(h/t: Lessig)

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  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Leaving aside the obvious atempt to spin the possibility of civil war as a positive development…

    I can see where some would say civil war would help–I’ve heard theories that radical transformation of society often requires the bloody reconcilliation of past disagreements (although it certainly isn’t true that civil wars are always or even often a necessary step in radical societal transformations.)

    BUT, wouldn’t an all-out civil war be a pretty big failure for us? The very fact that people are thinking that a civil war is the most possitive path is pretty solid evidence that we haven’t exactly handled things as well as we would have liked.

  • kreiz

    Fox needs this subtitle next- landslide for the Dems in 06…. could it be a good thing?

  • Meredith

    What is the difference between a “civil war” and an “all-out civil war”? If there is a civil war, “all-out” or regular, I think that means, by definition, that we need to leave. We should not be involved in that hornet’s nest.

  • http://vernondent.blogspot.com/ Callimachus

    So … if someone thinks the “best thing” is for the U.S. to leave Iraq … and “all-out civil war” is the one thing guaranteed to make the U.S. get up and leave it …

  • Meredith

    Hey, Fox said it . . . so, it must be true! It’s time to split!

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Well, I used “all-out” as a means to differentiate the Iraqi-on-Iraqi terrorism that has recently increased with an actual war to determine who ultimately has dominion over the nation. Right now there isn’t a competing government trying to take over the nation–just a bunch of loosely affiliated groups trying to prevent the central government from succeeding. While you could call that a civil war, it has certainly not reached the level of conflict or crisis that is still possible.

    If we’re going to call the current situation a “civil war” we need a stronger word to describe the worse scenarios that are possible. I chose “all-out” to describe a worse scenario.

  • http://twoheadedmonster.wordpress.com/ Bradley

    So is it true that if Iraq is officially recognized to be in a state of “civil war” that we would have to remain uninvolved? If so, who has to reconize that state to make it “official”?

  • http://gogmagog.vpsland.com/blog William Crim

    Civil War would only be a good thing if Iraq splits up as a result.

    The world spends a lot of time and energy trying to ensure that countires don’t split up. It almost always fails. They should try the more revolutionary and novel approach… and Let them break up, and try to help stabilize them afterwards. This would be easier than trying to make everyone love and respect each other. :-)

    How much effort was wasted in Kosovo trying to keep it in Yugoslavia, but not letting Belgrade control anything? The Kosovars won’t “get over” attempted genocide.

  • http://wheatthink.blogspot.com Tom Strong

    Regarding William’s comment, it’s long surprised me how little talk there’s been of possibly breaking Iraq up. We went into this project knowing that Iraq has always been something of an artificial nation, put together by colonialism and held together by dictatorship. It seems like separate states could offer the most peaceful resolution. I may be ignorant here, but why hasn’t that possibility come up more prominently?

  • Uncle Mark

    TO Crim & Strong. Oh yes that seperation will work!! Just look at Pakistan and India. Toss a Nuke, anyone? And we all know what fun the Serbs and Croats had with their little party. (If anyone watch’s Family Guy, channel Stewie)
    Seperation does not equal rationality and neither does Islam.

  • http://the-last-polka.blogspot.com Mike

    While I understand how a 3 state solution could make some logical sense, in reality it would be a disaster. Besides being an utter embarrassment for the United States, a divided Iraq would destabalize the entire region. A possible Kurdistan would rub Turkey the wrong way and the Sunnis and Shi’as could ally with their brethren (Sunnis with Syria? and Shi’as with Iran?). Is Iraq an artificial state leftover from the British imperial era? Absolutely. But we have to try to keep it together for now.

  • GN

    Keep it together? The place is going bomkers. There are not emough tow heade young lads with fingers enough to put in that leaking dike.
    Meanwhile, here is the thought for the day from “Burning in Iraq”:

    Oscar nomination goes to … Scott McClellan for keeping a straight face while reading White House press releases.

  • http://www.evilbobby.blogspot.com Dav

    I’m sorry I have no opinion on this. I’m trying real hard to be a moderate pussy.

  • http://sporkmonger.com/ Bob Aman

    Well, I’m quite sure all-out civil war is bad for us. Bad for the Iraqis? The ones that get killed, yeah, it’s bad for them… no doubt. But it really depends on the perspective. As mentioned by many others, the Kurds potentially have a lot to gain from it. And if I was going to put my money on any people-group in the Middle East besides the Israelis actually managing to get a viable, functioning society, by the people, for the people, and so on, my money would be on the Kurds. The Shi’a may think they have something to gain from it, but I doubt they really do. Ditto for the Sunnis. Frankly though, in terms of long-term stability in region, I don’t think we’re realistically going to see it at all, because I’m pretty certain at this point that borders need to be redrawn if peace is to be had. And I don’t need to say anything about the likelihood of that happening, given that Turkey and Syria will throw a hissy-fit if anyone even contemplates the idea.

    So yeah, my prediction is that the Shi’a will start it, and will mostly “win” it, the Kurds will ask why everyone’s fighting again, then sit back and watch, and when the dust settles and everyone’s dead, they’ll go, “Oh, by the way, we just decided that we’re just going to declare this chunk of land over here to be Kurdistan.” Iraqis won’t care much, but Turkey will go bat-shit insane, and Syria will start looking very concerned. After that, who knows… Meanwhile, our troops will do their level best not to get shot in the crossfire, while our government makes vague threats about invading Iran. And Iran will chuckle, then go back to their long tirades about how Israel was actually the result of an unholy matrimony between the devil and some other random unsavory thing.

  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    Our new friend Dav said…

    I’m sorry I have no opinion on this. I’m trying real hard to be a moderate pussy.

    You’re really making the left look good buddy. Keep it up.

  • http://gogmagog.vpsland.com/blog William Crim

    Since when is stability a virtue? The Soviet Union was stable.

    “Not fighting” is not the same as peace.

    It is also clear that they don’t WANT to be together, they only stress unity to prevent violence from the Sunnis. If the foundation of peace is a desire to prevent 1/5 of the population from embarking on a homicidal rampage, then Iraq is already lost. The United States can get over the embarassment of a 3 state solution, because it would gain an unequivocal ally in the region(Kurdistan).

    Iraq is not a leftover of the British Imperial era. It is a left over of a weak League of Nations mandate. The Brits did a lot of things in the region, but I can’t support the blame game. The International Community was as feckless then as it is now, and the League of Nations gave the mandates to the great powers because they were the only ones with the ABILITY to get anything done. The alternative would have been anarchy and civil war… Hey, thats what we have now!

    Keeping people in an externally imposed Limbo for a century, because WE don’t like the fighting, so we prevent it. Well… They HAVE legitimate grievances that might not have a peaceful solution. It is unfortunate that the conflict has ethnic dimensions, but ethnicity and identity politics MATTER over there. There are 2 ways to have ethnic conflicts decided decisively. Separation and extermination. I think the best solution is to separate now, rather than delay the inevitable exterminations later.

  • http://sporkmonger.com/ Bob Aman

    The United States can get over the embarassment of a 3 state solution, because it would gain an unequivocal ally in the region(Kurdistan).

    Absolutely agree. It still won’t happen, at least for a good while yet, though. The current administration believes that they can hold everything together for some reason, and doesn’t want to run the risk of annoying its allies or cause Iran to do anything stupid. So they’ll declare that splitting Iraq would be tantamount to admitting defeat instead.