He works for the Kurds
Kurdish factorum Peter Galbraith
Gone to pieces
Be Our Guest
By PETER GALBRAITH
......................................Shorter Peter Galbraith: Let the Kurds have their own country, and keep the Turks and the Shia off our backs.
But it is time for the administration to face an uncomfortable reality: There is no longer any such thing as a single nation called Iraq. In the north, Kurdistan has its own government, army and flag, and it does not allow the Iraqi flag or army on its territory. The Shiite south is ruled by religious parties and militias. The Sunni Arab center is a battleground between Sunni insurgents and the U.S. military operating in alliance with mostly Shiite Iraqi troops. In Baghdad, Al Qaeda offshoots dominate many of the Sunni neighborhoods in the city's west while the pro-Hezbollah Mahdi Army controls the Shiite east.
Iraq's supposed "government of national unity" is not very united, and governs almost nothing.
So the real question is not "How do we hold Iraq together?" but "What would it take to put it back together?"
At a minimum, the U.S. would have to disarm the Shiite militias and end the Sunni-Shiite civil war. Disarming the militias means taking on well-armed fighters supported by Iran. To end the civil war, U.S. troops would have to become Baghdad's police force. These missions would require many more troops than we have in Iraq today and would lead to greater U.S. casualties.
But even if we could put Iraq together, is that a worthy goal? Iraq's Kurds have created a Western-oriented aspiring democracy in the north. What U.S. interest is served by forcing them to live in an Iraq that is theocratic and allied with Iran? And if Iraq's Shiites want their own state, as apparently they do, why should we commit our military to stopping them?
Iraq is already partitioned. The question now is whether America should pay a higher price in blood and treasure to reassemble a country that a sizable proportion of its people do not want.
Because the Turks and Iranians will never permit a Kurdish state and no matter what the Hakims say, Sadr wants a unitary Iraq and at the end of the day, he may have the whip hand.
Why is Kurdistan not viable?
The smallest part of a potential Kurdistan lies in Iraq. Oh yeah, Galbraith never mentions Kirkuk as the future capital of Kurdistan, but that's what they want, along with the oil. And that is a wee bit of a problem. No one is giving the Kurds Kirkuk or any oil. Much less any control over the Turkomen.
posted by Steve @ 2:39:00 AM