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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Sunday March 07, 2004
04:04 AM

Staying together for... the children?

[ #17789 ]
Dear All,

Newspaper says: "Shia boycott widens Iraqi divisions: Ethnic majority objects to Kurdish power of veto enshrined in interim constitution."

So, remind me -- why would it be such a bad idea to declare Iraq three separate countries, one for each of these major groups that can't, well, stand to be in the same country with eachother?

I mean, the obvious objection is "the US broke up the great country of Iraq!". But I that that's just as rhetorical as the objection "The US doomed the area to constant civil war by refusing to seize the moment and dissolve the absurd colonial creation that was the barely decades-old country of Iraq!".

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  • > why would it be such a bad idea to declare Iraq three separate countries

    Do you have any idea has much more work it is to negotiate oil deals in *three* different countries instead of in just one?

  • There is the little matter of the necessity of ethnic cleansing of some sort to relocate or otherwise eliminate people who are now living in the "wrong" areas. Besides, it would be further precedent to support those who believe that every ethnic group needs its own country and every country should be ethnically pure -- though admittedly they've gotten their way in some other places.
  • Dividing the country worked for Israel, so it sound work here. Worked for the former Yugoslavia too. Foreigners have always had the most simple solution to these little annoyances that plague the third world.

    • Israel worked especially well because of moving people off of land that their families had owned for hundreds of years. Remember, it's more important to have neighbors just like you than a sense of history!

    • Israel is not a good analogy here. If it were to happen in Iraq the way it did in Israel, we'd have a native Iraqi government (such as existed until recently) saying to the Kurds, "We don't want you, and we will make sure you stay in your little corner of the country. And when we feel like it, we'll take some of your land for our people. If you don't like it -- tough."

      Yugoslavia isn't a good analogy, because the U.S. didn't go into Yugoslavia and wipe out all semblance of government and install a new one.
  • There is no way to satisfy someone like Sistani without theocracy. There are no redrawn borders that would satisfy the people who believe that the Kurds are secretly in the pay of Israel. There may be some power sharing agreements that would help the Shi'a feel more secure, but there's no need to cave to such posturing by an ayatollah.
  • In the USA, your southern states don't have much in common with the north. I'm sure an amicable breakup could be arranged.
  • What makes countries like Iraq and Yugoslavia different from the US and Israel is that they were largely created by fiat. The territory of Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire until the British and French seized most of the Middle East in WWI. Later, the League of Nations carved up the region and drew boundries thereby creating new nations, often ignoring existing informal boundries. The former Yugoslavia and much of the nations of Africa were also created this way. Much of the strife in these areas stem
    • You're right, but it's important to note that "traditional boundaries" don't really exist either, they're all fuzzy and disputed. If you accept that, then I think one must face the real problem: oppressive governments. And it does not go away just because the redrawn country oppresses 10% of its population rather than 30%.

      So as 'undemocratic' as it may seem from a Western liberal perspective I'm against abandoning most of Iraq to theocracy. I wouldn't have gone in there to begin with but that decision's pa
  • why would it be such a bad idea to declare Iraq three separate countries...

    A perfect example would be Pakistan. The division of India into Hindu and Muslim states was Britain's parting gift to the region. Now they have nukes pointing at each other, and a region (Kashmir) on the border which is -- as for the last 1000 years -- deeply contended by both sides. (I'll avoid the "powderkeg" cliché.)

    If nothing else, keeping the hostile factions integrated in one country, living as neighbors, will redu