Saturday, January 25, 2003

the war with iraq and the possible outcomes

okay, go here. let this diagram explain all the possible scenarios that take me an hour of rambling to even touch upon.

so johnny and i are talking today about the diagram, and then considering the history of colonialization, and struggling to come up with a country that was BETTER OFF after an outside force intervened. we're brainstorming about this, coming up with a very perfunctory list, and i come up with a foreign policy eureka. *maybe*

personally, my greatest concern over this whole invading iraq thing is that i think the post-war iraq will be a disaster. i foresee a struggle for power between the kurds and the shi'ites, with the u.s. probably weighing in with the kurds, serious troubles with turkey as a result because then their kurdish population will get all up on the government even more, iran gets involved to stomp for the shi'ites, axis of evil kicks in, we yell at iran, iran radicalizes, etc, etc. follow the strain that goes off to the right on the uggabugga site under "'Democratic' gov't installed" to see my fear.

so then i was thinking, well maybe they should have the country be like the US. you know: divide it into states, but here make it based on ethnicity. but then i remembered lebanon's old governing "coalition," and thought, hmm, maybe not.

then a light went on in my head. WAIT A MINUTE. why does iraq have to stay together as a country?

why don't we split iraq into two countries? its boundaries are completely artificial (1922), and they make it almost impossible to envision the country peacefully staying together. if we're going in and being blatantly imperialist and we have to rebuild a society anyway, why don't we make it two countries to avoid one of the groups 'riding roughshod' over the other in the government? in this scenario, the kurds even win their right to self-determination. imagine. getting rid of a dictator and applying generally accepted international principles while doing it.

(i admit this is a messed up thing to suggest. that the u.s. just goes in and divides up a country. but cranky, we do it anyway. we might as well do it in a fashion that will actually come anywhere near addressing the realities of the area.)

now i'm interested because this idea hasn't even been brought up.
allright, factors:
demographics: where are these ethnicities, exactly? who are the other ethnicities that would be affected, and which state would they belong to? how do we ensure that there won't be a repeat of what happened when the british cut pakistan off from india? how would we ensure that the governments of these nations based on ethnic splits still take into account the rights of the minorities? who gets baghdad? who draws the new line? would the opposition leaders think this is a good idea? would our allies like this? would iraqis think this could work?

questions:
examine other famous "splits" in history: india/pakistan, germany after hitler. consider differences, similiarities, and lessons to be learned: what advice would gandhi give here (given that we're going in)? examine pre-saddam iraq and how it functioned. consider: is a country this factionally divided only really kept together by the strong arm of a dictator? am i overemphasizing the importance of the factions?

[pardon me, i have to go do research.]
[i really need to be in school so i can run to one of my professors and ask all these questions.]
[right now, trying to figure out who i can talk to about this.]
[okay, tear this apart, but be nice. i'm trying to be constructive here. i'm trying to actually come up with a policy alternative to what seems to be an inevitable puppet regime, and i do mean regime, not "democratic government."]

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