Monday, May 07, 2007

A Bold plan for peace in Iraq

By Charles E. Martin

There is a path to victory here. I know what I am talking about. Ihave been in Iraq for 18 months. I have been from Kuwait to theSyrian border. I have been in a mortar attack, and been close enoughto hear the shooting. (I am a civilian computer tech, and not amilitary person). I have flown 90 combat missions in Iraq.Often in foreign policy, the player (In this case the USA), has tochoose from a number of bad choices. There are all kinds of badchoices in this desert. Instead of blaming President Bush, or badintelligence, or the CIA, or this or that, let's stop playing ablame game, as they said in Vietnam, there is enough blame to goaround for everyone.Since the objective of this exercise, is to get rid of SaddamHussein (mission accomplished), and bring freedom and the rule oflaw to the Iraqi people (not yet accomplished), we should step backand see how to get this operation through to a successful conclusion.There are a number of bad choices:1- Partition the country into separate nations: Sunni-stan, Shia-stan, and Kurdistan. Then let each individual group run their owncountry. This idea stinks on hot ice. It is not going to happen.The reason is OIL. The oil resources of this country are not evenlydistributed throughout the country. Locking two ethnic groups out ofthe oil money would never work, the war would just continue, aseveryone would be scrambling for the oil. You must remember, thatthis war is about power and greed. Religion and tribal causes aresecondary at best.2- Line up every military age male in the entire country, against awall, and shoot them. This will bring peace, but charges ofgenocide. Not a good plan.3- Pull out, and let them go at it, until someone comes up on top.This will result in a bigger genocide, than plan #2. The democrats,and other "surrender-clowns", do not realize, that if the USmilitary packs up their Army, and moves the entire operation to FortRiley, Kansas, that the Iraqi militias that are fighting in thiscountry, will not just drop all their weapons, and turn this countryinto a big "love-in". If the US military pulls out of Iraq,violence will INCREASE, not decrease, and more Iraqis will bekilled.If the US quits Iraq, there will be a full-blown civil war, betweenSunnis, Shias, and Kurds. The Shia government of Iran, willbankroll the Shias in Iraq, because the Iranians do not want a Sunnigovernment on their border. The Iranians want a friendly Shiagovernment running Iraq, that will give the Iranians more influencein the region, and put them that much closer to Israel.A blood-bath in Iraq, will result in some new strong-man coming topower here (Saddam II), and then the USA will have to come backhere, and start the whole process all over again.Or there is plan 4-I propose to declare that Iraq is henceforth a USA "protectorate".The USA can issue a proclamation, that the entire territory of Iraqis now under the sole control of the US government. (Like theBritish set up in Swaziland, and Basutoland in Africa). From nowon, the internal and external security of Iraq, will be the soleresponsibility of the US Government. The US will administer all ofthe mineral resources of the country, and sell petroleum. Therevenues will be deposited into an escrow account, and thendisbursed according to the directives of the US mineral andpetroleum authority.All borders will be closed, and any individual attempting to smuggleweapons or any military equipment into Iraq, will be summarily shot.Reconstruction of the country, rebuilding infrastructure,electricity, utilities, agriculture, civil engineering, etc. will beadministered by the US government.The current Iraqi government, constitution, and military forces willbe suspended for the duration for the adminstration of theprotectorate, and be restored at an unspecified date in the future,when the security and military situation is stabilized.Other nations will be invited and encouraged to participate in themilitary/security functions, but the USA will be prepared to go italone, if need be. Other nations will be invited and encouraged toparticipate in the humanitarian and infrastructure projects, as theysee fit. Non-governmental organizations, including the UnitedNations will be encouraged to participate as needed.The US government will then proceed to disarm all of the militias inIraq, and detain/imprison all internal terrorist forces.The US government will neutralize all terrorism in Iraq, and engagein "hot-pursuit" of terrorist forces who attempt to operate acrossinternational borders.Military bases will be established as permanent bases, with leasesin perpetuity.Provincial lines will be re-drawn to establish separatesunni/shiite/Kurdish political entities. Each individual group willbe assisted in setting up autonomous governments, responsible foradministering the internal affairs of each province. Similar to theCanton system in Switzerland.The capital area of Baghdad, and other major cities will be set upas inter-ethnic provinces, where administration of the cities willbe set up along the lines where cities are generally self-governing.Similar to the home-rule situation in Washington DC.The "new" constitution of Iraq, will be trashed, and a weakercentral government will be set up, ceding more power to theautonomous provinces. The central government will be non-sectarian,and political offices will be awarded on merit and popularsovreignty, without regard to faction or ethnic group.The new central government will be responsible for foreign policy,international trade, minerals management and revenue distribution,external defense, infrastruture management, etc.Once the security situation is stabilized, the US protectorateperiod will end GRADUALLY, and political power will be ceded to thenew central government, and the autonomous provinces.The new Iraq government, and the region as a whole, will be put onnotice, that sovreignty will depend upon the "good behavior"and "good faith" of all of the various factions in Iraq.This is a bold plan, but when you consider the alternatives, itmight just be the plan with the best chance of success.

No comments: