Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 08, 2006

Iraq's Partition

The discussion within the U.S. foreign policy establishment on the future of Iraq has come to a conclusion. The U.S. will, now officially, work to dissolve the Iraqi nation and state into three independend statelets under a powerless sham national government and, of course, total U.S. control.

The current version of the idea was first floated back in May by Senator Biden and Leslie Gelb, both Democrats, in a NYT oped.

The Baker Iraq Study Group, set up to look at new policy options in Iraq, leaked its coming results, i.e. the implementation of the Biden/Gelb plan, to Murdoch's London Times:

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.

A few days ago, Middle East expert Col. Pat Lang has called this inevitable:

Iraq is going to be partitioned.  This may be either de facto or de jure but it will be partitioned.  The process of disintegration launched by the United States in eliminating the mechanisms of state integrity has progressed so far that effective dissolution of the old Iraq is inevitable.  The recent frustrated desperation evident in the statements of the US command in Baghdad, and the ridiculous futility of Dr. Rice's latest trip are unmistakable signs of disintegration.  Indeed, the partition is now underway.

Professor Juan Cole warns against partition:

This is a very bad idea for so many reasons it would take me forever to list them all.

Well, he lists a few, the most important one is the inevitable resistance against such a partition by the powerful shia leader al-Sadr. The London Times avoids to mention al-Sadr but says:

Many Middle East experts are horrified by the difficulty of dividing the nation. “Fifty-three per cent of the population of Iraq live in four cities and three of them are mixed,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, who fears a bloody outcome.

But the situations is  already bloody.

The record numbers of wounded U.S. troops point to some urgency. But an official policy change away from the forever repeated "staying the course"  and which is no less than an adoption of a published Democratic position, can not take place before the current election is over.

Rice, Khalilzad, Warner and others have annouced as much when they warned the mayor of the green-zone Maliki, that he has two month left to fix what can not be fixed. Then some kind of coup will happen and another figure with even less power will be installed.

The one positive point in this sorry drama may be that Baker thinks the new policy can only be implemented with the help of Iran.

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.

So this official strategy change may hold back plans for a new war on Iran.

As Col. Lang emphasizes, the seeds for partioning were laid when Cheney and the neocon figures around him ordered the Iraqi army to be disbanded and the de-Baathification of the Iraqi government, i.e. its total annulment. The idea of partitioning Iraq may even have been the very reason for the war.

The New Middle East expression goes back to the "Clean Break" document (pdf) prepared 1996 by U.S. neocons as a strategy for Israel's Netanyahu government. The first modern  partition Iraq argument was made by Zionist strategist Oded Yinon in 1982. In A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties he recommends:

In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

The now imminent, new policy of partitioning Iraq is indeed only the announcement of the result of a process that has been the plan and the policy all along.

This is a real "Mission Accomplished" moment.

If the policy is effective, which will be decided on streets of Iraq, this is a huge success for a clique of neocon U.S. supporters of Israels colonial strategy to divide and conquer.

Posted by b on October 8, 2006 at 16:28 UTC | Permalink


one things for sure - partitoning is not going to end the chaos & conflict in Iraq.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 8 2006 17:20 utc | 1

ô, b they will just say it is another corner, another turning point, another step towards democracy, these whores explain their own degredation as somthing holy & sacred

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 8 2006 17:53 utc | 2

An alternative way forward for the US
from asiatimes last month, justifies dictators in the new middle east, US friendly of course

WASHINGTON - After two years of consultations with more than 400 members of the US foreign-policy elite, a project headed by two leading international-relations academics is calling for the adoption of a new grand strategy designed to address multiple threats and strengthen Washington's commitment to a reformed and reinvigorated multilateral order.

In a wide-ranging report released in Washington on Wednesday, the Princeton Project on National Security suggested that the policies pursued by President George W Bush since September 11, 2001, had been simplistic - even counter-productive - for the challenges facing the United States in the 21st century.

