Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union II and The Surge Redux

Okay I read the text of the SOTU. It didn't say what I thought it would in so many words. But yeah, stay the course, throw some more kids into that meat grinder to see if it will work - I think my essential prediction of it remains intact. I cannot imagine that the problem all along was that the military was just 21 500 soldiers short. If it was, did it really take them nearly four years to figure that out and adjust things on the ground.

The reality of the situation is that the three major ethnic groups are ready to assert themselves over their rivals. The surge can only attempt to hold off ethnic strife for a time. The only thing that seems to evoke strong national feeling in Iraqis these days is their soccer team.

So then comes the question, why should anyone be committed to keeping Iraq together if the Iraqis themselves really don't want to be together. We did not force Yugoslavia to stay together. The Czechs and the Slovaks were on very good terms when the separated, yet no one tried to force a united Czechoslovakia on them. In 1999 the international community finally intervened to allow East Timor to separate from Indonesia.

I know that there are short term concerns over who might influence a divided Iraq. In particular Iran seems to trouble the US in this regard. So what, Iran is influencing a united Iraq today. Iran is a nation of 66 million right next to smaller Iraq, how could it not influence Iraq? If there's going to be an international (US) presence in Iraq, perhaps its only sensible role is to manage the inevitable resettlement and refugee problems that will stem from a breakup of Iraq.

Picture: A surge protector, Moqtada al Sadr wishes it was that easy.
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