Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The jury is still out

Dan Senor, former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and now a security consultant/political operative takes to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to bash Joe Biden on the grounds that Iraqis were opposed to his partition plan --

The uproar was unsurprising, as partition would have involved expelling Iraqis from their homes. How would a partition work, for example, in major cities like Kirkuk, which is majority Kurdish but also has a large Sunni population, and substantial Christian and Turkomen populations? The likely outcome would have been forced relocation. This could have sparked a wave of renewed sectarian violence, if not civil war.

So no partition plan, no problem? Not exactly. Here's one recent report from the New York Times --

This month [August], legislation in the national Parliament to set the groundwork for crucial provincial elections collapsed in a bitter dispute over Kirkuk, as Arabs and Turkmens demanded that the Kurds be forced to cede some of their power here. But with the Kurds having already consolidated their authority in Kirkuk, there seemed little chance — short of a military intervention — of that happening.

Kurdish authority is visible everywhere in the city. In addition to the provincial government and command of the police, the Kurds control the Asaish, the feared undercover security service that works with the American military and, according to Asaish commanders, United States intelligence agencies.

The fact is that Biden looked at Iraq and not unreasonably saw another Bosnia-Herzegovina. Perhaps his plan was the wrong reaction, but it's not like the issues that it was trying to address have been solved. Instead, like so many other issues, they've been left to the next Administration.

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