Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 September, 2007

The Natural Partitioning of Iraq

One of the solutions to the imbroglio in Iraq is ‘partition,’ dividing the country into its three ‘natural’ components: the area of the Kurds in the north, the Sunni dominated areas in the west and south and the rest the lands of the majority Shiite. Baghdad might be a kind of patch-work like Jerusalem.

This strategy to divide a country that was so unnaturally created by the British in the 1920s has met with some favour and some disfavour, particularly by a US President who’s aim was/is to democratizes the country then use it as a template for the rest of the Middle East — think democratic dominos.

But, with US approval or not, this natural division may actually already be taking place. In an unusually interesting and learned column, The Partitioning of Iraq, Charles Krauthammer makes the case that partition in Iraq is already well under.

What’s happening today is not geographical line-drawing, colonial-style. We do not have a Mr. Sykes and a Mr. Picot sitting down to a map of Mesopotamia in a World War I carving exercise. The lines today are being drawn organically by self-identified communities and tribes. Which makes the new arrangement more likely to last.

This is not the best outcome, but it is far better than the savage and dangerous dictatorship we overthrew. And infinitely better than what will follow if we give up in mid-surge and withdraw — and allow the partitioning of Iraq to dissolve into chaos.

The lines today are being drawn organically by self-identified communities and tribes. Which makes the new arrangement more likely to last.

This natural partitioning is something to look for. Krauthammer has written a good column.

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