Monday, October 01, 2007

Not a piece of real estate

Oct.1, 2007

Not a piece of real estate to be split

THEY CAME, they saw, they conquered and now they want to divide it. We don't know it for sure yet whether splitting Iraq into three ethnic entities was part of the Bush administration's ulterior objectives when it ordered the invasion of that country in 2003, but we do know that the move spells catastrophe for the people of Iraq and the entire Middle East region.
Since the first Gulf war in 1991, the region's leaders had repeatedly cautioned the US against invading Iraq because they had foreseen the consequences of such action. However, the US, which was determined to eliminate Iraq as a potential threat to Israel and which always wanted absolute control of a country with enough hydrocarbon resources to ensure American energy security, was in no mood to listen. It went ahead with the invasion and occupied Iraq. As a result, it is now caught in the jaws of a crisis that it would never be able to solve while keeping intact its strategic geopolitical interests in the region.
The pro-Israeli neoconservative hawks in Washington are aware that the US has lost the war in Iraq, but it matters to little to them because their first priority is to serve Israeli interests even it comes at the expense of American national interests. They would never concede in public that the US stands no chance of pacifying and stabilising Iraq while it maintains its military occupation of the country, or, more specifically, that the US presence is at the root of the problem in Iraq.
And now we have US senators successfully pushing through the Senate a resolution calling for Iraq to be divided into federal regions under control of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis in a power-sharing agreement similar to the one that ended the 1990s war in Bosnia.
No doubt, Senator Joseph R Biden Jr, a Democrat from Delaware who led the initiative, has as much in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of Iraq and the broader Middle East as someone from the North Pole would have about running a space station.
Indeed, there could be hidden influences and powers at play behind the Senate resolution. We could think of at least one group in Iraq which has set its eyes on independent statehood for themselves and that group is hoping to gain control of the bulk of oil reserves in the country. We also know that many American politicians have close ties with the American oil establishment.
Whether influenced by vested interests or otherwise, Biden and likeminded US politicians are trying to find a solution to the American problem at the expense of the people of Iraq. They are overlooking that Iraq did not create the problem for the US but their own political and administrative leadership did. No one invited the US to invade Iraq, but it did so on its own will and landed in boiling waters. Regardless of the intensity of the problems they face in Iraq, the US political establishment has the moral responsibility and is bound by international conventions and charters not to tamper the territorial intergrity and demographic features of the country. They have no right whatsoever to even suggest that the country be divided on whatever basis.
In simpler terms, US politicians badly need to accept and respect the fact that the American military occupation of Iraq does not mean that the country has become part of their ancestral property that could be disposed off as they find fit. They have to produce an exit strategy on their own without pushing Iraq into further chaos and worsening the regional instability. They have to recognise that the US military presence in Iraq is the problem and should be worrying about how to bring home their soldiers rather than setting the ground for the disintegration of the country.