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Conservatives Favor Fragmentation of Iraq

David Brooks’ column in the NYT on Thursday saw as positive the fact that the Iraqi constitution reflects divisions in Iraqi society. Brooks reports that Amb. Peter Galbraith, who is working in Iraq, says:

There is, he [Galbraith] says, no meaningful Iraqi identity. In the north, you’ve got a pro-Western Kurdish population. In the south, you’ve got a Shiite majority that wants a “pale version of an Iranian state.” And in the center you’ve got a Sunni population that is nervous about being trapped in a system in which it would be overrun. In the last election each group expressed its authentic identity, the Kurds by voting for autonomy-minded leaders, the Shiites for clerical parties and the Sunnis by not voting. This constitution gives each group what it wants.

“It’s not a problem if a country breaks up, only if it breaks up violently,” Galbraith says. “Iraq wasn’t created by God. It was created by Winston Churchill.”

What Iraqis don’t want is a united Iraq. Apparently this is okay with Brooks and his buddies. The Iraqis want three separate countries, perhaps loosely united for a short time. But over the longer term the Shiites want to unite with Iran, the Kurds want to form their own country, Kurdistan, taking the parts of Turkey and Iran that are predominately Kurdish. The Sunnis lose out, because the Kurds and Shiites have all the oil, but the Sunnis have the heart and soul of Iraq, the city of Baghdad, which will have no oil income to support it relatively huge population. The Bushies don’t care. Already, under Bush’s US rule Baghdad has no infrastructure, no security, no electricity, no water, no sewer.

Churchill wasn’t infallible, but he was a heck of a lot smarter than George W. Bush. W has Saddam’s gun; that’s all he really wanted. He can brandish it in his father’s face and ridicule him for not killing Saddam, while Iraq becomes a hotbed of anti-Western terrorism under W’s rule. W will let somebody else worry about that after he’s gone. It will be interesting to see if David Brooks is gone from the NYT after the Bush adminstration leaves town. I really thought he was smarter than this.

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