The Talking Dog

May 1, 2006, Plagiarists' corner

Senator Joseph Biden (D-MBNA) joins with former Council on Foreign Relations chairman Leslie Gelb to write an op-ed in the Grey Lady to... wait for it... suggest that Iraq be divided administratively into its three religio-ethnic (Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish) regions.

Jebus. Never heard that before... except perhaps here... I, of course, make no claim to original thinking on this point... It has really been an issue since the British and French smashed Iraq together shortly after World War I out of ethnically mutually-hostile pieces of the defeated Ottoman Empire... Of course, this sort of internal break-up was the subject of Iraq's constitutional discussions now, for years, with the minority Sunnis not so keen on being shunted into a rump statelet conveniently gerry-mandered out of oil revenues... Somehow, a proposal I read recently by Steve Forbes of all people (free sign-up required) elegantly solves this, by dividing all Iraqi revenue among all Iraqi people in the model of Alaska's various programs to its state residents, regardless of region or ethnicity. Of course, that sort of thing would be creative, so... don't count on anything like it ever happening.

The best part of the Biden article is buried down the text: Colin Powell, it seems, believed that the American troop strength in Iraq selected by Rumsfeld (for domestic political reasons rather than military necessity reasons, of course) was inadequate, and apparently, was not reticent about saying it. For her part, his successor Dr. Incompetetentalleezza Rice tells us she has no memory of such conversations, and "a good Secretary of State knows his or her place."

Yeah. What Condi said. She would also wish everybody a Happy May Day, and say something like... workers of the world... just stop bitching and get back to work!


In the beginning, I wondered how Powell was going to get out of this mess with his principles and his reputation intact. I think he's going to do it.

As the Bush bandwagon unravels, more and more people are going to start speaking up. I remember this sort of thing at the tail end of the Nixon presidency, and in Canada at the end of the Mulroney years.

Bush is done. His place in history is sealed: worst president since before the Civil War, and that's saying something. Powell is lining up for the post-Bush era.

Posted by Dean at May 1, 2006 10:26 AM

Is it possible that the Poppy Bush/Bill friendship involves an understanding that Hilary will run for, and win, the Presidency in 2008? After all, the economy will be in the toilet then as a result of W's actions, and there will be more anger about Iraq. When Hilary is done, it's another Bush's turn. Sounds like a plan?

Posted by Just Wondering at May 1, 2006 4:17 PM

Wouldn't dividing Iraq up into three sub regions only create minorities within those sub regions? This would surely be the case unless Iraq is COMPLETELY ethnically homogeneous within those regions, and I find that hard to believe. Sounds to me like the best bet would be to have PR and have the cabinet be proportionally divided according to ethnic population. Just a thought.

Posted by Ben at May 1, 2006 9:30 PM