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‘Practically Speaking, Iraq Has Broken Apart’
The Daily Beast ^ | June 15, 2014 | Eli Lake

Posted on 06/16/2014 3:01:01 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

With Baghdad’s army disintegrating and terrorists on the rampage, the son of Iraq’s president—himself a top Kurdish official—says Iraq is effectively a single country no more.

American presidents and Iraqi strongmen have been trying for decades to keep the country intact. But that effort is now failing under pressure from the Islamic extremists who are taking over more and more of Iraq’s cities. “Practically speaking, the country has broken apart,” a top official in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government told The Daily Beast.

In an interview, Qubad Talabani—the Kurdish government’s incoming deputy prime minister and the son of Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani—said Kurdish leaders do not seek the dissolution of Iraq, but that it’s happening nonetheless.

“Iraq, in a sense, has broken apart from us,” he told The Daily Beast. “Geographically we practically have to cross another country to get to Baghdad. We have to cross through territory that is governed and secured by forces that are not loyal to the federal government in Baghdad.”(continued)

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; iran; iraq; isil; isis; islam; kurds; muslims

1 posted on 06/16/2014 3:01:01 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Kurds are going to prepare for independence if things do not change. I believe things are reaching a point where Kurdistan will have to recall its deputies from the Iraqi Parliament.

If Iraq ceases to exist as a unified state, there is no longer any point to the Kurds remaining in the state and given Arab internecine bloodshed, independent statehood looks like an increasingly attractive option.

It should be pointed out those who tore up Sykes-Picot and the Iraqi federal framework are not the Kurds; this was the Arabs’ own doing. The Kurds cannot preserve something the Arabs themselves have decided is no longer in their own interest.


2 posted on 06/16/2014 3:13:39 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

I tend to like the Kurds. But I wonder what Turkey will think of all of this.

If I remember correctly, the Kurds in eastern Turkey were seeking an independent homeland — and now there is an independent homeland for Kurds — just on the other side of the eastern Turkish border. That might have a ripple effect.


3 posted on 06/16/2014 3:18:16 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Iraq has been a country strung together out of pieces of the Ottoman Empire with no regard at all to the people groups within its arbitrarily drawn borders. That is fact. The Brits did a terrible job on this one. They had some reason, perhaps nothing more than that it was easy to draw those lines on a map in that way.

In any case, it makes sense for it to come apart. That idea pre-dates Biden. It was discussed here on FR for years before Biden spoke up. And it actually precedes that by decades.

The only way Iraq has held together is by dictatorship.

It would probably be better for everyone concerned if it did have 3 smaller regions: Kurd, Sunni, Shiite.


4 posted on 06/16/2014 3:22:39 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

If the old state borders are no longer sacrosanct, one can make the case the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds can unite into a single state.

What’s true for the Sunni Arab goose is equally true for the Kurdish gander.

Syria and Iraq will not survive in their old form.


5 posted on 06/16/2014 3:23:14 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: xzins

There going to be three separate countries in Iraq. In Syria, possibly three: an Alawite state along the Syrian coast, a Sunni Arab state extending from Damascus eastwards across the desert into present day Iraq and a Druze state in the Jebel Huran. And the Kurdish area in Syria will become part of Kurdistan.


6 posted on 06/16/2014 3:28:44 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Sunnis losing in Syria and Sunnis (about to be) losing in Iraq. Time to get rid of the meanies and put on the big smile because “evvvrebody friends, no problems”.

A loose federation with oil in each state should work for Iraq. The oil already exists in each controlled area. Only transportation is the issue. In a federation they’d all have to cooperate to some extent to get their oil to market. I’m not so sure about Syrian Sunni’s prospects.


7 posted on 06/16/2014 3:40:32 AM PDT by Justa
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I seriously think this is a very well planned & and so far implemented ‘intervention’ to not simply partition Iraq, but to re-shape a fairly sizeable region. Equally, the name Islamic State in Iraq and (The Levant) is the correct translation from Arabic, and accurately describes the region (not just Syria) they have in mind -linguistically, historically & to a large extent culturally.


8 posted on 06/16/2014 3:54:50 AM PDT by odds
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To: xzins

so who gets the oilfields .. who controls the rivers...and who gets the Shatt al-Arab?

The Brits had their reason to put it together the way they did - trying to reach a political consensus and compromise after hundreds of years of instability, warfare and division between the claims of Ottoman and Persian empires

If splitting it up was such a good idea it would have been done back in 1920


9 posted on 06/16/2014 3:57:53 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So basically what Dick Cheney told us would happen if we had invaded Iraq back in the early 90’s.


10 posted on 06/16/2014 4:11:01 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: goldstategop

It was Sykes-Picot that created this to begin with This was a construct by the British and French that ignored tribal and religious boundaries

Iraq first then Iran will devolve into regional mini states so will Syria over time


11 posted on 06/16/2014 4:21:35 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: silverleaf

The Brits did a lousy job. They left out a huge people group in the Kurds who’ve been persecuted for generations now.

So far as the oilfields are concerned, one might say that bringing all the oilfields under one government would be a good thing. The problem is that the people it was good for was the British people.

What it required was brutal government to hold it together.


12 posted on 06/16/2014 4:25:01 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m wondering why we didn’t try splitting Iraq into three in the first place. Would have saved a lot of bloodshed and time trying to separate the Sunni, Shia and the Kurds from killing each other.

Of course, Turkey may not have approved of a independent Kurdish state.