To be effective, according to the report, US policy needed to rely less on military power and more on other tools of diplomacy; less on its own strength exercised unilaterally and more on cooperation with other democratic states; and less on rapid democratization based on popular elections and more on building what it called "popular, accountable, rights-regarding [PAR] governments".

The report also calls for performing "radical surgery" on the international institutions created in the aftermath of World War II, including significantly increasing membership in the United Nations Security Council and developing a "Concert of Democracies" that would provide an alternative forum for collective action, including the use of force.
The project and its 90-page report, "Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: US National Security in the 21st Century", was co-directed by the head of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and John Ikenberry, a prominent international-relations scholar at the school.
In that respect, the report appeared to be an effort to forge a consensus framework for the mainly Republican "realist" and mainly Democratic "liberal internationalist" schools that dominated US foreign-policy-making in the post-World War II era until the September 11 attacks when nationalist and neo-conservative hawks in the Bush administration launched their "global war on terror".

A few prominent neo-conservatives and aggressive nationalists, such as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, were among the individuals who participated in the project's consultations.,,,

In addition to calling for greater US effort and balance in promoting an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement and for offering security guarantees to Iran, the report urges Washington to reduce its ambitions in Iraq from full democratization to PAR, to redeploy US troops in ways that would encourage Iraqis to take more responsibility, and, in the event of civil war, to contain its regional impact. At the same time, Washington should promote the construction of regional institutions modeled on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

it's all in the framing framing

Posted by: annie | Oct 8 2006 18:17 utc | 3

maybe i'm not being 'optimistic', i just don't trust politicains anymore.

Posted by: annie | Oct 8 2006 18:22 utc | 4

I find it utterly hilarious that 31/2 years into the Iraq disaster that anyone is under the illusion that pronouncements from US officials regarding anything to do with the future of that poor country mean anything anymore; the US simply has no actual control over the situation there, and this is another example of "if wishes were ponies".

The coup idea is silly - first Jafaari, then Maliki, presumably to be followed by al-Rubaie - you can have any colour you want as long as it's Al Dawa!

The Yinon plan might have made sense to someone in 1982; in 2006 it's a strategic disaster for Israel and the gift of gifts for those who want to take the fight to it. How long before a Sunni rump state starts to destabilize Jordan, already stuffed to the gills with sullen and angry Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, and acts as a jumping off point for attacks on Israel?

Posted by: dan | Oct 8 2006 18:39 utc | 5

Many have said that reducing Iraq to warring helpless statelets, an ethnic hornet nest that sigh! can’t be pacified was the aim right from the start. The Yugoslavia success encouraged that plan. Now Americans and their Iraq lackeys have accepted it - it will all seem like the will of the people!

Uday, September 2002 (MEMRI):

"Iraq has been warning its neighbors repeatedly that the whole region will be destabilized in case Iraq is subjected to a military strike. The first such warning was issued by Saddam's elder son Uday who called on Iran not to participate in any American strike against Iraq. He said that Iran is the third country that will be subjected to partitioning, following Iraq and Saudi Arabia …">link

The First Cairo Declaration (2002) states:

“Far from secretly, the US intends to partition Arab countries into smaller entities on ethnic or religious basis. This would enable Israel to become the dominant regional power within the framework of the Middle East Project, to the peril of an Arab project of equitable development and regional unity.”>link

Today, Oct. 2006, check the conference titles, Penn U;>link

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 8 2006 19:12 utc | 6

"Iran and Syria will be urged to back a regional settlement that could be brokered at an international conference."

And they would help Uncle Sam out of his jam because . . . ?

Seriously, though, it seems highly unlikely that the Baker/Hamilton study group represents "official" thinking -- more like the thinking of the old-line Republicrat realists. By going public with their "findings," Baker and Hamilton may have some small ability to add to the pressure on Cheney and his puppet Fuhrer to change course. But it's hard to imagine they actually WILL change course. They're in too deep.

If anything, all this -- plus the looming loss of at least the Chamber of People's Deputies -- makes an attack on Iran even MORE likely. It really is starting to look like the only move left on the board for the neoconns. Flucht nach vorne.

