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Biden: Split Iraq Into 3 Different Regions By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer

 

The senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proposed Monday that Iraq be divided into three separate regions — Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni — with a central government in Baghdad.

 

In an op-ed essay in Monday's edition of The New York Times, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record). D-Del., wrote that the idea "is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group ... room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests."

 

The new Iraqi constitution allows for establishment of self-governing regions. But that was one of the reasons the Sunnis opposed the constitution and why they demanded and won an agreement to review it this year.

 

Biden and co-writer Leslie H. Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledged the opposition, and said the Sunnis "have to be given money to make their oil-poor region viable. The Constitution must be amended to guarantee Sunni areas 20 percent (approximately their proportion of the population) of all revenues."

 

Biden and Gelb also wrote that President Bush "must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008 (while providing for a small but effective residual force to combat terrorists and keep the neighbors honest)."

 

The White House on Sunday defended its prewar planning against criticism from an unlikely source — former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

 

In an interview broadcast Sunday in London, Powell revisited the question of whether the U.S. had a large enough force to oust Saddam Hussein and then secure the peace.

 

Powell said he advised now-retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who developed and executed the 2003 Iraq invasion plan, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld "before the president that I was not sure we had enough troops. The case was made, it was listened to, it was considered. ... A judgment was made by those responsible that the troop strength was adequate."

 

Current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was Bush's national security adviser at the time of the invasion, responded, "I don't remember specifically what Secretary Powell may be referring to, but I'm quite certain that there were lots of discussions about how best to fulfill the mission that we went into Iraq.

 

"And I have no doubt that all of this was taken into consideration. But that when it came down to it, the president listens to his military advisers who were to execute the plan," she told CNN's "Late Edition."

 

Rice said Bush "listened to the advice of his advisers and ultimately, he listened to the advice of his commanders, the people who actually had to execute the war plan. And he listened to them several times," she told ABC's "This Week."

 

"When the war plan was put together, it was put together, also, with consideration of what would happen after Saddam Hussein was actually overthrown," Rice said.

 

In their essay Monday, Biden and Gelb wrote: "It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor."

 

Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gulf War and is known for his belief in deploying decisive force with a clear exit strategy in any conflict.

 

"The president's military advisers felt that the size of the force was adequate; they may still feel that years later. Some of us don't. I don't," Powell said. "In my perspective, I would have preferred more troops, but you know, this conflict is not over."

 

"At the time, the president was listening to those who were supposed to be providing him with military advice," Powell said. "They were anticipating a different kind of immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad; it turned out to be not exactly as they had anticipated."

 

Rumsfeld has rejected criticism that he sent too few U.S. troops to Iraq, saying that Franks and generals who oversaw the campaign's planning had determined the overall number of troops, and that he and Bush agreed with them. The recommendation of senior military commanders at the time was about 145,000 troops.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

 

 

Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060501/ap_on_...r_wh/us_iraq_16

 

Also Monday, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proposed that Iraq be divided into three separate regions — Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni — with a central government in Baghdad.

 

In a speech in Philadelphia, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware suggested that a residual force would be left in place that would number about 20,000 — a force that presumably would prevent al-Qaida and jihadists "from essentially taking Afghanistan and moving it to the nether regions of Iraq."

 

The White House rejected the idea of a partitioned Iraq, saying the Bush administration supports a "federal, democratic, pluralist and unified" country. "A partition government with regional security forces and a weak central government, as you are referencing, is something that no Iraqi leader has proposed and that the Iraqi people have not supported," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

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http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3A3EBA5...B9F191F54A3.htm

 

Aljazeera in it's Arabic coverage to the above.

Aljazeera news editor put the Following " American call to devide Iraq.." The editor sfailed to emphsize that the caller is a democrate who is opposing new Iraq plans of Bush.. Aljazeera also didn't post the refusal of the white house to the call. At least till now, so just to allow more time for it's viewers to have the impression that this call is an American call and not a democrat anti fedral Iraq one!!

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/opinion/01biden.html

 

 

 

Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq

 

By JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR. and LESLIE H. GELB

Published: May 1, 2006

A decade ago, Bosnia was torn apart by ethnic cleansing and facing its demise as a single country. After much hesitation, the United States stepped in decisively with the Dayton Accords,which kept the country whole by, paradoxically, dividing it into ethnic federations, even allowing Muslims, Croats and Serbs to retain separate armies. With the help of American and other forces, Bosnians have lived a decade in relative peace and are now slowly strengthening their common central government, including disbanding those separate armies last year.

 

Now the Bush administration, despite its profound strategic misjudgments in Iraq, has a similar opportunity. To seize it, however, America must get beyond the present false choice between "staying the course" and "bringing the troops home now" and choose a third way that would wind down our military presence responsibly while preventing chaos and preserving our key security goals.

 

The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests. We could drive this in place with irresistible sweeteners for the Sunnis to join in, a plan designed by the military for withdrawing and redeploying American forces, and a regional nonaggression pact.

 

It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor. Meanwhile, the frustration of Americans is mounting so fast that Congress might end up mandating a rapid pullout, even at the risk of precipitating chaos and a civil war that becomes a regional war.

