Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Biden on the move

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden is getting ready to introduce this week a non-binding Senate resolution calling for the partitioning (taqsiim: partitioning) of Iraq, according to the Azzaman reporter in Washington, Marcy abu Tauq. Biden is running for president, and he was helped in this by former Carter administration official Leslie Gelb. The Azzaman reporter adds: Several Republican members of the Senate have also shown an interest in this bill. They are politicians who have supported the troop-surge, but at the same time they denounce the political crisis that persists among the Iraqi leaders. Sam Brownback, one of the eleven signers of the bill (and one of the Republican candidates for president) said: [He supports this bill because] "we are currently supporting a failed political strategy in Iraq". And the reporter adds: The supporters of the bill think it is "the political key to withdrawal of American troops before the advent of anarchy".

In other words: This is a project that is being reported--correctly--as a purely political exercise, enabling American politicians to square the circle between "supporting the surge" and "getting the troops out". Because: Having supported the troops and supported the surge for the sake of the Iraqi nation, the only consistent justification for now withdrawing the troops now is that the nation itself is finished. That's what they mean by the "political key to withdrawal." There isn't any discussion of actual feasibility of desirability of this, or even what it actually means in reality.

What about this, netroots watchdogs? Heard anything about it?

(Update from our boldface reporter:

Steve Clemons reports that many if not most of the watchdogs are over at the Clinton Global Initiative, mingling with people who paid $15,000 to get in. It is good practice for them. Steve says he has already spotted Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Brian Beutler, Blake Hounsell, and Sameer Lalwani.

Badger will have updates throughout the day.

This just in: Steve says Angelina Jolie is there! And Steve ran into a former Secretary of Commerce of the United States of American, and Michael Eisner formerly of the Disney organization!

3:00pm: They have fallen asleep)

Meanwhile, the measure passed the Senate this very afternoon, as a non-binding amendment to a budget measure. It is being touted as evidence of strong bipartisan leadership by Biden, a rebuff to the Bush administration, and the long-awaited first step to bringing the troops home. Not bad packaging for a measure that calls for Iraq to be split up into sectarian units over the heads of the Iraqis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VP, Abd al Aziz and ISI must be very pleased with this.

I love Condi's comment in an earlier letter to Mitch McConnell; a "sensitive issue best left to the Iraqis to address at their own pace."

That sectarian cleansing can't be happening fast enough.

I wonder, Badger, why do the Dem partitionists think they have a new idea with this?

3:36 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Steve, I guess for Biden and his cohorts the creative part is the cover it gives Democrats anxious not to seem weak: The idea is: We supported the troops to the bitter end for the sake of Iraq, but now that there really is no longer an "Iraq" we can bring the troops home (or say we will for electoral purposes). And the Azzaman piece calls attention to that line of thinking. But you're right, the underlying idea is nothing but the sectarian dismemberment of Iraq, and there's nothing new about that idea...

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My own thinking has been that from early 2003 (pre-war) this became the only feasible plan for the administration and everything follows from that. Have you read Galbraiths book?


4:39 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I guess I should read that. I've come to the planned-dismemberment view because that's the way Arab commentators see it, and it's convincing (doing the analysis over there, so I don't have to do it over here, so to speak...) but still it would be interesting some day to read up on that in English...

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good start - just to get the blood boiling - is the recent "End of Iraq" piece he did in the NYRB and just so you know that at least there is some opposition Visser did a devastating review over at History News Network (

What strikes me most about the book is the dishonesty of ommission - though there are plenty of straightforward untruths in it. Either the man is uninformed or completely unscrupulous.

I saw his handiwork as Ambassador to Croatia at first hand. that wasn't so pretty either.


5:36 PM  
Blogger badger said...

interesting, to say the least...

6:10 PM  
Blogger annie said...

In other words: This is a project that is being reported--correctly--as a purely political exercise,

hmm, i'm not buting that. how could such a big move be made w/so little fanfare. they are just keeping it underwraps, it's a nightmare and i'm pissed as all get out.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This from a talk Bush had with Aznar in Feb 2002:

"We have sent a very clear message to Saddam Hussein's generals: we will treat them like war criminals. We know they have accumulated an enormous amount of dynamite to blow up the bridges and other infrastructure and also the oil wells. We expect to occupy those wells soon. The Saudis would also help us bring the oil to market if necessary. We are developing a very strong package of humanitarian aid. We can win without destruction. We are already planning the post-Saddam Iraq, and I believe that is a good basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively strong civil society. It could be organized into a federation. Meanwhile we are doing everyhting possible to attend to all the political needs of our friends and allies."

Old plan, and Biden agrees to it ...

11:57 PM  
Blogger badger said...

it's a lot older than that, b. See the 1982 document attached to this

annie, I meant "purely political" in the sense that this is a nonbinding resolution that lets Democrats appear strong on defence and at the same time be for "troop-withdrawal". The underlying partition scheme is quite real, see my Oct 06 post called "Prediction: Democrats will roll over for a continuation of the federalism/partition strategy".
Why so little fanfare? That's what I want to know.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think you guys are being a bit unfair to Sen. Biden here. The plan he advocates is not to partition Iraq, but rather to recognize what has already happened on the ground which is the separation of the different groups along sectarian lines. What he is simply saying is, trying to leave a strong central government won't work because thanks to our failures so far, sectarianism has taken hold. Best way to move forward is to allow each group to control their own destiny as far as their local security is concerned, hence Sunni Iraq would have a Sunni security force and administration, while Shiite Iraq would have Shiite security forces and administration. This allows the parties to cool off a bit by focusing their energies on improving their house, economically, security wise etc. This would also require agreement on fundamental issues such as oil revenue sharing and common defense (border security). Once there is a political framework they can all accept, given time and space between the warring parties, they can in the future decide whether they want to remain a united Iraqi state or split into 3 distinct pieces. In the meantime, it also allows the US to begin drawing down, and changing the focus of its strategy vis a vis the War on Terror, which thanks to this administration has been almost exclusively on Iraq.

9:24 AM  
Blogger annie said...

Why so little fanfare? That's what I want to know.

personally, i think the last thing they want to scream from the rooftops is DIVIDE AND CONQUER! so they are playing this lowdown. fiengold was the only dem who didn't vote for this, so much for the anti war senators.

to recognize what has already happened on the ground which is the separation of the different groups along sectarian lines.

you don't friggin say? and whose brilliant idea was this. don't pretend we sat around and sweated over the rearrangement. don't pretend we twiddles out thumbs.

everything we have done since we went in there, bebaathification, disbanding the military (which was previously mixed). the whole point of the 'surge' was to rearrange people. isn't it just a marvelous coincidence that the 'terrorists' are doing it for us!!!

ny, go check what you are drinking if you are that clueless. watch the film if you want to see how its done.

livid, i am livid. btw, it is totally against the law to move people around and divide them by sect.

3:13 PM  
Blogger annie said...

badger, thank for the link to your 10/06 post. i wasn't reading you back then, damn.

makes ya kinda wonder what kind of psyops went into the mix. the initial 'rumor'. the constant harassment of sunni leadership. really, make me so angry. some days are better than other, but i fear we are only at the beginning of a long horrible nightmare.

See the 1982 document attached to this

where?? i couldn't understand a thing! i have however read a 80's version of divide iraq coming from israel.

3:39 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Sorry about that link annie, it was the wrong thing. There's a link to the document I was thinking of hereIt's probably the one you remember reading.

5:11 PM  
Blogger annie said...

thnx, yes that is what i remember

11:07 PM  
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