WHY SHOULD WE SPLIT IRAQ?
By Ardalan Hardi
Because of recent talks to put a time table on our troops in Iraq, mounting political pressure, and President Bush’s recent decline in popularity, it is undeniable the president will remove military support from Iraq much sooner than expected and needed. What we as Americans have failed to acknowledge is the right solution. Iraq must be split into two separate countries. This is not a new idea; experts for years have proclaimed this solution and believe it is inevitable.
Here are few reasons why:
1. An Arab culture that has created and taught Arab Nationalism for centuries and has given birth to many leaders like Saddam Hussein, cannot be changed to democracy overnight. The heroes of Arab nationalism, like Saddam Hussein and Gamal abd-al-Nasser, failed to accomplish their goal of unifying the Arab world and setting Palestine free. Once Anwar Sadat and Israel started on the road to peace, the idea of utopian Arab nationalism evaporated. That is when Islam fundamentals breed new heroes like Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahari to fill the void created by the fall of Arab Nationalism. With a promise of uniting the Islam world (i.e. the Arab world), regaining Palestine, and eradicating the evil empire, U.S. Religion can be a dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong people. While operating under the Islam umbrella, the Islamic radicals have fooled uneducated non Arab Muslim groups like Ansar Al-Islam into helping them with their terrorizing campaign to unify the Arab world. Arab nationalism and Islamo fascism may be different in ideology but their objectives are the same. Like Martin Kramer said, “Islamism is now what Arab nationalism was then”. In Iraq we see the two main factions that use Islam religion to push their own agendas. These factions are Shiites and Sunnis. Shiites embody Iran’s side of Islam religion, which is nothing but hate toward the west, primarily the U.S. and Israel. In fact, if you go to Baghdad today you get a sense that you are in Iran with Ayatollah pictures hanging on the walls every where. I am sure this is the group that will take over Iraq once our military leaves.
The other faction that uses the Islam religion to further its own agenda is the Sunnis. The Sunnis are nothing but the leftover hooligans from Saddam’s Arab nationalist terrorist group. We have seen this through the mass graves of poor innocent Kurdish women and children from Saddam Hussein’s Anfal campaign. The Sunnis used religion to validate their genocide of the Kurds. Today, we see them car bombing, kidnapping and beheading innocent missionaries and truck drivers. These are the groups we are trying to democratize. If we hand Iraq over to these Islamist groups, we are fooling ourselves to believe we are leaving Iraq in the hands of democracy. Martin Kramer says, “So smart people, many of them with experience “handling” Islamists, have been wrong about them time and again. They have told us they know how to talk to Islamists, how to channel them away from violence, how to find common ground. And leaders, governments, and everyday people have paid the price for their errors. It has been the worst precisely in places where Islamists were given the most space to organize, preach, plan, and operate.”
If we leave Iraq the way it is, and do not acknowledge Kurdish independence, it would be like subjecting those we liberated (the Kurds) from one horrendous dictator to another. In this process we would leave Iraq without accomplishing one single goal. At the same time, we will have formed a state that will breed terrorists like rabbits for decades to come resulting in repugnant consequences for rest of the free world.
2- Turkey, we are told, is the other reason for not supporting an independent Kurdistan. The belief in Washington is that we might alienate Turkey as an ally. In my opinion, this is the most mind-boggling reason of all. It would be easier to transform Turkey than try to change Iraq into a Democratic state. It is not only in Turkey’s best interest to adapt and transform, but also it is more probable. Turkey benefits politically and economically by civilizing its human rite record regarding the Kurds. The Turkish economy and financial system are joined to rest of Europe and cannot afford to be isolated from the rest of the world. At the same time, I do not believe that Turkey would like to see another Islamic fundamentalism regime become its neighbor.
3- We should ask ourselves when was the last time we saw an American so zealously greeted, embraced openly and welcomed in any part of the world except in two Israel and Kurdistan. Even when the Kurds disagreed with the policies of U.S. representatives, they never threw a stone at an American soldier or burned American flag. Breemaer was the best example of that even though most of his policies sided with Arabs in Iraq. The Kurds never lost their patience and stood by U.S. Today, when an American soldier needs a vacation from the rat race in the south, he goes to Kurdistan. He knows he is safe and appreciated and treated as a liberator in Kurdistan. If you go to a Kurdish barbershop, restaurant or home what you will see on the wall is a picture of President Bush next to somebody’s loved one who lost their life fighting Saddam and his thugs. Where else in the world do you see that much respect, love and adulation toward Americans?
4- If we look at independent Kurdistan from a strategic point of view, we find that U.S. and the Kurds have the same interest. Arabism and Islamo fascism are both enemies of U. S. and Kurds. In fact, more so now since the Kurds have so emphatically supported the west. Most of the Arab world considers the Kurdish people traders. Kurds are a small minority compare to their surrounding enemies. They would not stand a chance alone should U. S. leave without supporting an independent Kurdistan. By supporting independent Kurdistan, we could set a military base in an environment that is friendly and conducive to U.S. A military base could keep an eye on all terrorist movements in Middle East and closely monitor those countries like Iran and Syria that supply those terror groups. Most every Kurd supports this idea. An article written by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Christopher Dickey in Newsweek says, “Top Kurdish officials have practically begged the U.S. military to make itself at home in their land.” Abdel Beg Perwani, a Kurdish member of Iraq's Parliament and deputy head of the defense committee said, “I do not ask that Americans build bases in Kurdistan—I demand it."
In his article “What are We Holding to Together?” Peter W. Glbraith writes, “Iraq's Kurds, Shiites and Sunni Arabs do not share the common values and aspirations that are essential to building a unified state. The country's Kurds are avowedly secular and among the most pro-American people in the world. Almost unanimously they want nothing to do with Iraq.” Let us not squander this historic opportunity! We have come too far and sacrificed too much to come way empty handed. Let’s hope that our leaders have learned a lesson from Afghanistan. Martin Kramer says, ‘The partnership between U.S. engagement with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets created a false impression among many Americans that the Jihadists were our SOBs. The failure to plot their trajectory has left the door open to the first World Trade Center bombing, and then 9/11
We have two choices:
-We can leave Iraq intact and hand it over to pro Iranian Shiets group.
-Split Iraq into two countries and gain the Kurds as essential allies.