The US Senate voted for a soft partition of Iraq on Thursday. First they messed up Iraq by authorizing Terrible George to blow it up, now they want to further mess it up by dividing it. It makes no sense to me; the US Senate doesn’t even have the authority to divide Iraq. Wouldn’t that be for the Iraqi parliament?
The Iraqi political elite roundly condemned the Senate vote. Note that among the more vocal denunciations came from Shiite Vice President Adil Abdul Mahdi, whose own party, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), favors the creation of a Shiite superstate in the south.
Iraq expert Reidar Vissar dissects the Senate vote and says it is, in Iraqi terms, unconstitutional.
The Iraqi government is incapable of even rudimentary auditing and corruption-fighting, according to a US embassy in Baghdad report. The difficulties range from the poor security situation to violent militia elements inside government ministries.
Historian Roger Owen explains why Iraq is doomed to warlord rivalry and chaos in the short to medium term, whatever the US military does in that country.
At the Global Affairs blog, Part four of Barnett Rubin’s excellent series on counter-narcotics policy in Afghanistan.
At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, an account of the Nile river battle of Shubrakhit (Chubrakhit, Chabreisse), by General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, later the father of the author of the Count of Monte Cristo. The Dumas adventure novels were influenced by his father’s exploits in the Napoleonic period, though he would only have known them second hand.