Posted by: billmon | Oct 8 2006 19:47 utc | 7

Something happened last week, bludgeoned by the Foley Boy Sex Scandal and Woodward’s "State of Denial", the inside beltway pundits turned. “Washington Week” is the ultimate DC pundits talking. Friday, with Charles Krauthammer in hiding, the pundits took dead aim on the Bush Administration and the GOP Congress.

Iran may be the last card the Neo-Con’s can deal, but this time the pundits will point out that it is a Joker.

Posted by: Jim S | Oct 8 2006 20:32 utc | 8

Real men go Teheran. Not cowards like George. For George the Flucht nach vorne is likely to happen much closer to home, in fact, right in the White house: towards that bottle.
When yer fucked yer fucked.

Posted by: Guthman Bey | Oct 8 2006 20:38 utc | 9

Bush can go get drunk, weep in his bourbon, smiff some Bolivian marching powder, screw Jeff Gannon on national TV -- no matter. He's irrelevant to the Iran question.

Cheney is the President. Rummy and Rove are his loyal lieutenants.

These three assholes are going to bomb Iran.

They cannot pay the price of their failures, they cannot face their current situation. They can either report to Leavenworth and hope for a room with a view of the sky, or go for broke, and start the next war on their PNAC list.

These three assholes are going to bomb Iran.


Posted by: Antifa | Oct 8 2006 22:06 utc | 10

I think Billmon is right that the near (pre-election) threat is the most grave. They would be most happy to dump the whole mess into the democrats lap (anticipating they win), and seeing that the democrats also like the notion of partition, action against Iran remains on the table as a pretext to that partition(or coup) idea the democrats have saddled themselves with. Getting the Eisenhower strike force pre-positioned in the gulf keeps the Iranians at bay if resistance to the partition/coup should go (as it would) south. In which case the short-cut Tonkin Gulf potential is preserved as the sword on a thread.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 8 2006 22:21 utc | 11

Attack on Iran? You mean, "Drang nach Osten" redux?
If they're that insane, they're welcome to it.

Partitioning Iraq would of course be a wet dream for Osama and friends. Having the current Arab states put to pieces is the best way to bring on a more unified Sunni front against Israel and the West in the middle and long run. As long as there were powerful centralised states, the whole Caliphate pipedream was just that. Reuniting a bigger Sunni Arab entity is far easier when you have a bunch of statelets that are all well aware of their own weaknesses. Some guy called Genghis Khan understood quite well that divided clans could be far stronger when united. Muhammed did that as well way back then.
The sheer madness of all this is impressive.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 8 2006 22:29 utc | 12

The Biden/Democrats partition plan is a gift from heaven for Bush. If the Democrats win in Nov, the partition (or coup) plan will be politicized as the democratic alternative "winning strategy" in Iraq. The political (not logistical) problem with the plan is that it for all intents and purposes, remains effectivley in hostage to the needs of the greater Bush&neo-con strategic plan. Having the strike force in the gulf not only gives Bush the exeuctive option to tweek or otherwise determine and control how events play out on the ground when the partition(coup) gears up, but also preserves his opportunity to create an incident with Iran, that could legitimate a unilateral military strike of his own choosing. In other words, Bush can allow the democrats into policy definition and development without them controlling any of the logistics on the ground. Things can intentionally be allowed to spin out of control neccessitating a military retaliation on Iran -- and when that all goes to hell -- the whole thing can be blamed on the democrats.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 9 2006 0:06 utc | 13

