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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).”
However the recent sectarian violence that has engulfed the country ever since the bombing in February of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, appears to have led to a marked radicalisation among Shia political leaders of what their federal state would involve... Abdel Aziz Hakim, the head of the SCIRI, has in recent months advocated a nine-province "super region" in the Shia south, where 60 per cent of the country's oil reserves are located.
It would have its own armed forces drawn from militias such as the Badr Brigade, which is run by the SCIRI, already operating in the region and have some control over oil exploration.
On February 22, 2006, at 6:55 a.m. (0355 UTC), explosions occurred at al-Askari Mosque, effectively destroying its golden dome and severely damaging the mosque. Several men, one wearing a military uniform, had earlier entered the mosque, tied up the guards there and set explosives, resulting in the blast. Two bombs were set off by five to seven men dressed as personnel of the Iraqi Special forces who entered the shrine during the morning.
posted by rich23
Senator Joe Biden proposed a plan to unify Iraq by partitioning it. C'mon Joe, is it unifying Iraq, or partitioning it? And who gets control of the oil? Here's what an article from back in May says . .
October 2002 Chalabi had a series of meetings with three major U.S. oil firms in Washington. "The oil people are naturally nervous," says INC spokesman Zaab Sethna, who took part in the meetings between Chalabi and the oil executives
Chalabi blurted to The Washington Post that the INC intends to reward its American friends. "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil," he proclaimed.
In late September, in "The Future of a Post-Saddam Iraq: A Blueprint for American Involvement," the Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen put forward a nearly complete scheme for the privatization of Iraq's oil, creating three separate companies for southern Iraq,
We seek Iraq's compliance, not its partition.
In testimony before Congress in 2001, General Tommy Franks, the commander of US Central Command said the purpose of the zones is to demonstrate "a continued and significant troop presence to enhance deterrence and show the United States' commitment to force Saddam to comply with sanctions and WMD inspections." He said the zones are designed to "provide access and interaction with Gulf governments; ensure Iraq cannot easily repair and improve its anti-aircraft capabilities within the no-fly zones; and, ensure the ingress and egress routes that would be necessary to prosecute an expanded war against Iraq remain sufficiently clear of sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems."
Frank's explanation is far from the reported humanitarian aims of the zones. As Washington continues its troop build up in the region, the Pentagon is using the no-fly zones to prepare combat pilots for a large-scale attack on Iraq. Eliot Cohen, who directed the Air Force study of the Persian Gulf War bombing campaign said recently the no-fly zones "have an added benefit in intelligence and training."
said by rich23
You know, I'd really like to find the theatrical costumier who's got premises in Iraq and evidently a warehouse chock full of various Iraqi uniforms. In these situations, it's always "men dressed as"... Iraqi policemen, Special Forces.... whoever. The kind of wilful blindness that allows you to cite facts like this but then blame the bombing on "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" is perplexing to me. AQII clearly have a fondness for dressing up!
posted by AceOfBase
It's probably easy for an insurgent to become a member of the Iraqi police, military and special forces, then to smuggle out uniforms and equipment. I don't think there's a conspiracy there. [Edited by Don W]
posted by rich23
That's... er... great, Don, but weren't we talking about Iraq? Sorry, must have nodded off for a moment there . . the fact is that they are being used to sow sectarian violence and as agents provocateurs.
posted by rich23
Very reassuring for Jacksonville. Not, if I'm understanding your point correctly, for Iraq.
Originally posted by SteveR
Oh they will divide to keep the peace (or try to). Iraq is as good as annexed anyway.
Originally posted by marg6043
What will they call the Iraqis that will fight for that oil and for keeping Iraq united.
Originally posted by rich23
It will be interesting watching how the media try to sell the break-up as a good thing, then wonder why the violence goes on.
It will also be interesting to see if Iran offers them an excuse to invade by interfering.
It would be ironic if Iran were invaded for supporting the division of Iraq.
The Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James Baker, the former US secretary of state, is preparing to report after next month’s congressional elections amid signs that sectarian violence and attacks on coalition forces are spiralling out of control. The conflict is claiming the lives of 100 civilians a day and bombings have reached record levels.
The Baker commission has grown increasingly interested in the idea of splitting the Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish regions of Iraq as the only alternative to what Baker calls “cutting and running” or “staying the course”.
His group will not advise “partition”, but is believed to favour a division of the country that will devolve power and security to the regions, leaving a skeletal national government in Baghdad in charge of foreign affairs, border protection and the distribution of oil revenue.
The Iraqi government will be encouraged to hold a constitutional conference paving the way for greater devolution. Iran and Syria will be urged to back a regional settlement that could be brokered at an international conference.