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August 11, 2006

Break Point On Iraq

Not endorsing, just putting out there. Quoted from StratFor... how much stock you put in their analysis is of course up to you.

It bears on the partition question. I usually think that there is a hopeful, optimistic view on this -- that peoples of different races and religions can live in relative peace -- that is almost always wrong, except in, say, America. My solution is always to give up on the liberal multiethnic utopian dream and simply segregate the populations from each other, in a land and citizen swap, to keep the people from murdering each other.

Kashmir? Swap 'em out. All Muslims relocated to one side of a new border, all Shikhs and Hindus relocated to the other side.

Yes, it's ethnic cleansing. But it's reciprocal ethnic cleansing, and while the method may be objectionable, the goal -- the utilitarian preservation of the most human life as possible, with the least intercine strife -- seems worth it.

At least to me.

At any rate. The Statfor quote is beyond the jump. Thanks to Dave In Texas. I'm still wondering who this guy "Texas" is.



In our view, the fundamental question was whether the Sunnis would buy into the political process in Iraq. We expected a sign, and we got it in June, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed β€” in our view, through intelligence provided by the Sunni leadership. The same night al-Zarqawi was killed, the Iraqis announced the completion of the Cabinet: As part of a deal that finalized the three security positions (defense, interior and national security), the defense ministry went to a Sunni. The United States followed that move by announcing a drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq, starting with two brigades. All that was needed was a similar signal of buy-in from the Shia β€” meaning they would place controls on the Shiite militias that were attacking Sunnis. The break point seemed very much to favor a political resolution in Iraq.

It never happened. The Shia, instead of reciprocating the Sunni and American gestures, went into a deep internal crisis. Shiite groups in Basra battled over oil fields. They fought in Baghdad. We expected that the mainstream militias under the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) would gain control of the dissidents and then turn to political deal-making. Instead, the internal Shiite struggle resolved itself in a way we did not expect: Rather than reciprocating with a meaningful political gesture, the Shia intensified their attacks on the Sunnis. The Sunnis, clearly expecting this phase to end, held back β€” and then cut loose with their own retaliations. The result was, rather than a political settlement, civil war. The break point had broken away from a resolution.

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posted by Ace at 02:58 PM

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