Friday, October 27, 2006

A preemptive strike on the so-called "Biden plan"

Reidar Visser is a historian, known for his Shiite research, and the go-to person for understanding the internal ins and outs of the Shiite parties and movements in Iraq. He is also the person who has most closely followed the Iraqi federalism debate and the federalism legislation. While he doesn't often comment publicly on the US so-called "debates" on Iraqi issues, occasionally on key issues he does, and today he publishes, via JWN, a piece warning that the "Biden plan" for the partition of Iraq is "illusory and spurious", violates the Iraqi constitution, attempts to revive the post WW I imperialist approach, risks alienating vast numbers of Iraqis, alarms Iraq's neighbors, and feeds the theory that the US is in the region not to plant democracy, but to divide and conquer. In case you missed the point, the title of the piece is "There is no Biden Plan".

On specific points, he notes that the "plan" is unconstitutional because federal regions under the constitution would have to be created "from below" via local votes, and cannot in any way be imposed from above. And the "plan" would require a prior constitutional amendment respecting sharing of oil-revenue, but given the agreed-on legislative timetable this could only be based on the current 18-governate structure, so that too is illusory.

Readers of this blog don't need any help understanding the importance of one of Visser's other points, namely that the whole concept of federal regions and separation can exascerbate rather than ease inter-group tensions, so that imposing a concept like "the Biden plan" by fiat would be not pacifying but extremely inflammatory.

Given the superficial, illusory and perverse nature of the "Biden plan", Visser says he is alarmed by the prospect that this could end up not only mudding the waters in the US political debate on Iraq, but could actually dominate the debate and define its terms.

If you're not alarmed too, you haven't grasped the situation.


Blogger markfromireland said...

At the risk of blogwh*ring "A Barefaced and Stupid Lie," "Can you say?," "In Which The Gorilla Says "I told You So." Which reminds me Badger if you promise me that you're over 18 then I give you permission to read this and and click the links therein. It ummm has something to do with "Missing Links" Feel free to pass any of the graphics along to any republicans you think will be particularly upset by them :-)

11:55 PM  
Blogger badger said...

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5:54 AM  

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