13 posted on 06/16/2014 4:30:14 AM PDT by Corporate Democrat
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To: goldstategop; 2ndDivisionVet

The problem I see for the Kurds is a military problem. They have no air force. In modern warfare that’s a loser. The major air force in the region is the Israeli air force, but as Muslims the Kurds lose by asking Israel to side with it, if Israel would even do so. The next strongest air force is Turkish, and they have no love for the Kurdish rebels who’ve fought them for generations. (One freeper has pointed out that that is a communist terrorist group and that the Kurdish government is not associated with them at all. That is supported by this article saying the Turks permitted the Kurds to use their pipeline for oil sales.)

It is likely the Turks would prefer 3 small states to their south rather than one larger state always in foment.

The Iranians have an air force, they clearly side with the Shi’ites and Maliki, and they are already fighting the ISIS sunni moslems. One wonders if they have an interest in holding Maliki’s country together for him. The Iraq/Iran war would say that they have zero interest in the Sunni factions of old Saddam Hussein again seizing power in Iraq. It’s possible they would not side against the Kurds so long as the Kurds don’t fight against Shi’ist troops.

Saudi Arabia is the definition of treachery. They are Sunni, the Saddam despotism was Sunni, and while they will side with the Sunnis, they will do so secretly. Their air force will not be used.

Seems to me that the Kurds have an open door at the moment. They should quickly acquire an air force.


14 posted on 06/16/2014 4:34:20 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Corporate Democrat
I’m wondering why we didn’t try splitting Iraq into three in the first place. Would have saved a lot of bloodshed and time trying to separate the Sunni, Shia and the Kurds from killing each other.

The Kurds have oil fields in the north.

The Shia have oil fields in the south.

The Sunnis have Baghdad...and sand...in the middle.

There's your answer. If they weren't killing each other over their religious sect, they'd be killing each other for the oil.

15 posted on 06/16/2014 4:38:20 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance on parade.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Both Turkey and Iran have a huge stake in preventing Kurdish independence. Historically it’s been near the top of their lists as a national interest. Don’t see what’s changed. As a side benefit, Erdogan can grab some rich oil fields, and help bring an old Ottoman province back to Turkey.


16 posted on 06/16/2014 4:43:35 AM PDT by Kozak ("It may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal" Henry Kissinger)
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To: Corporate Democrat

Biden proposed something similar in 2006. Not a total split into separate countries, but more local rule.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/opinion/01biden.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


17 posted on 06/16/2014 4:45:14 AM PDT by Fuzz
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To: Jimmy Valentine
The Iraqi constitutional solution, which they missed, was to use the Swiss model of a confederation of cantons. The cantons have most of the power and authority and can be divided or merged as the people determine is necessary. That's the only way to keep a multi-cultural, multi-national state together, let the people live with others of their own group and run their own affairs.

They missed it. The politicians wanted more centralized power, so they have greater opportunities to screw their enemies and control sources of graft.

18 posted on 06/16/2014 4:46:59 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wonder if O is proceeding with giving new F-16’s to an Iraq that will likely be taken over by either ISIL or Iran.....just what Iran needs for its air force - not that they’d ever be able to competently fly them......


19 posted on 06/16/2014 5:10:35 AM PDT by Arlis
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To: Jabba the Nutt

True enough. Watch for a strongman to rise up in Iraq. Won’t stop the dissolution into tribal factions though.


20 posted on 06/16/2014 5:18:03 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

As Jimmy Carter created Iran, so Barrack Hussein Obama will create Jihadistan.

The only difference between Jimmy Carter and Barrack Obama is they gave Carter a Nobel Preace Prize AFTER he was a failure.


21 posted on 06/16/2014 5:20:54 AM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: goldstategop

Here’s a recent blogpost that makes many of the same points:

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2014/06/saving-kurdistan.html

With the pending collapse of Iraq—and Iran on the march—an independent Kurdistan may be our only friend (and hope) in that region.

You’ll note that the ISIL has, so far, largely by-passed Kurdish territory and the Peshmerga. There were reports of clashes in Kirkuk between the ISIL and Kurdish fighters, but they didn’t last long. Kirkuk is under Kurdish control and the ISIL opted not to press its luck. They know what happens to Islamic terrorists who are captured by the Kurds.


22 posted on 06/16/2014 5:41:00 AM PDT by ExNewsExSpook
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We should have invaded Saudia Arabia after 9/11 and taken out the terrorist funding mechanism and gotten all the oil wells that fund terrorism in one fell swoop, not to mention turn Mecca into a above ground nuclear testing site after evacuating it...

We did do Afghanistan properly in the first few years, but then Iraq always did seem like a great big distraction to take pressure off the Wahabi Saudis...

Hindsight being 20/20 and all.


23 posted on 06/16/2014 6:43:46 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: ExNewsExSpook

speaking of regional friends .... how does our NATO ally TURKEY feel about an “independent Kurdistan”?


24 posted on 06/16/2014 7:42:29 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: okie01

I don’t know about that. If we had partitioned it I think it would’ve ended up better than the way it is now. The Kurds are more than capable of setting up their own state, Iran would help prop up the Shia state and the Saudis would be forced to prop up the Sunni West.

A fair enough balance of power, and we could then withdraw and threaten to lay the smackdown on anybody who broke the peace, ala Kuwait. Much preferable to getting bogged down in the place, but of course hindsight is 20/20.


25 posted on 06/16/2014 8:35:34 AM PDT by Corporate Democrat
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