[Marxism] Re: The Balkanization of Iraq
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sat Aug 27 12:55:03 MDT 2005
Balkanization is one of the main props of imperialism. It is beyond
divide and conquer. It is also unite, divide and rule.
(1) It divides a people that have a potential to resist the imperialist
aggressor and occupier.
(2) It legitimizes future intervention in order to “bring peace.” *
(3) Balkanization is a corollary to the artificial cobbling together of
disparate entities. Afghanistan, for example, was cobbled together by
dividing the Pashtun people and uniting a part of them with various
others groups, including a significant number that were Persian
speaking. Here is a recent article on the Durand Line and the creation
Iraq, of course was cobbled together from the Turkish Empire, which
included the Balkans themselves, by Winston Churchill and Lloyd George.
(See Winston’s Folly: Imperialism and the Creation of Modern Iraq by
Christopher Catherwood). Before doing this, the British first separated
out tiny Kuwait from the Turkish empire, giving it the whole mouth of
the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the already recognized oil fields.
The result was only a castrated port for the Turkey dominated
Mesopotamia, while holding Shatt al Arab, the mouth of the
Tigris-Euphrates for itself, i.e., its dependency--Kuwait.
The defeat of Turkey during WWI and the creation of Iraq, resulted in
the following port for the new state as described by Encarta:
Iraq is situated at the northern tip of the Person Gulf. Its coastline
along the gulf is only 30 km (19 mi) long. Thus, the country is NEARLY
LANDLOCKED. Its only port on the gulf, Umm Qas¸r, is small and located
on shallow water, and ONLY SMALL CRAFT CAN DOCK THERE [My emphases].
All the ruling groups in Iraq since then have protested the separation
of Kuwait from the rest of Iraq. Then Churchill and Lloyd-George
imposed a ruler on Mesopotamia who at first wasn’t even interested in
the area and who had expected to rule Syria. However, France wanted
Syria, which at the time included what was later Lebanon, and didn’t
want a native ruler who had a certain degree of legitimacy there.
Below is a news release of a TV interview involving Brzezinski and
Kissinger. Towards the end of the interview, Kissinger suggests that a
“hands-off” policy and the breakup of Iraq would serve U.S. imperialist
interests as well as a unitary nation.
December 26, 2004
WASHINGTON - Former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski
strongly criticized the American-led invasion of Iraq on Sunday and
said the US administration would have to scale down its ambitions for
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, expressed support for the
invasion on the same CNN programmed, but said the US administration had
misjudged the difficulty of rebuilding Iraq and guiding it to
Brzezinski, the national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter in
the 1980s, made a scathing assessment of the US-led invasion in March
2003 and ensuing occupation after ousting Saddam Hussein as Iraqi
leader. “I personally think it was not worth it, in the sense that we
have paid a high price in blood. And it’s increasing. You cannot
underestimate the suffering that this has already produced to tens of
thousands of American families.”
He said tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and added: “We’re
spending billions of dollars, and we have isolated ourselves
internationally. Now, that is simply not worth the price of removing
Saddam, because we were containing him. But we are where we are. And
the problem today is, in my judgment, how to avoid failure.”
Brzezinski said the United States “will confront a continuing problem
and maybe a deepening crisis if there remains this massive
disproportion between objectives which are unrealistic and means which
are very limited. If we are very serious about creating an Iraqi
democracy, let’s put in 500,000 troops and let’s spend 100 billion, 200
billion (dollars). We’re not going to do it and therefore, we have to
scale down our expectations.”
Kissinger remains a strong supporter of the Bush administration line.
“I believe that they made fundamentally the right decision in entering
the war. But they underestimated the complexity of rebuilding a
democratic society in Iraq under military occupation,” he said.
Kissinger said the whole administration leadership, and not just
embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had to look again at the
political decisions made.
The two also disagreed over the future makeup of Iraq’s government.
Brzezinski said there was now a growing probability that a “Shiite
theocratic government, which is not going to be a genuine democracy”
would win Iraq’s elections to be held on January 30.
Kissinger said the United States should not accept a Shiite theocracy
for all of Iraq. “And if it reaches this point, then we really have no
interest in keeping Iraq united. Then we might just as well let each of
these competing ethnic groups create their own self-government, rather
than imposing a theocracy on, or cooperate with creating a theocracy
for all of Iraq. [Original article is gone, but you can find reports of
the interview on the Internet by googling.]
* As I begin to post this, I see that Nestor has noted perhaps the most
relevant example for the Middle East--the example of Palestine. Didn’t
Lord Samuels once write that the immigration of Jews to Palestine would
create as loyal a people to the British Empire as the Protestants in
Northern Ireland. Perhaps someone can post the exact wording.
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