Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iraq's three-region solution Petition

To: Honorable President Bush
George W. Bush, U.S. President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500

Honorable President Bush:

Soon after America went to war, Saddam’s regime was toppled and institutional tyranny was buried in Iraq. Americans were overjoyed by returning freedom to the oppressed Iraqis. America told them it would make their country the beacon of democracy for the larger Middle East. We know changing from democracy to dictatorship can be accomplished overnight, but to move from dictatorship to democracy needs the patience of generations!
Mr. President, Four years of beheadings, suicide bombings, demolition of shrines, and other atrocities should be enough to make the world cognizant of the culture of hate between the Sunnis and Shiites.

Since America has the primary responsibility toward Iraq’s future it can no longer afford to continue to deny the complexity of Iraqi society: first, that there are two major ethnicities, Kurds and Arabs; and second, within the Arab community a bitter religious division exists between Sunni and Shiite factions, and third, these realities exist along with the presence of other minorities. None of these have been taught the initial alphabet of democracy. They either are the oppressor or are being oppressed.

If America abandons its quest to re-establish Baghdad as the strong capital of Iraq and works with the realities on the ground, then other options are easier. Iraq is already a divided society. It no longer makes sense to refuse to honor the all too-evident wishes of the majority of Iraqi people to no longer be yoked together in a state that was initially configured by failed British policy for its colonial interests. Break the country into three autonomous regions and let each respective community take full responsibility for the security of its region. It can be done. Kurdistan is a living example. We must remind ourselves if in the past the Iraqi territorial integrity had been kept together it was done with an iron fist, but the truth of the matter is that its society had never been unified like societies of other nations. Why should we deny that and continue to hope in vain?

The plight of America’s military in Iraq has lessened America’s influence at the global level. And America’s enemies in the region such as Iran and Syria are celebrating the White House’s predicament in Iraq; because, it has given them a free hand to contribute more to Iraq’s chaotic situation without even being slapped on that hand. At the same time Iran has been successfully indirectly fighting America on two other fronts --in Afghanistan and Lebanon, and not very concerned about what America has to say regarding its nuclear ambitions. It does not matter how many rounds of negotiations America sits in with the Iranians and discuss Iraq, they won’t play the role of honest broker in helping America bring the dire situation in Iraq to an end. This is because a barely controlled chaotic Iraq works better for Iranian interests than having a democratic Iraq. Therefore, America should not be optimistic for a viable solution through Iranian mullahs. Instead, America can devise a workable solution for Iraq by dividing it into three regions in order to focus on troublesome areas such as Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere.
The three-region solution can provide a graceful exit, and will give peace and democracy to the peaceful majority of Iraqis. It is still not too late to turn the course of the war around and let the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis be their own palace guards under a flexible federal government in Baghdad. This is a proper way to implant the seeds of democracy in this turbulent country. It could be the preferred way for America to leave Iraq with her head held high. It is still not too late to do that.


The Undersigned

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