Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, May 3, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    This is something I advocated long ago. I am glad to see it being brought into the mainstream for a hearing.

    Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq

    Author: Joseph R. Biden, Jr., U.S. Senate (D-Del.), Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow

    May 1, 2006
    The New York Times

    A decade ago, Bosnia was torn apart by ethnic cleansing and facing its demise as a single country. After much hesitation, the United States stepped in decisively with the Dayton Accords,which kept the country whole by, paradoxically, dividing it into ethnic federations, even allowing Muslims, Croats and Serbs to retain separate armies. With the help of American and other forces, Bosnians have lived a decade in relative peace and are now slowly strengthening their common central government, including disbanding those separate armies last year.

    Now the Bush administration, despite its profound strategic misjudgments in Iraq, has a similar opportunity. To seize it, however, America must get beyond the present false choice between “staying the course” and “bringing the troops home now” and choose a third way that would wind down our military presence responsibly while preventing chaos and preserving our key security goals.

    The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group—Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab—room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests. We could drive this in place with irresistible sweeteners for the Sunnis to join in, a plan designed by the military for withdrawing and redeploying American forces, and a regional nonaggression pact.

    It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor. Meanwhile, the frustration of Americans is mounting so fast that Congress might end up mandating a rapid pullout, even at the risk of precipitating chaos and a civil war that becomes a regional war.

    As long as American troops are in Iraq in significant numbers, the insurgents can’t win and we can’t lose. But intercommunal violence has surpassed the insurgency as the main security threat. Militias rule swathes of Iraq and death squads kill dozens daily. Sectarian cleansing has recently forced tens of thousands from their homes. On top of this, President Bush did not request additional reconstruction assistance and is slashing funds for groups promoting democracy.

    Iraq’s new government of national unity will not stop the deterioration. Iraqis have had three such governments in the last three years, each with Sunnis in key posts, without noticeable effect. The alternative path out of this terrible trap has five elements.

    The first is to establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security. The central government would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues. Baghdad would become a federal zone, while densely populated areas of mixed populations would receive both multisectarian and international police protection.

    Decentralization is hardly as radical as it may seem: the Iraqi Constitution, in fact, already provides for a federal structure and a procedure for provinces to combine into regional governments.

    Besides, things are already heading toward partition: increasingly, each community supports federalism, if only as a last resort. The Sunnis, who until recently believed they would retake power in Iraq, are beginning to recognize that they won’t and don’t want to live in a Shiite-controlled, highly centralized state with laws enforced by sectarian militias. The Shiites know they can dominate the government, but they can’t defeat a Sunni insurrection. The Kurds will not give up their 15-year-old autonomy.

    Some will say moving toward strong regionalism would ignite sectarian cleansing. But that’s exactly what is going on already, in ever-bigger waves. Others will argue that it would lead to partition. But a breakup is already under way. As it was in Bosnia, a strong federal system is a viable means to prevent both perils in Iraq.

    The second element would be to entice the Sunnis into joining the federal system with an offer they couldn’t refuse. To begin with, running their own region should be far preferable to the alternatives: being dominated by Kurds and Shiites in a central government or being the main victims of a civil war. But they also have to be given money to make their oil-poor region viable. The Constitution must be amended to guarantee Sunni areas 20 percent (approximately their proportion of the population) of all revenues.

    The third component would be to ensure the protection of the rights of women and ethno-religious minorities by increasing American aid to Iraq but tying it to respect for those rights. Such protections will be difficult, especially in the Shiite-controlled south, but Washington has to be clear that widespread violations will stop the cash flow.

    Fourth, the president must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008 (while providing for a small but effective residual force to combat terrorists and keep the neighbors honest). We must avoid a precipitous withdrawal that would lead to a national meltdown, but we also can’t have a substantial long-term American military presence. That would do terrible damage to our armed forces, break American and Iraqi public support for the mission and leave Iraqis without any incentive to shape up.

    Fifth, under an international or United Nations umbrella, we should convene a regional conference to pledge respect for Iraq’s borders and its federal system. For all that Iraq’s neighbors might gain by picking at its pieces, each faces the greater danger of a regional war. A “contact group” of major powers would be set up to lean on neighbors to comply with the deal.

