From Jim Gilliam's blog archivesSplitting Iraq up
January 9, 2004 8:10 AM
The Kurds want their own country. The question is how long until the Sunnis and Shi'a want to split up? That would be a very messy break up.
Iraq was never meant to be -- the people didn't organize themselves this way. Ethnically it's three separate countries mushed together by a colonial power (Britain) early last century. The Kurds were doing their own thing while Saddam was in power, so it seems pretty straightforward for them to split off. The problem is with the Sunnis and Shi'a. The Sunnis were in control under Saddam, but they are only a third of the population, and they live in central Iraq while all the oil is in the south -- where the Shi'a live. You can see where this is going.
Having the Kurds split off will give rise to the idea of splitting up Iraq ethnically -- something our "allies" in the region are very afraid of. "Regimes founded on a confessional or ethnic basis do not help bring stability and territorial integrity to a country," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal said Wednesday. "The danger of starting on the confessional and ethnic road will consequently partition Iraq, threatening our own security."
More from the archive in Imperialism.
Splitting Iraq up (01.09.2004)