Can't We Just Break Up Iraq?

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Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Can't We Just Break Up Iraq?

For the life of me, I can't understand why people who hate each other choose to coexist.  When George Bush invaded Iraq, there was much discussion about the Shia, the Kurds, and the Sunnis.  At that time, it was made abundantly clear that these groups despised one another.  Although I was not blogging when the war started, I held the belief that the country should be split up into three.  Now that we can see the unending violence between these groups of people, I see no other choice.

I'm all for diversity and keeping groups together that get along and all that, but sometimes reality just doesn't allow for that.  Part of the problem in Iraq is that these factions must work together to form a central government.  They are all part of the same country after all.  But what if they weren't part of the same country?  What would happen if the Kurds carved out an area in the north, and the Sunnis and Shias dividing up the rest of the country?  Iraq could be split into three separate and distinct nations.  They could all form their own governments and make their own decisions.

The hardest part about doing this would be where to draw the lines.  The lines would need to be drawn to represent the vast majority of the three populations.  There are some areas of the country where the ethnicity is mixed and even some families that are both Sunni and Shia.  You can see from the picture that there are clearly some areas of the country that are mixed.  It will not be easy.  When drawing the borders, there will be some people displaced and/or in the "wrong" country relative to their ethnicity.  Those people may choose to move, depending on the hostility of the area.  Some mixed areas are not nearly as hostile as others.  Despite these challenges, I believe it still could be done to encompass the majority of citizens and create a much safer environment.

The other main aspect of this is the oil.  The oil fields are not evenly distributed around the country.  If you were to divide up the country into three, one group is going to have more oil than the others.  So how do you remedy this?  You could draw the boundaries to attempt to even it out, but that would only get you so far.  However, if the three groups could agree to pool the oil revenues and disperse them evenly, it could work.  The United States or the UN could oversee that it is an equitable distribution and the three groups would be happy.  Plus, if that is the only thing they have to agree on, it would be a whole lot easier.

Maybe in the distant future, when the United States has left and tensions have eased, there could be more of a free flow of people and commerce between the three countries.  For now, though, I believe this is the best exit strategy for the United States and the best way to stop Iraqis from killing each other.

Civil war itself may lead to the breakup of the country.  Why not break it up now and save years of battle and the hundreds of thousands of deaths that will surely take place?

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