Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TNR Run down

I might grow old and die before finishing this review of TNR, so I'll be quicker about it:

Divide Iraq, Peter W. Galbraith

Wrong. The regions of Iraq are not heterogeneous. Dividing Iraq would take one state where minorities aren’t safe and turn them into a bunch of countries where different minorities aren’t safe. See this for more. Much of Galbraith’s arguments are refuted in the next article:

Keep It Whole, Reza Aslan

Right on. The best point he makes is that oil is not evenly distributed in Iraq. Any division of Iraq would necessarily founder on that issue.

Force Everyone To The Table, Anne-Marie Slaughter

She says “throw a big peace conference and if it doesn’t work go home”. Fine. I don’t think a conference would work but I’m happy to try one if that’s what it takes to get some people to support withdrawal. I should point out that not talking to countries like Syria and Iran are part of official Bush doctrine and he shows no sign of changing that.

Deal With The Sunnis, Larry Diamond

He wants to cut a deal with the Sunni insurgents to get them on our side. He says “ensure that the central government will control the oil and not the Shia regions that have the oil”. Of course the problem is “we” can’t cut any kind of deal. The US doesn’t own the oil-fields in Iraq. The Iraqi government does. And it’s run by Maliki and his Sadr’s chums. So the question is how do we get Maliki to hand over the oil? I don’t know. And how do we get Sadr’s voting block in parliament to go along with it? I don’t know that either. And why should the Sunnis be happy knowing that the central government will control the oil when they know they will always be outnumbered by the Shia there? Mr. Diamond doesn’t know either or else he’s not very good at writing essays.

To be continued…

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