Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2007

History not on side of partition

October 24, 2007

The so-called Great Powers divided up the Middle East after World War I. They did so to advance their own selfish interests without appreciating the long-term nature of their actions. We've been living with the results of their ill-conceived actions for about 90 years.

Recent events in Turkey point to the long-standing cross border problems between Turkey and northern Iraq (Kurdistan) where PKK (Kurdish) guerrillas conduct cross-borders operations into Turkey.

Foreign policy wannabe Nancy Pelosi and her fellow travelers, bending to the will of the American Armenian community in California, are pressing for a resolution to embarrass Turkey, and thereby the Bush administration, for acts committed by the long-gone Ottoman Empire, which for years was called the Sick Man of Europe as it disintegrated.

Iran is itching for a fight. It may feel compelled to dominate (at best) or absorb (at worst) the Shiite majority in Iraq to strengthen its position vis-a-vis the Sunni Arab states in the region.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan (both Sunni) are nervous about the nuclear program in Iran and Iranian intentions. There are emerging concerns that Saudi Arabia could press to obtain its own nuclear weapons as a counterbalance to Iran.

On top of all this, two U.S. senators -- one who recently gave up his presidential run and one who continues his -- Sam Brownback and Joe Biden, have a plan to partition Iraq. It's a replay of Great Powers' gambit in 1919.

To paraphrase George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

-- Bob Ulin is a Lansing resident and retired Army colonel. He has taught at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and currently is director of the CGSC Foundation.

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