Monday, October 01, 2007

Coleman, Dems wrong on Iraq Federation Vote

On Wednesday, September 26th, Senator Norm Coleman broke with the majority of his Republican collogues to vote on Senate Amendment 2997 to express the sense of Congress on federalism in Iraq.

The Democrats who supported this were wrong and so is Senator Coleman.

First, if Iraq is to be a sovereign nation, it should decide how it should be structured. How would America feel if a foreign country recommended that the United States be broken up ? Based on GDP, California and Texas would be in the top ten in the world, so what if they wanted to be there own country? Oh, don’t worry, we in Minnesota, being the equivalent of Norway, could be number 56 in world rankings. Should we disband and each become our own entity ? No more Red State –v- Blue State ?

Iraq’s political leaders have not appreciated the Senate’s vote. In fact, The Associated Press reports “U.S. Embassy rips Senate plan on Iraq”
In a highly unusual statement, the U.S. Embassy said resolution would seriously hamper Iraq's future stability. "Our goal in Iraq remains the same: a united, democratic, federal Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself," the unsigned statement said. "Iraq's leaders must and will take the lead in determining how to achieve these national aspirations. ... attempts to partition or divide Iraq by intimidation, force or other means into three separate states would produce extraordinary suffering and bloodshed," it said. The statement came just hours after representatives of Iraq's major political parties denounced the Senate proposal. The Kurds in three northern Iraqi provinces are running a virtually independent country within Iraq while nominally maintaining relations with Baghdad. They support a formal division, but both Sunni and Shiite Muslims have denounced the proposal. At a news conference earlier in the day, at least nine Iraqi political parties and party blocs — both Shiite and Sunni — said the Senate resolution would diminish Iraq's sovereignty and said they would try to pass a law to ban any division of the country. "This proposal was based on the incorrect reading and unrealistic estimations of Iraq's past, present and future," according to a statement read at a news conference by Izzat al-Shahbandar, a representative of the secular Iraqi National List.
On Friday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told The Associated Press that "dividing Iraq is a problem, and a decision like that would be a catastrophe."

Second, breaking up the country made actually lead increases in the Iraqi Civil War.
The national government needs Senate support … not interference.
Al Qaeda is the “poster boy” enemy, but the real problem is corruption and division within the country.
LA Times reports : BAGHDAD -- Iraqi and U.S. special forces have arrested at least 59 army officers and enlisted men accused in killings, bombings and kidnappings in the latest case linking elements of the Iraqi army to sectarian militias and criminal gangs, authorities announced Wednesday. [SNIP] The U.S.-Iraqi raid Tuesday on the Defense Ministry's military academy in the east Baghdad neighborhood of Rustamiya provided the latest evidence of the Iraqi army's continuing struggle to weed out lawless elements. Authorities said the academic dean was the ringleader of a criminal gang on campus. The group was wanted in connection with killings, bombings and kidnappings, including the slaying two years ago of the school's director, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. [SNIP] This month, the U.S. military arrested an Iraqi commander suspected of expelling Sunnis from neighborhoods and ordering attacks on American soldiers. The officer had led the Baha Araji battalion, a special unit created by the Defense Ministry under pressure from Sadr loyalists in government.[SNIP] The leadership of one of the top-rated units in the Iraqi military, the 2-2 battalion, was arrested on charges of homicide and kidnapping in the spring. Its members were accused of working in tandem with the Mahdi Army in east Baghdad.

Earlier A/P reported on the killing by Al Qaeda of Sheik Abu Risha, the leader of the new Sunni alliance in Al Anbar: Lt. Col. Jubeir Rashid, an Iraqi police officer in Anbar, said Friday that “Abu Risha's security chief, Capt. Karim al-Barghothi, confessed al-Qaida in Iraq had offered him $1.5 million for the slaying but that he was arrested before he could collect the money.”

Based on these examples, if Iraq was broken up, these "gangs" would become mini-military powers.

Third, if Iraq is broken up, it will cause more havoc for the neighboring countries … notably the Sunnis in Saudi Arab, the Shiites in Iran, as well as Jordan and Syria (which are already overrun with refugees/immigrants).

IF the US Senate wants a stable Iraq, it needs to support engagement with Iraq’s neighbors and not enragement with Iraq’s Parliament.

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