i argued a year and a half ago the pursuit of partition by the u.s. i also discovered in the literature the policy defended by scholars and experts before gulf I. the u.s. plan for iraq is helped by defacto partition created by civil war. the question now, it seems to me, is how all this militates well for the u.s. prof. cole is right when he says parttition will be violent, but his claim sunni and shia opposition, not to mention saudi and tutrkish opposition, to prevent partition will make partition impossible. i'm unconvinced why this must be so. partition is likely whether or not the u.s. stays or leaves. if the u.s. stsys to ostensibly maznage the transition, it could assuage turks and saudi concerns, possibly through de jure partition which provisionally unites iraq through federalism--as cole himself excplained not too long ago. in any case, the defacto movement towards partition is an excuse for u.s. to remain; even khatami has implored the u.s. to do so. also, the u.s. can more easily legitimate enduring military commitment and arrange for the future control of oil by playing the parties off against each other. partition may well work for the u.s.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 9 2006 0:31 utc | 14

well stated as usual anna missed

Posted by: annie | Oct 9 2006 0:32 utc | 15

worth brushing up

What American federalists feared most, in fact, was that dissolution of the existing, weak, national union would be followed by the creation of just such a system of regional confederacies (most scenarios foresaw a Southern, a Mid-Atlantic and a New England bloc of states.) They glumly predicted that these blocs would end up perpetually at war with each other -- like the rival alliances of petty city states in ancient Greece or Renaissance Italy. Even worse, they would be ripe for the plucking by imperial powers bent on reestablishing their dominion in the New World. As Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist No. 6:

' A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that, if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. . . To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties is the same neighborhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of the ages.'

Posted by: annie | Oct 9 2006 0:44 utc | 16


you are so right.

"you can't have your chaos and eat it"

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 9 2006 1:13 utc | 17

Robert Dreyfuss comes up with>4 coup scenarios for Iraq.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 9 2006 2:04 utc | 18

NYT on Baker's plans - a bit foggy: Baker, Presidential Confidant, Hints at Need for New War Plan

James A. Baker III, the Republican co-chairman of a bipartisan panel reassessing Iraq strategy for President Bush, said Sunday that he expected the panel would depart from Mr. Bush’s repeated calls to “stay the course,” and he strongly suggested that the White House enter direct talks with countries it had so far kept at arm’s length, including Iran and Syria.
He explicitly rejected a rapid withdrawal from Iraq, saying that would invite Iran, Syria and “even our friends in the gulf” to fill the power vacuum. He also dismissed, as largely unworkable, a proposal by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to decentralize Iraq and give the country’s three major sectarian groups, the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, their own regions, distributing oil revenue to all. Mr. Baker said he had concluded “there’s no way to draw lines” in Iraq’s major cities, where ethnic groups are intermingled.

According to White House officials and commission members, Mr. Baker has been talking to President Bush and his national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, on a regular basis. Those colleagues say he is unlikely to issue suggestions that the president has not tacitly approved in advance.
In interviews, members of the study group have privately expressed concern that within months, whatever course the group recommended could be overtaken by the chaos in Iraq. “I think the big question is whether we can come up with something before it’s too late,” one member said late last month, after the group had met in Washington to assess its conclusions after a trip to Baghdad. “There’s a real sense that the clock is ticking, that Bush is desperate for a change, but no one in the White House can bring themselves to say so with this election coming.”
Several members said they were struck during their visit to Baghdad by how many Americans based there — political and intelligence officers as well as members of the military — said they feared that the United States was stuck between two bad alternatives: pulling back and watching sectarian violence soar, or remaining a crucial part of the new effort to secure Baghdad, at the cost of much higher American casualties.

It was a measure of how much the situation had deteriorated that only one member of the group, former Senator Charles S. Robb of Virginia, ventured beyond the protected walls of the Green Zone, the American and government center of Baghdad.
Some who have already met with the group, like Mr. Biden, who may seek the Democratic nomination for president, have emerged saying they think their ideas are being heard. On Friday, Mr. Biden said he thought he saw “heads nodding up and down” about his ideas on creating autonomous regions of the country, but Mr. Baker made clear on Sunday that he was not among them.

“Experts on Iraq have suggested that, if we do that, that in itself will trigger a huge civil war because the major cities in Iraq are mixed,” Mr. Baker said.

