The US and the Partition of Iraq

 “We don’t care if it all goes to Hell.  Lets just get out of here!”  That is what the Senate seems to be saying when it voted this week its non-binding bill to partition Iraq. The truth is Iraq is already partitioned and, as a result, has already gone to Hell. There is no viable sovereign central government in Iraq. 

Kurdish Iraq has been running on its own for nearly fifteen years (thanks to the US and its past three presidents), keeping its oil revenues and running its own army.  In an affront to one of Bush’s own Benchmarks, (a  Iraqi national oil law to centralize and redistribute revenues), the Kurds just signed a contract with one of the President Bush’s good friends, Ray L. Hunt of the Dallas based Hunt Oil Company.  So much for the myth of a Central Iraqi government.  Kurdistan for all intents and purposes is independent. 

The other oil producing region, the Shiites of the South, see their oil revenues financing pro-Iranian radicals and militia.  The different Mullahs, Imams and warlords effectively run the country.  The British had to retreat from Bassorah to the airport to get out of the kill zone.  No Iraqi Sunni, government official or other, dare tread in the region.  No Baghdad decisions, when there are any, are enforced.  Once again, when Iraq held elections, Iran was the big winner and Sunni regimes throughout the Middle East are furious. 

The United States is reduced to fighting Sunnis who have no oil, and thus no money and who logically have joined all kinds of anti-occupation movements, right down to al-Qaeda.  The other area of operations is in Baghdad where violence continues despite the surge.  And even reduced to these two zones, 150 thousand US troops are not up to the task. 

Fighting the Sunni Arabs is exactly what the Kurds and the Shiites (and the Iranians) want the US to be doing as they go about their business of consolidating their power on their oil rich regions. 

It is no secret for anyone that many of the Sunnis the US is fighting are being armed and financed by America’s Arab allies in the Middle East to counter Iran.  After all, isn’t the US arming Muslim fundamentalists in Lebanon to counter the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nazrallah? 

So when it comes to partition and tribal warfare, no Senate vote was needed.  The Bush administration had already blundered its way through the Middle East and accomplished the mission. 

It is interesting to see Condoleezza Rice call the Senate bill a bad idea. “The Untied States should not be seen as taking sides on subject such as this, which is the sovereign responsibility of the Iraqi government and the people alone to determine,” she said. 

This is the same Rice who ‘nixed’ the Iraqi governments demand that Blackwater mercenaries contracted by the State Department leave the country and she refused to hand over for trial those involved in a shooting spree in downtown Baghdad two weeks ago which left as many as twenty civilians dead.  So, where is the sovereignty of the Iraqis over the thousands and thousands of ‘private security contractors’, those hired murderers who answer only to their bosses? 

These gun-happy killers have taken countless thousands of Iraqi lives and account to no-one for it.  They even put some of their shooting follies on Utube.  Their crimes have made life even more dangerous for American troops who have strict orders when to shoot or not and who go to jail when they murder or rape. 

It would have made more sense for the Senate to vote against Bush’s privatization of his Iraq war.  Rumsfeld was right when he said: “As you know you, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want.”  But I would add, if you don’t have the Army, don’t go to war. 

And how is Bush going to deal with the way Turkey and Iran view an independent Kurdistan?  They have Kurdish problems of their own. The Iranians shelled Iraqi Kurdish villages again this week.  The Turks have a large Army on the border ready to invade to stop its own Kurdish separatists from using the zone to stage cross border attacks. 

How is the US going to stop Iranian expansion when they don’t have the Army they want for Iraq?  Israel’s failure in Lebanon last year, a trial run for Iran, killed Washington’s Plan A. That will be for another entry.