 

As long as American troops are in Iraq in significant numbers, the insurgents can't win and we can't lose. But intercommunal violence has surpassed the insurgency as the main security threat. Militias rule swathes of Iraq and death squads kill dozens daily. Sectarian cleansing has recently forced tens of thousands from their homes. On top of this, President Bush did not request additional reconstruction assistance and is slashing funds for groups promoting democracy.

 

Iraq's new government of national unity will not stop the deterioration. Iraqis have had three such governments in the last three years, each with Sunnis in key posts, without noticeable effect. The alternative path out of this terrible trap has five elements.

 

The first is to establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security. The central government would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues. Baghdad would become a federal zone, while densely populated areas of mixed populations would receive both multisectarian and international police protection.

 

Decentralization is hardly as radical as it may seem: the Iraqi Constitution, in fact, already provides for a federal structure and a procedure for provinces to combine into regional governments.

 

Besides, things are already heading toward partition: increasingly, each community supports federalism, if only as a last resort. The Sunnis, who until recently believed they would retake power in Iraq, are beginning to recognize that they won't and don't want to live in a Shiite-controlled, highly centralized state with laws enforced by sectarian militias. The Shiites know they can dominate the government, but they can't defeat a Sunni insurrection. The Kurds will not give up their 15-year-old autonomy.

 

Some will say moving toward strong regionalism would ignite sectarian cleansing. But that's exactly what is going on already, in ever-bigger waves. Others will argue that it would lead to partition. But a breakup is already under way. As it was in Bosnia, a strong federal system is a viable means to prevent both perils in Iraq.

 

The second element would be to entice the Sunnis into joining the federal system with an offer they couldn't refuse. To begin with, running their own region should be far preferable to the alternatives: being dominated by Kurds and Shiites in a central government or being the main victims of a civil war. But they also have to be given money to make their oil-poor region viable. The Constitution must be amended to guarantee Sunni areas 20 percent (approximately their proportion of the population) of all revenues.

 

The third component would be to ensure the protection of the rights of women and ethno-religious minorities by increasing American aid to Iraq but tying it to respect for those rights. Such protections will be difficult, especially in the Shiite-controlled south, but Washington has to be clear that widespread violations will stop the cash flow.

 

Fourth, the president must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008 (while providing for a small but effective residual force to combat terrorists and keep the neighbors honest). We must avoid a precipitous withdrawal that would lead to a national meltdown , but we also can't have a substantial long-term American military presence. That would do terrible damage to our armed forces, break American and Iraqi public support for the mission and leave Iraqis without any incentive to shape up.

 

Fifth, under an international or United Nations umbrella, we should convene a regional conference to pledge respect for Iraq's borders and its federal system. For all that Iraq's neighbors might gain by picking at its pieces, each faces the greater danger of a regional war. A "contact group" of major powers would be set up to lean on neighbors to comply with the deal.

 

Mr. Bush has spent three years in a futile effort to establish a strong central government in Baghdad, leaving us without a real political settlement, with a deteriorating security situation — and with nothing but the most difficult policy choices. The five-point alternative plan offers a plausible path to that core political settlement among Iraqis, along with the economic, military and diplomatic levers to make the political solution work. It is also a plausible way for Democrats and Republicans alike to protect our basic security interests and honor our country's sacrifices.

 

Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Leslie H. Gelb is the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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What writers of above article suggesting is simply a try to get beyond the immature call of "bringing the troops home now" and not to propose a third way as the article had suggested.

Both of the immatured choices are to counter the Bush's "Staying the course", a course that believes in new united federal democratic and free Iraq.

In both choices that key Democrats had proposed, it was very clear that they miss real understanding to what is going on in Iraq. Comparing Iraq to Bosnia is a dam wrong one..

Firstly the civil war in Bosnia was the reason of the American intervening while in Iraq the alleged civil war is because of the intervene. In Bosnia, the whole nation is divided based on religion and race, in Iraq the main body of the nation is united base on religion and race, the devision is based on the political destiny and how some people are looking to the new Iraqi. Arab tribes that represent main body of Iraqi population are of the two Muslim sects, building on wrong assumption that the two sects are deeply divided as the case in Bosnia is a miss knowledge of reality to what it is going on in Iraq.

 

Secondly, In Bosnia the division was a demand by most people. In Iraq, division is rejected by most people. While federalism is a strong request by most Shia, Sunni Arab are opposing even to think about it ,fearing the division possibility. Even Kurds that might tuned to such calls by Mr Biden and his cowriter , are in short term not happy with such calls for a very simple reason.. Kurds might loose control on the biggest autonomic Shia region directions that might bring them more troubles later on.Talabani was very fast in reply to these calls just couple days ago. The writers claim of getting more support by Sunni Arab to their weird suggestion is not justified by any public call of any Sunni Arab political or religious group. Their might be some minor Sunni Arab Factionist who might be reaching Mr Biden with such impressions, but in relaity the main Suni Arab body is totaly in rejection to any such proposals.