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2006 3:48 utc | 19

I don't get this: an independent Kurdistan is, potentially, a casus belli for the Turks. Are neocons and Israeli strategists so foolish to trade a moribund Iraqi enemy for a Turkish one?

Posted by: kao_hsien_chih | Oct 9 2006 4:09 utc | 20

Newsweek's Zakaria (a much listened to war supporter) is giving up:
Iraq's Dark Day of Reckoning

When Iraq's current government was formed last April, after four months of bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis, many voices in America and in Iraq said the next six months would be the crucial testing period. That was a fair expectation. It has now been almost six months, and what we have seen are bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis. Meanwhile, the violence has gotten worse, sectarian tensions have risen steeply and ethnic cleansing is now in full swing. There is really no functioning government south of Kurdistan, only power vacuums that have been filled by factions, militias and strongmen. It is time to call an end to the tests, the six-month trials, the waiting and watching, and to recognize that the Iraqi government has failed. It is also time to face the terrible reality that America's mission in Iraq has substantially failed.

More waiting is unlikely to turn things around, nor will more troops.

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2006 6:40 utc | 21

It was true back in March when b posted it's stll true today...

Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 9 2006 12:09 utc | 22

John Pilger was correct:
The goal is the incitement of a real civil war and the break-up of Iraq, the original war aim of Bush's administration.

It was a deconstruction project from day one - with love from the slight unto all nations.

Posted by: united dividers of conquistador | Oct 10 2006 13:28 utc | 23

Practically the last State-Capitalist entity was broken up sucessfully into helpless statelets - made dependent on the West, riven by internal strife, Bad Lands of the worst kind, subject to ethnic cleansing, still going on, sex slave trade, expropriation of industry, and so on ...(Yugoslavia)

Basically, there were then two left (from a US viewpoint): Iraq and Iran.

no subtleties in a 4-line post...

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 10 2006 15:42 utc | 24

last State-Capitalist entity

Russia is arguable (again) a state capitalist entry. China will switch back to that model too.

Posted by: b | Oct 10 2006 15:53 utc | 25

China is more dollarized than ever and is begging to be allowed to stay that way.
And with Hank Paulsen one of the chief propagators of China's dollarization occupies the Treasury department. Ergo: after much begging, their wish shall be granted, tacitly but still...

Posted by: Guthman Bey | Oct 10 2006 16:03 utc | 26

So Baker has now come out and dissed the partition idea. And while he's being pretty careful not to criticise Bush to openly -- he nonetheless has been adamant in agreeing with Warner that something needs to change aka 60 day ultimatum type urgency. Looks like the Joker card cometh.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 11 2006 5:07 utc | 27>here's movement on dejure partition.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 11 2006 20:45 utc | 28

In Victory for Shiite Leader, Iraqi Parliament Approves Creating Autonomous Regions

Iraq’s Shiite-dominated Parliament approved a law on Wednesday enabling provinces to unite to form autonomous regions, in spite of vehement opposition by Sunni Arab leaders who said it could splinter the republic and disadvantage the minority Sunni population.

The vote was a resounding victory for Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the dominant Shiite bloc, who wants to form an autonomous state from nine predominantly Shiite provinces of southern Iraq, a region that includes much of the nation’s oil and other natural resources.
“We had our objections, and when they were disregarded, we found that the best way to deal with that was to boycott the session,” said Salman al-Jumaili, a legislator from the Iraqi Consensus Front, the largest Sunni bloc. “We believe that implementing this law in its present form will be a prescription for dividing Iraq.”

In the governing Shiite coalition, which remains divided on the issue, legislators loyal to the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, an ardent nationalist, have demanded that any discussion of federalism proceed only after American forces have left Iraq.

Posted by: b | Oct 12 2006 7:49 utc | 29

The>coup will happen before the 18 month waiting period before partition:

Baghdad: The fate of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki hangs in the balance, as a result of the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad.

This development comes in the wake of increasing talk in Iraqi political circles about the near departure of Al Maliki, because of the collapsed security situation.

