Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Iraqis debate partition

The LA Times is reporting that certain groups within Iraq are proposing that the country be split into independent sectors, largely along sectarian lines, to decrease the sectarian violence that is laying waste to the population.

Abdelaziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq... advocates the creation of a nine-province district in the largely peaceful south, home to 60% of the country's proven oil reserves. Sunni leaders see nothing but greed in the new push — the Shiites, they say, are taking advantage of the escalating violence to make an oil grab. Iraq's oil is concentrated in the north and south; much of the Sunni-dominated west and northwest is desolate desert, devoid of oil and gas. "Controlling these areas will create a grand fortune that they can exploit," said Adnan Dulaimi, a leading Sunni Arab politician. "Their motive is that they are thirsty for control and power."

Still, even nationalists who favor a united Iraq acknowledge that sectarian warfare has gotten so out of hand that even the possibility of splitting the capital along the Tigris, which roughly divides the city between a mostly Shiite east and a mostly Sunni west, is being openly discussed. "Sunnis and Shiites are both starting to feel that dividing Baghdad will be the solution," said Ammar Wajuih, a Sunni politician. |LA Times|
I've mentioned this as a possible solution before, but I see that Juan Cole thinks it is a recipe for disaster.
The Sunni Arabs will never, ever accept being reduced to a minority with no access to Iraq's oil resources (which are mainly in the Shiite south and the Kurdish north), and any such partition is a recipe for a long drawn out civil war.

I have a sinking feeling that Iraq is over with, and that we're just standing around watching the train wreck unfold. |Informed Comment|
Actually, let me amend my last statement. All of US foreign policy is a recipe for disaster.

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