The Macedonian Tendency: May 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Iraq Partition Plans and Implications for Macedonia

Below is my letter to Anthony H. Cordesman, CSIS, on the proposal to partition Iraq into three federal units. The debate over dividing Iraq demonstrates the difficulties that face the peoples of the Balkans, in general, and Macedonians in particular, when dealing with the behemoth superpower known as the United States of America.

Many people around the world condemn the United States and the EU for having a "double standard" with regard to various conflicts around the world. I believe this is wrong. The US and the EU have only one standard, which is "what is in the national interest of the US/EU at this point in time". The sooner we come to accept this fact the better we are prepared to deal with its implications.

Three Iraqs Would Be One Big Problem - New York Times May 9, 2006:

May 9, 2006
Dear Mr. Cordesman

I agree with all your points about the possible partition of Iraq into three distinct federal units as proposed by Joseph R. Biden Jr. (NYT Op-Ed, May 1, 2006)

This is the "Lord Owen" solution, which was applied during the Bosnian war when he proposed new internal borders for Bosnia that recognized ethnic cleansing as "the facts on the ground". This in turn led to a new round of ethnic cleansing, especially between Croats and Bosniaks.

Being a Macedonian from the Balkans, I smell a plot. Like Lord Owen, Joseph R. Biden Jr. is neither a stupid, nor ignorant man. He must know the consequences of his "partition lite" plan for Iraq, but I assume he feels that expanding the civil war within Iraq; between Arabs and Kurds; between the Sunnis and Shites would be in the best interests of the United States at this time.

Nobody war ever fired from the "punditocracy" for proposing "divide and conquer" as an instrument of war.

However, the problem with your "op-ed piece" is that you have not proposed an alternative policy for peace in Iraq. Below is my suggestion.

We should to look to other countries for a model for Iraq. For example, the Kurds in Iraq could be offered the same rights as the Kurds of Turkey, who are known as "mountain Turks", have enjoyed since Turkey joined Nato. Iraqi Kurds would be known as "mountain Arabs" and their language and culture would be banned. These are Nato values since Turkey is a member of Nato.

The Sunnis could be offered the same rights as the Macedonians of Greece, who are known as "slavophone Greeks", have enjoyed ever since Greece joined Nato and the EU. Iraqi Sunnis would be defined as lapsed Shites and officially Sunnis would cease to exist. These are Nato and EU values since Greece is a member of both organizations.

I am sure that your group has the skill to solve the problems in Iraq while totally ignoring the actions of the United States in other parts of the world. Keep up the good work!