October 3, 2007
For UrShalim, it is Sykes-Picot all over again, partitioning the Middle East under spheres of western influence 'protecting' different ethnicities. And for Nidal, who is commenting on UrShalim, westerners are discarding the Arab perception of USrael's policies in the Middle East as 'conspiracy theories'. However, if they look carefully at the history of the region and at what is happening now they will discover that there is a troubling similarity between these so-called conspiracy theories and what the US and Israel are planning for Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.
Moussa Bashir at UrShalim and Nidal at Loubnan Ya Loubnan, have recently pointed to this important news item, published only as an AFP newswire which went unnoticed; the US senate voted to partition Iraq. In the first lines of his post, Nidal highlights the contradiction in this short title. It is not the Iraqi people who voted to partition their country but a foreign power, the US senate.
What follows is an extract translatied from Nidal's article.
The proposal voted in the US senate is what is called the Biden Bill, by the name of senator Joe Biden. Nidal features the whole text of the bill:
SEC. 1535. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON FEDERALISM IN IRAQ.
(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Iraq continues to experience a self-sustaining cycle of sectarian violence.
(2) The ongoing sectarian violence presents a threat to regional and world peace, and the longterm security interests of the United States are best served by an Iraq that is stable, not a haven for terrorists, and not a threat to its neighbors.
(3) A central focus of al Qaeda in Iraq has been to turn sectarian divisions in Iraq into sectarian violence through a concentrated series of attacks, the most significant being the destruction of the Golden Dome of the Shia al-Askariyah Mosque in Samarra in February 2006.
(4) Iraqis must reach a comprehensive and sustainable political settlement in order to achieve stability, and the failure of the Iraqis to reach such a settlement is a primary cause of violence in Iraq.
(5) Article One of the Constitution of Iraq declares Iraq to be a ``single, independent federal state''.
(6) Section Five of the Constitution of Iraq declares that the ``federal system in the Republic of Iraq is made up of a decentralized capital, regions, and governorates, and local administrations'' and enumerates the expansive powers of regions and the limited powers of the central government and establishes the mechanisms for the creation of new federal regions.
(7) The federal system created by the Constitution of Iraq would give Iraqis local control over their police and certain laws, including those related to employment, education, religion, and marriage.
(8) The Constitution of Iraq recognizes the administrative role of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 3 northern Iraqi provinces, known also as the Kurdistan Region.
(9) The Kurdistan region, recognized by the Constitution of Iraq, is largely stable and peaceful.
(10) The Iraqi Parliament approved a federalism law on October 11th, 2006, which establishes procedures for the creation of new federal regions and will go into effect 18 months after approval.
(11) Iraqis recognize Baghdad as the capital of Iraq, and the Constitution of Iraq stipulates that Baghdad may not merge with any federal region.
(12) Despite their differences, Iraq's sectarian and ethnic groups support the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
(13) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated on November 27, 2006, ``[t]he crisis is political, and the ones who can stop the cycle of aggravation and bloodletting of innocents are the politicians''.
(b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States should actively support a political settlement in Iraq based on the final provisions of the Constitution of Iraq that create a federal system of government and allow for the creation of federal regions, consistent with the wishes of the Iraqi people and their elected leaders;
(2) the active support referred to in paragraph (1) should include--
(A) calling on the international community, including countries with troops in Iraq, the permanent 5 members of the United Nations Security Council, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Iraq's neighbors--
(i) to support an Iraqi political settlement based on federalism;
(ii) to acknowledge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq; and
(iii) to fulfill commitments for the urgent delivery of significant assistance and debt relief to Iraq, especially those made by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council;
(B) further calling on Iraq's neighbors to pledge not to intervene in or destabilize Iraq and to agree to related verification mechanisms; and
(C) convening a conference for Iraqis to reach an agreement on a comprehensive political settlement based on the federalism law approved by the Iraqi Parliament on October 11, 2006;
(3) the United States should urge the Government of Iraq to quickly agree upon and implement a law providing for the equitable distribution of oil revenues, which is a critical component of a comprehensive political settlement based upon federalism;
(4) the steps described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) could lead to an Iraq that is stable, not a haven for terrorists, and not a threat to its neighbors; and
(5) nothing in this Act should be construed in any way to infringe on the sovereign rights of the nation of Iraq.
