Joe’s post on the alternatives to secession got me to thinking…
Given that the liberals are devout anti-secessionists, even though they apparently despise “red” America, would they ever consider a separation like that under the circumstances of religious, political and cultural differences?
They are telling us that they would not…becasue, well, conservatives are – how was it put? We “are mentally deficient and [they] do not want them representing us. We would like more education in our state to eradicate their disease.”
Well, in 2007, the liberal Brookings Institution thought was good enough for Iraq:
The time may be approaching when the only hope for a more stable Iraq is a soft partition of the country. Soft partition would involve the Iraqis, with the assistance of the international community, dividing their country into three main regions.
Each would assume primary responsibility for its own security and governance, as Iraqi Kurdistan already does. Creating such a structure could prove difficult and risky. However, when measured against the alternatives—continuing to police an ethno-sectarian war, or withdrawing and allowing the conflict to escalate— the risks of soft partition appear more acceptable. Indeed, soft partition in many ways simply responds to current realities on the ground, particularly since the February 2006 bombing of the Samarra mosque, a major Shi’i shrine, dramatically escalated intersectarian violence. If the U.S. troop surge, and the related effort to broker political accommodation through the existing coalition government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fail, soft partition may be the only means of avoiding an intensification of the civil war and growing threat of a regional conflagration. While most would regret the loss of a multi-ethnic, diverse Iraq, the country has become so violent and so divided along ethno-sectarian lines that such a goal may no longer be achievable.
Soft partition would represent a substantial departure from the current approach of the Bush Administration and that proposed by the Iraq Study Group, both of which envision a unitary Iraq ruled largely from Baghdad. It would require new negotiations, the formation of a revised legal framework for the country, the creation of new institutions at the regional level, and the organized but voluntary movement of populations.
And in 2006, no less than the intellectual, foreign policy giant and erstwhile Vice-President of the United States, Smilin’ Joe Biden thought so:
The senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proposed Monday that Iraq be divided into three separate regions — Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni — with a central government in Baghdad.
In an op-ed essay in Monday’s edition of The New York Times, Sen. Joseph Biden. D-Del., wrote that the idea “is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group … room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests.”
The new Iraqi constitution allows for establishment of self-governing regions. But that was one of the reasons the Sunnis opposed the constitution and why they demanded and won an agreement to review it this year.
Biden and co-writer Leslie H. Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledged the opposition, and said the Sunnis “have to be given money to make their oil-poor region viable. The Constitution must be amended to guarantee Sunni areas 20 percent (approximately their proportion of the population) of all revenues.”
Biden and Gelb also wrote that President Bush “must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008 (while providing for a small but effective residual force to combat terrorists and keep the neighbors honest).”
Who else thought it was a good idea?
Nonetheless, supporters remain committed to the language. Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd and a proponent of federalism, has praised the resolution. Falah Mustafa Bakir, director of the Foreign Relations Department for the KRG, explains the Kurdish position in [an] interview with CFR.org.
Biden and Gelb, too, have stood by their turn of phrase. In an October 2007 Washington Post op-ed, they argued federalism would benefit all Iraqis without partitioning the country. In an interview with CFR’s Bernard Gwertzman,Gelb goes further, suggesting a federal form of government may be the only way to correct the Bush administration’s failed top-down experiment in Iraq. The White House “thought that they could build a strong central government first by elections and then by them putting pressure on the different parties,” Gelb says. “It has not worked for four years and it still doesn’t work.”
So the liberals thought federalism would be good for Iraq but not good for America.
How imperialistic of them.