    Mr. Bush has spent three years in a futile effort to establish a strong central government in Baghdad, leaving us without a real political settlement, with a deteriorating security situation—and with nothing but the most difficult policy choices. The five-point alternative plan offers a plausible path to that core political settlement among Iraqis, along with the economic, military and diplomatic levers to make the political solution work. It is also a plausible way for Democrats and Republicans alike to protect our basic security interests and honor our country’s sacrifices.

    Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Leslie H. Gelb is the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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  2. poncho

    poncho
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    Seems like I told you at one time this was the plan from the begining Ken.

    Bush and company have spent three years in a successful attempt at fooling us into believing they wanted a strong central government in Iraq and were "spreading democracy". The CFR as you already know have been preaching the "Three State Solution" in Iraq for years and what they preach is what they get. Is it really a surprise or coincidence that this is what it will all come down too in the end?

    Divide and conquer. That's how the ancient empires were built and the "New International Order" is just using the same old plays from the same old playbook to expand it's own global empire.

    And people actually believed Bush and Rumsfeld were making mistakes by not sending enough troops to keep order. With these guys you can't have order until there is chaos first.

    They're starting to work their magic order out of chaos formula on the borders now. Fomenting hate and rage between citizens and non citizens, then it will be the anglos against the hispanics, race riots and maybe even a small war so they can crack down with their militarized police state they've been quitely building so the CFR can get their beloved North American Community and world government out of it.

    Order out of chaos and problem reaction solution Ken. Nothing new under the sun. It's always the same old game only the faces and party names change so we don't catch on to it and put a stop to it.

    It's kind of like watching the same old reruns over and over and over again. :cool:
     
  3. Daisy

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    We promised Turkey we wouldn't give the Kurds their own land. Iran would hate it, too - maybe we should. It might take some of the pressure off Israel.

    Bush won't go for it because he would never let the Democrats get credit for anything.
     
  4. poncho

    poncho
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    Big deal, we break promises everyday if Turkey doesn't like it we can give them a boot to the head too we're the military arm of the new international order, they'll do as we tell em or else! Iran might not be in any postion to argue after we use nukes on em. I don't know that Bush plans on leaving office Daisy. One more attack on the homeland and he may just declare himself "president for life".

    Besides this isn't a democrat plan this a CFR plan. They control and dictate policy to both parties.
     
  5. LadyEagle

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    You're right, poncho. Especially about the civil war here and the declaration of martial law. I see it coming.
     
  6. KenH

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    How did we go from a thread about solving Iraq's problems to a thread discussing United States' non-Iraq issues?
     
  7. poncho

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    We aren't there to solve Iraq's problems Ken, we're there to conquer them. Any nation that values it's sovereignty and right to self rule and isn't a member in good standing of the new international order will be invaded balkanized conquered and it's resources redistributed by the NWO.

    Watch closely what's happening in Iraq now Ken, it's just the warmup for what's going to shortly happen here in America.
     
  8. KenH

    KenH
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    You're such a drama king, poncho. [​IMG]
     
  9. poncho

    poncho
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    Speaking of drama.

    You listen to Condi's speeches Ken how often does she mention the international order (community)? We're already part of it, we're the bad cops the muscle the strong arm the NWO's military wing . We go around bully and threaten other countries that don't have private central banks that syphon moneyel back to London with dire consequences if they don't shape up and conform to the international order (communities) standards.

    Then, like Iraq if they don't we go ahead and start dropping tons of "democracy" on them and tons of propaganda (emphasis) on us.

    Then the United Nations goes in as the good cops and says (in a whiney nasal tone), oh Americans use torture, Americans are to aggresive, Americans need to tone it down, blah blah blah.

    It's designed to turn the world against America and empower the Un. Americans, being taught to be good submissive global citizens for years now will naturally just give in to the international peer pressure and give up more soverignty and right to self rule to the unelected bankers and their international corporate partners that run the whole show.

    It's all staged. Just like Hillary Clinton is supposed to be the anti Bush or arch liberal or whatever, C'mon she hangs out with Rupert Murdoch for cryin out loud. It's all theater.

    Murdoch and Clinton: An Unlikely Alliance NY Times

    Rupert Murdoch F.O.B. (and Hillary) New York News And Features

    It's all staged, how much more obvious can it get?

    [ May 05, 2006, 02:27 AM: Message edited by: poncho ]
     
  10. Scott J

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    Then someone tell him to give me credit for it since I expressed the same idea on this board within the last few months. :D
     

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