Formerly known as Iraq

Iraq, an arbitrarily created nation with artificial boundaries, is this year’s Balkans, and Michael Totten says it’s good as dead:

Iraq is finished, an expiring, cancerous nation on life support. Pulling the plug might be merciful. It might be cruel. But either way, it’s time to accept the fact that this country is likely to die and that we’ll all be better off when it does…

President Obama campaigned on ending the war in Iraq. For years — and for perfectly understandable reasons — he was very reluctant to wade into that country’s eternally dysfunctional internal problems, but even he was persuaded to declare war against ISIS in the fall of 2014 when its fighters made a beeline for Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region and the only stable and America-friendly place in the country.

But however engaged the US chooses to be, the current war in Iraq is likely to drag on for years. If Iraq somehow manages to survive its current conflict in one piece, another will almost certainly follow. Its instability is both devastating and chronic. Far better at this point if Iraq simply terminates itself as a state and lets its various constituent groups peaceably go their own way, as Yugoslavia did after its own catastrophic series of wars in the 1990s.

And good riddance, says Bill Quick:

This was what George W. Bush always didn’t quite get: “Guaranteeing” Iraq’s territorial integrity, which was synonymous with guaranteeing the imposed geographical structure of Iraq, necessarily involved guaranteeing a strong-man government, because that was the only way to enforce that structure on people who hated it.

And if his “Democracy Project” had been successful, the voters themselves would have ripped Iraq apart.

Now at least the voters won’t have to exert themselves.



  1. fillyjonk »

    12 March 2015 · 9:53 am

    I think partitioning is an idea worth trying. I can’t see it screwing things up any worse than they already are. There will probably be border skirmishes over different groups thinking they have a historical claim on the same territory, but….I don’t think that would be worse than some other “strongman” in the vein of Hussein or letting ISIS (or whatever we are calling it this week) have the lot.

  2. Roger Green »

    13 March 2015 · 10:02 am

    I think Joe Biden floated the partition idea c 2006 – got no traction. I happened to think it was a good idea then. Don’t know if there’s enough core groups – save for the Kurds – to partition, but I’m not opposed to it.

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