisal I on the basis of power-sharing arrangements whereby the central budget was shared in terms of returns equitably by all Iraqis. I want to remind you that since the invasion of Iraq “¦ returns in oil have not been financed in an equitable manner as to be shared by all Iraqis.
Much of the fight continues on the basis of serious mistakes recognized today, but too late, by the Americans, i.e., dissolving the armed forces providing the resistance with such a large number of well-trained fighters, and indeed not securing the weapons stocks, arms arsenals or the opening the Iranian border and then closing it after Iranians had clearly taken advantage of this open border policy. I think as far as the destruction of Iraq, the breakup of the country is not preordained and I don’t think it should be self-realizing.
At this point I want to cite the Clean Break paper of 1996 attributed to the conservatives in the US. It seems to me that the concept of pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, supra-national identity was actually taken to pieces by this paper, arguing somehow that fragmentation was taking place in that part of the world, so let us take full advantage of this. Muslims and Arabs do not need enemies as they are doing an excellent job of destroying each other. Of course this plays into the hands of Israeli extremists that believe Israel should emerge as the dominating minority in a region of minorities or a mosaic of minorities.
I understand you are vehemently against the idea?
I think it would be a disaster; fragmentation of Iraq, fragmentation of Sudan, fragmentation of Lebanon would be the beginning of the end and we are already on a runaway train.
What you mean by the ‘end’?
End of the Westphalian system, the end of the Middle Eastern community of states, the beginning of a Balkanization that could lead, in the words of the former Iraqi Defense Minister Ali Allawi, to a new 100 years of war.