'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, July 05, 2007

American Anglophiles 

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, as the philosophers of the past have said. In this instance, the farce reveals itself in the efforts of American politicians and scholars to adopt the methods of British imperialism in the Middle East:

With President Bush's war strategy clouded by limited results and mounting casualties, two scholars are proposing a partition plan that would divide Iraq into three main regions.

The authors, Edward P. Joseph of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, are hoping to draw the attention of Bush administration policymakers.

They are circulating their suggestions within the Bush administration.

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who is a Democratic presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has sought for months to attract support for a partition plan he formulated with Leslie Gelb, former head of the private Council on Foreign Relations. It would establish a federal system of government in Iraq.

As with most things that originate with Joe Biden, the proposal makes no logical sense. He, and Leslie Gelb, want to partition Iraq, while retaining a federal system of government. Come again? Do Pennsylvania and California consider themselves partitioned from the US?

Of course not, it is absurd. Furthermore, the notion that partitioning Iraq will bring stability to the country is, at best, an unproven one, at worst, a concept that has failed to work in actual practice, as demonstrated by the violence that erupted in the nearby Caucasus and the republics of the former Yugoslavia.

But the most obvious, farcical aspect of the proposal is the assumption that Americans thousands of miles away know what is best for the people of Iraq. No Iraqis are quoted in support of the proposal, indeed, it appears obvious that the reporter, Barry Schweid, saw no reason to contact any of them. People like Biden, Joseph, O'Hanlon and Schweid would no more consider the views of Iraqis as important than would the antebellum owner of cotton plantation believe that his slaves have anything to say about running his farm.

All in all, though, it is very curious. To the west of Iraq, there is a country, Israel, that Biden and all other American politicians uniformly say has a right to exist. Conversely, Iraq does not possess this right, and Biden is proposing that it be dismantled. Wonder why that is?

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