 

Thirdly, Such plans need to be work out through some political process and to cancel the constitution that was voted for by more than 80% of Iraqis. Even those who gave thump down were doing that because of Federation . So the question that the article might be missing to answer is what type of Iraqi politician might be willing to commit such political suicide?

The writers might be under the impression that American policy decision makers are in full control to drive the country the way they would like. If that is the case, they might better bring the country the way Iraqi people like. At least some thing that President Bush's current policy is doing. A policy that the writers are denouncing.

With objection of less than 5% of population mainly of Bathist and Wahabist backgroungs, Americans had hard job to bring Iraqi security into order, what would happen if 80% of population thought that the Americans are working to divide their country? The way that Mr Biden is calling for.

 

In promoting his proposal, Mr Biden is mixing the benefits of Federal system that the current constitution is building , with a radical awkward copying of a non applicable exercise.. It is just like proposing confederal solution to America rather than the prevailed Federal one.. Should the great United states of America be same if short sighted Confederates had won the battle?

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Translating the above
ترجمه تعليقي على مقال السناتور الديمقراطي " المعارض لبوش"
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محاوله مؤلفي المقال المنشور في النيويورك تايمز حول تقسيم العراق انما محاوله لتغطيه المقترح السابق غير الناضج الذي اقترحه الديمقراطيين بدعوتهم" لسحب القوات الامريكيه فورا " وليس كما يدعي المقال بانه مقترح ثالث .كلا المقترحيين جائا ليضادا مقترح الرئيس بوش بالالتزام بالعهد , ذلك العهد بتاييد قيام عراق متحد حر وديمقراطي.

كلا المقترحين االلذين يطرحهما قياديون في الحزب الديمقراطي ينقصهما الفهم العميق لما يجري في العراق. فان مقارنه البوسنه بالعراق هو امر فيه خطأ كبير ويبتعد عن الواقعيه.

اولا الحرب الاهليه في البوسنه كانت سببا للتدخل الامريكي بينما ما يسمى بالحرب الاهليه كانت من اسباب التدخل الامريكي.في البوسنه الشعب مقسم عرقيا ودينيا بينما في العراق العمود الاساسي هو لشعب موحد عرقيا ودينيا. معظم العراقيين ينتمون لقبائل عربيه تشترك في تعدد المذاهب. ما يحصل في العراق هو اختلاف سياسي بين من يدعمون التغيير وبين من يقفون بالضد منه.

ثانيا, التقسيم في البوسنه كان مطلبا جماهيريا بينما في العراق فان المطلب هو الوحده, حتى الفيدراليه التي يؤيدها معضم الشيعه فانها رفضت من البعض لكونها برايهم قد تؤدي للتقسيم. وحتى الكرد اللذين ربما تتناغم طروحاتالسناتور الديمقراطي بايدن وزميله مع طموح بعض القوميين منهم , فانهم لن يرحبوا بمثل هذا المقترح لما فيه من خطوره في فسح المجال للقسم الشيعي الاكبر من العراق بالتوجه بمعزل عن التنسيق الكردي , الامر الذي قد يؤدي لنتائج غير محموده عليهم.ادعاء الكاتب من ان مثل هذا المقترح سيلاقي دعما سنيا هو مجرد توقعات لاتجد ما يدعمها في الواقع. فاغلب الفعاليات السياسيه والدينيه تتخذ موقفا معاكسا واذا كان هناك بعض الاليه من الطائفيين السنه العرب اللذين ربما فرضوا قناعتهم على السناتور فان الاغلبيه السنيه لاتتفق تماما مع هذا الطرح.

رابعا, الطروحات تحتاج الى من يلتزم بها من القاده السياسين العراقيين والى العاء الدستور الذي صوت عليه حوالي 80% من العراقيين , فاين نجد مثل هؤلاء القاده اللذين يرغبون بتنفيذ انتحار سياسي. السناتور ربما يكتب تحت قناعه من ان الامريكان يمتلكون جميع مفاتيح الحل, فاذا كان الامر كذلك فانه حري بهم الى فرض مايريده الشعب العراقي اذن. لقد كان صعبا على الامريكان السيطره على الملف الامني بوجود مايقارب الخمسه بالمائه من معارضي النضام الجديد من الصداميين والوهابيين فكبف سيكون الحال عندما يتحول اكثر من ثمانين بالمائه من العراقيين الى الاعتقاد بان الامريكان يريدون تقسيم العراق كما يريد السناتور بايدن.

في ترويجه لمقترحه , خلط السناتور الديمقراطي بين مزايا الفيدراليه وما توفره للعراق الجديد من حلول وبين نموج كونفدرالي مسخ مستورد من بيئه وضروف غير مطابقه.

انه كمن يقترح الكونفدراليه على امريكا بديلا عن الفيدراليه.. فقط تعالوا نتخيل كيف كان يمكن ان يكون حال الامه الامريكيه العظيمه لو ان ضييقي الافق من دعاه الكونفدراليه كانوا قد ربحوا الحرب الاهليه الامريكيه بدلا من دعاه الفيدراليه..

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