Disintegration of Iraq, Oil Game and the New Middle East

United States senate approved a non-binding resolution on Wednesday to divide Iraq into three Bosnia-style ethnic regions consisting of Shia Arab, Sunni Arab and Kurd factions. The resolution was sponsored by Joe Biden, Democratic Senator from Delaware and Presidential Candidate for 2008 elections.

The measure, which passed 75-23, provided a key test of an idea drawing rising interest in Washington despite apparent opposition from the Bush administration. The plan, offered as an amendment to a defense policy bill, would provide for decentralizing Iraq in a federal system as permitted by Iraq’s constitution to stop the country from becoming a failed state.

While the Vice-President of Iraq and leaders of Arab League have lamely condemned the resolution, it is more of a lip service as they have no moral courage whatsoever to ask United States who gave it the right to disintegrate a sovereign state? United States has miserably failed in its agenda of finding Weapons of Mass Destruction and later ‘restoration of democracy’ in Iraq. Instead of saving face through pulling its forces out, United States is busy in planning a prolonged stay. Apparently, the government and opposition have consensus on this as republicans have supported this resolution by the democrats.

As noticed earlier, it is part of the New Middle East plan by US think tanks, to disintegrate Iraq into Shia, Sunni and Kurd states. The new entities will be easier to manage and can be used to further exploit the regional situation.

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt of Townhall.com, John Burns, of New York Times, stated that the ‘Soft Partition” of Iraq resemble partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. While this is totally false to the core as in India Muslims of the Sub-Continent unanimously resolved for a separate state for them while disintegration of Iraq is “resolved” by its oppressor.

Ron Jacobs at CounterPunch.org puts it as,

Partitioning Iraq is not a solution that is Washington’s to make. The recent vote by the US Senate is misguided. In addition, it will do little to further the desire of the US public to bring the troops home. Instead, it will put US forces in the position of maintaining the newly created divisions along new lines in the sand. Senator Biden’s bill is not a solution. It is another false approach that has as much chance at success as anything tried by the Bush administration. In other words, it is destined to fail.

So, is this really a plan for decentralized, federal system in Iraq, which would give its people local control over the fabric of their daily lives, as Joe Biden thinks it is? or is it an attempt to further exploit the oil reserves of the region, as John Fout of theStreet.com sees it.

According to John, Kurds are striking deals with independent oil companies and proposed federalism will provide them more freedom for that. Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, passed its own version of the oil bill earlier this year showing symbolic independence. Based on that bill it negotiated a deal with Texas-based Hunt Oil. Baghdad is still reluctant to accept this deal, testing patience of KRG and Hunt Oil. However, if Kurds and Shias get autonomy, they can make whatever deals they want to, making Iraq a buyers’ market for Oil exploration and marketing companies.

The oil rich region of Iraq has attracted fortune seekers throughout the history. At end of World War I, the region was given as mandate to the United Kingdom by the League of Nations. In August 1921 two former Ottoman vilayets (regions): Baghdad, and Basra were merged into a single country. Five years later, in 1926, the northern vilayet of Mosul was added, forming the territorial boundaries of the modern Iraqi state.

To suppress Shias and Kurds and reduce Iranian influence, Hashemite king Faisal was established in Iraq, who had been forced out of Syria by the French. British authorities selected Sunni Arab elites from the region for appointments to government and ministry offices.

Britain granted independence to Iraq in 1932 but retained military bases and transit rights for their forces. The United Kingdom invaded Iraq in 1941, for fear that the government of Rashid Ali might cut oil supplies to Western nations, and because of his strong ideological leanings to Nazi Germany. A military occupation followed the restoration of the Hashemite monarchy, and the occupation ended on October 26, 1947.

The reinstated Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown by a coup d’etat of the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution. This led to formation of Ba’ath Party and eventual rule of Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2003.

Regardless of the outcome of this resolution, situation of Iraq is an eye-opener for nations who invite foreigners to resolve their disputes, accept foreign interference in their internal affairs and stay divided at times of foreign oppression.

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