In his article, Nidal links to a 2006 article that Biden cosigned with Leslie H. Gelb in the New York Times on the subject, whish he considers more explicit than the actual text of the bill. He considers the text of the bill as a masterpiece in Hypocrisy. First because the text has taken the Iraqi constitution as a premise for justifying the partition plan without concern for the fact that the constitution was voted in October 2005 under US occupation and largely criticized at the time in the Arab world as opening the door to partition. The hypocrisy is also in the last paragraph of the amendment stipulating that such an amendment must not interfere with the sovereignty of Iraq.
"Let's imagine that, last wednesday, the US senate voted to express its 'sentiment' in favor of partitioning France. Or, let's have a bit fun and imagine that the US senate voted to partition Israel along ethnic and religious lines. What could have been the reaction of the news ? Unfortunately, there is a prevailing 'logic' today which, if applied in these two possible cases, no media would judge it interesting to reproduce and comment this information.
The opposition between republicans and democrats in the US senate is artificial. Iraqis will have to hang on either of these two positions: Republicans refusing the partition of Iraq and promising more war until the final victory or democrats refusing war but promising partition along ethno-religious lines, meaning ethnic cleanesing.
Iraq's prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki says he is opposed to such a 'catastrophic' scenario but the latest news from the US are that Maliki does not seem to count too much despite his puppet stance toward the occupation. A leaked memo from December 2006 shows Stephen Hadley accusing Maliki of consolidating Shia Power in Baghdad.
The Missing Links blog notes that the Iraqi vice president launches the same day the Biden amendment is voted the Iraqi National Pact supporting the principle of a federal Iraq. Received in the white house by GW Bush in December 2006, at the time Maliki was criticized in Washington, he is the first high profile Sunni politician supporting federalism. It is strange to realize that while the news are mumm about the text of the Biden amendment and the text of the Iraqi National Pact, they are flooding us with information about the 'Progress' of the National Pact as promoted by Tariq El-Hashemi.
As our media have never layed out the historic context coloring the perception of citizens in the ME of such a move, except when they denounce Arabs' love for conspiracy theories, the European reader can never imagine the disturbing particular logic in which the US senate vote can be seen by Arabs.
For UrShalim the vote is simply the repetition of the Sykes-Picot agreements partitioning the Middle East under spheres of western influence 'protecting' different ethnicities.
In one of my first posts on this blog I reminded readers how political analysis, showing the Middle East, this craddle of human civilisation, as the victim of continuous ethno-religious confrontations, is dangerous and preposterous.
In another article, 'Political Coup in Lebanon', I reminded readers how the ambitions of a regional power, close to the US, is to partition the Arab and Muslim Middle East. Nidal is referring here also to the text of Oded Yinon.
If we look at the Iraq war from this perspective it becomes evident that the invasion of Iraq was the sinister project of Zionists and Neoconservatives to destruct all Israel's neighbours in small ethno-religious entities similar to Israel. My Arab friends are convinced that that was the chief objective in invading Iraq and remodeling the ME.
The western reader has evidently never heard of the analysis and opinions of Arabs, notably Iraqis, who see in the invasion of Iraq the realization of the Zionist project through Neoconservatives. Westerners have but contempt for the Arab view on what is happening to them, they discard these views by labelling them as conspiracy theories. It is therefore unnecessary to inform the western reader about these views as it is unnecessary to inform him about the mercenaries whose only role in Iraq is to inflame sectarian tensions and provoke confrontations resulting in the partition of the country. This belief is particularly present among Iraqi refugees. It is also unnecessary to watch this movie aired on the website of the Nation showing how Blackwater has actively participated in the sectarian wars in Iraq. Better not to see those things, better to lower our head, and most importantly not to make any link between what is happening to Iraq and Arab 'conspiracy' theories."
UrShalim comments the US senate vote to partition Iraq this way: "You may still call it a conspiracy theory but I now call it strategic planning.
But we are not the planners of course."
"We can approve of UrShalim's opinion here or disapprove of it but there is one thing we cannot disregard: the importance of such perceptions which are at the heart of regional politics and individual discussions. Because if we are to look at a certain coherence in all what is happening now in the Middle East we are forced to adopt UrShalim's conclusion: "If the US succeeds in dividing Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon and others will be next. It is just a matter of years.""