Wednesday, June 09, 2004

NY Times - Kurdish Threat to Withdraw Is Creating a Crisis for Iraqis

The New York Times >Kurdish Threat to Withdraw Is Creating a Crisis for Iraqis

Ok. So when we were hearing about the imminent threat from Iraq, the WMD, the human rights abuses, the tyranny and the terror connections, it seemed like a pretty small counter argument: maybe, just maybe, once we topple Saddam we won't be able to prevent the eventual balkanization of Iraq in a gory civil conflict. All of a sudden, there are no weapons of mass destruction, we're repeating the human rights abuses at abu gahraib and elsewhere, Iraq appears no closer to a permanently liberal government, there never were any legitimate concerns about connections to Islamic terrorism, and most perilously for the Bush administration: the terrorists are NOW in Iraq. So where does that leave us? Well, right were we knew we'd be - with an over extended military, a conflict that we're rapidly losing control of, and rapidly failing faith in our good intentions. The Pentagon was protecting Iraqi Kurds from Hussein for a good decade or so, but no one seemed to give much weight to the geopolitical realities of Iraq or the hostilities that exist within the 'Iraqi people.' I really do hope a compromise can be found so that some sort of liberal federalist system can be created in the eventual Iraqi constitution, but I'm not optimistic. The great and successful constitutions of liberal democracies were born of necessity, and the problem with Iraq is that we haven't convinced the various peoples of Iraq that they share a common future. Why should the believe they do? The Bush administration decided from the outset that it would not permit a 'balkanization' of Iraq despite the state's remarkably unnatural creation. Now - it's a decision they have to live with, for better or worse, because we all know that this administration doesn't make mistakes and doesn't turn back when they do.

I apologize for the rant, but it's frustrating to see these wide eyed reports as if no one ever saw this coming. Anyone who had a knowledge of Iraq or its history had to see this coming. Had there been an imminent threat, had there been a connection to radical Islamist groups, had there been a commitment to protecting human rights, and had there been an interest in improving the hopes for Iraqis futures, a bit more consideration would have been put into 'winning the peace.' And had there been any of those things, it just might have been a war worth considering. It doesn't take a lot of reading between the lines to see what the administration's stated and actual goals were, and now that the evidence is in, it doesn't take a left wing radical or a conspiracy theorist to find the truth.