Sources close to Adnan Al Dulaimi, the chairman of the Sunni Conciliation Front, who met up with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her last visit to Baghdad a few days ago, told Gulf News: "Al Dulaimi told Rice that Al Maliki's good intentions were not enough.
It is also said in Iraqi political circles that Rice mentioned the establishment of a National Rescue Government if sectarian strife continues to escalate.
The Jordanian Al Rai newspaper's polls in Baghdad say sectarian strife has increased the popularity of Eyad Allawi (the former Prime Minister). Many believe he is the right man to control the deteriorating security situation in Iraq.

Allawi, who is open to the idea of dialogue with the Baathists, may strengthen the chances of the reconciliation success. In addition Allawi greatly opposes the activities of armed militias.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 12 2006 8:55 utc | 30

A couple of inferences:

The U.S. does'nt want Iraq to be partitioned.

Sadr does'nt want Iraq to be partitioned.

The Sunni's dont want Iraq to be partitioned.

SCIRI does want Iraq to be partitioned.

The Kurds want Iraq to be partitioned.

The U.S. interests, from both the right arabist and right zionist perspectives see partition as more trouble than benifit. Partition would strengthen Irans position of influence through the Badr/SCIRI connection, not to mention intensified civil war and the continued lockdown of of the petro benifit in waiting, and also the Kurdish/Turkey problem. Baker, the arabist, will push back on Iranian gains by nuetering Shiite consolidation toward Iran by dumping the Maliki government and install a secular nationalist "benign" dictatorship. Sadr, not SCIRI, will be the sacrifical "Iranian" lamb, because while nationalist, he's anti-american and the posterboy of the militia menace.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 12 2006 9:26 utc | 31

Oh, and Iran probably wants partition also.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 12 2006 9:29 utc | 32

The coup will happen before the 18 month waiting period before partition:

Late November.

Posted by: b | Oct 12 2006 9:34 utc | 33

An attempt to partition Iraq could elevate Sadr even more. Especially now that Sistani has withdrawn from politics. Sistani may have been urged to lower his profile on political issues in order to avoid dividing the Shia. Also, Sadr happens to be one of the few Shia's that the Sunni/Baathists might be willing to work with. Other leading Shia leaders are perceived from the point-of-view of their close long-time associations with Iran.

Kirkuk would be a major flashpoint with the Kurds on one side and possibly everyone else on the other.

One of the problems with USUK policy lies in the individuals they tend to back i.e. Chalabi, Allawi. Both proved unable to achieve political traction. Ironically, the profile of an ideal post-coup leader might be a composite of Chalabi & Allawi -- an ex-Bathist Shia closely allied with Sadr.

Iran may not care too much whether Iraq is partitioned or not as long as the Shia retain political & military dominance.

The chaos in Iraq today may seem like mindless sectarian strife but theres a lot more going on -- preparation & posturing for a major clash that all sides now consider inevitable.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 12 2006 13:11 utc | 34

Also, in addition to the tendency of the USUK to back the wrong guys (Allawi/Chalabi), there is also the tendency to fail to properly characterize other leaders.

Sadr's popularity is generally attributed to Shia reverence for his esteemed family. But theres a lot more going on there. Hardly anyone talks about the strong nationalist sentiments of many Iraqi. Sadr it so happens, is the beneficiary among Shia youth and maybe some Sunni or even some Kurdish elements.

The recent history of Lebanon provides examples of the perils of failing to choose ones allies properly as well as failing to properly characterize ones adversaries.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 12 2006 13:33 utc | 35

Iraq: What would Bismarck do?
So asks William Lind, director of the poetically named Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.
I like his answer. At last some real refreshing cynicism, the kind that usually only ever gets uttered in private:

What Would Bismarck Do? He would transfer sufficient Swiss francs to interested parties so that the current government of Iraq asks us to leave. They, not we, would then hold the world’s ugliest baby, even though it was America’s indiscretion that gave the bastard birth.

Posted by: Guthman Bey | Oct 12 2006 14:05 utc | 36

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