Monday, July 24, 2006

The division of Iraq.

According to this, the break-up of Iraq into seperate ethnically-defined nations is almost inevitable. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, it would deprive the insurgents of a significant (at least stated) motivation: namely, that they want control of their own people. If each "people" has its own enclave, then each people can control their own fate.

Of course, there are two major obstacles. First is that there's no indication in the article that the Kurds would get any land. My understanding of the region is that there are three major ethnic groups (Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds). If two think they can split the country between them without some serious resistance from the Kurds (who pretty much control the north) is insane. (It's also worth noting that the Kurds have a long, long history of kicking the hell out of other people in order to get their own country.) So, the fighting might still turn from generallyanti-American to full-fledged civil war.

Second is that the insurgents are more than likely (how shall I put this delicately) being disingenuous about their own motivations. That is, chances are good they won't be content to live and let live, and will turn from trying to "win back" their country to trying to conquer someone else's.

On the whole, dividing the country is probably not a bad idea. Seperate governments for the seperate peoples in the region may be a good way to keep everyone from feuding over control over a given country. However, unless whatever underlying issues are provoking this never-ending conflict are dealt with, these sorts of cosmetic and procedural "fixes" won't solve anything.

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