Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More on Biden being right for Iraq

Helene Cooper in the NYTimes (arguing he may be running for Sec. of State).

She writes:

The proposal acknowledges forthrightly what a growing number of Middle East experts say is plain as day: Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis are not moving toward reconciliation; they still haven’t managed to get an oil law passed, and de facto ethnic cleansing is under way as Sunnis flee largely Shiite neighborhoods and towns, and vice versa.

The plan was dumped on when it came out last year. “Partitioning Iraq: No Starter” was the headline on a column by George Hishmeh in Gulf News, a daily newspaper that specializes in the Middle East. Mr. Hishmeh, a former writer for the United States Information Agency, pointed out a common complaint about the partition idea, that the very word “partition” has a bad ring to Arab ears given that a United Nations partition plan paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.

Foreign policy analysts also pointed out that breaking up Iraq could cause bloodletting (as if that isn’t happening now) in Iraq’s urban areas. While Sunnis predominate in the western part of the country, Kurds in the north, and Shiites in the south, Iraq’s cities are not as homogeneous. Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul don’t have clear geographical lines separating the main groups.

Or at least they didn’t. The reality is, Iraq’s cities have become far more homogeneous recently as terrified residents have fled areas where their ethnic group doesn’t predominate. The neighborhoods around the edges of Baghdad have already experienced a lot of ethnic cleansing.

Officially, Bush administration officials maintain that they share President Bush’s hopes that increased American troop strength in Baghdad will tamp down the violence and create political space for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to reach a political solution. But testimony and interviews this month about conditions in Iraq indicated that the administration is already making de facto moves towards partition.

tags technorati :
tags technorati :


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