Tim Dunlop posts on the situation in Iraq, and it doesn’t make happy reading. No doubt RWDB readers will dismiss it as just another piece of lefty defeatism, but others might care to consider the facts on their merit in a more sober, analytical spirit:
1ith militias from both Sunni and Shiite factions out of control and with Sunnis and Shiites who have links into those militias vying for positions within the Iraqi government we are allegedly there protecting and training, how do we decide who to support? Remember, we have for most of the last few years considered the Sunnis to be the main cause of violence, to be the insurgency. But if those American officials mentioned above are right, and the biggest problem is now Shiite militias, doesn’t that represent a major–and unwelcome–shift of the presumptions we have been working with?
To which I’d add one point, and it is a genuine question: what does success look like?
Quite so. It was a conclusion I’d reached 2 years ago, despite initially cautiously supporting the Bush/Blair/Howard invasion. That conclusion led to my proposing the “balkanisation” of Iraq by creation of formally separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite States in the north, centre and south of Iraq.
There was an extensive comment box discussion at the time, with readers making a range of important points about potential difficulties in the way of such a solution e.g. carve-up of control of oil and water resources between the three new states; access to ports; and the attitude of surrounding nations (especially to a formally independent Kurdish nation). They’re all formidable hurdles, but it remains the only solution I can conceive that might well be manageable and does not involve the seeming inevitability of horrendous consequences.
One can continue imagining (as many RWDBs still do, albeit in increasingly desperate tones) that the US will eventually prevail if it “toughs it out” and ignores the “surrender monkeys” in its midst. But even the less obtuse RWDBs know that the next President, whether he/she is Republican or Democrat, will pull out as the American casualty toll continues to rise inexorably with no end in sight. Or you can advocate, as much of the left does, that the US and its allies should simply pull out and leave the inevitable bloody civil war to take its course. The hard left and hard right positions on Iraq ironically lead to the same dreadful place. But there are several obvious problems with both those attitudes. An uncontrolled civil war following a US withdrawal would certainly result in a major deterioration of the already appalling bloodshed. But it would also engender major international instability in what is arguably the world’s most strategically vital region. One could easily imagine the Iranians intervening in such a civil war on the Shiite side and Saudi Arabia and Syria on the Sunni side. Massive dusruption to world oil supplies with consequent global recession is then a foreseeable consequence.
I still think a three state solution, with the US and Britain sticking around to manage the transition, and perhaps to guarantee border security on a continuing basis through ongoing deployment of airpower, would be a goer, despite the hurdles referred to above. Does anyone have any other suggestions apart from the RWDB “she’ll be right, if it weren’t for you gutless lefties” response or the typical left attitude of accepting the inevitability of bloody civil war and global instability and saying “we told you so”?