Brownback Supports The Biden Initiative On Iraq

Joe Biden has tried selling his plan to split Iraq into three protostates for at least the last two years, with not much success. First, the Turks would likely have a Kurdish insurrection on their hands, and more importantly, the Iraqis don’t seem particularly keen on the idea. However, Biden has won over one convert:

It would be an unusual pairing, but two presidential hopefuls from opposite sides of the political spectrum, Senator Brownback and Senator Biden, could team up on a proposal for Iraq that splits the country into three loosely federated states.
Mr. Brownback, a Republican known for his social conservatism, suggested yesterday that the bipartisan proposal could follow President Bush’s veto this week of legislation tying war funding to a timetable for withdrawal of American troops. The Kansas senator voted against the Democratic bill, but he has occasionally veered away from his party’s base on the war, and he initially opposed the president’s decision to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq earlier this year.
He has advocated a more aggressive diplomatic effort, and he even suggested yesterday, in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” that Secretary of State Rice should lead reconciliation talks among Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders in Iraq.
Like Mr. Biden, a Democrat of Delaware, Mr. Brownback is a long shot for his party’s nomination in 2008, but they share common ground in advocating a “three-state solution” in Iraq that sets them apart from their rivals on either side in the presidential campaign.

I would venture to guess that neither Biden nor Brownback have ever engaged the Iraqis in a discussion about how much they would like to see their country hacked to pieces. Nor, to my knowledge, have they made an argument that explains how the United States Senate has the sovereignty to split Iraq into three new self-autonomous regions. The Iraqi people, under its democratic processes, elected a parliament that drew up and approved a constitution, and neither Brownback nor Biden have an explanation as to why that document shouldn’t be honored by the US.
That’s because there is no argument or explanation for the proposal. It’s haughty, arrogant, and in the end a rather stupid plan. That, coincidentally, accurately describes its principal author, but it is disappointing to see Brownback rise to support such a foolish and pretentious proposal.
A split of Iraq into three protostates would be a disaster, which even the Iraq study group acknowledged. It ceded all of southern Iraq to Iran, for all practical purposes, and creates an even bigger problem of access in the Persian Gulf. The Kurds in Turkey would amplify their demands for their own autonomy or to join with Iraqi Kurdistan, further destabilizing secular Turkey and creating an impetus for either civil war or a war against Iraqi Kurds, or both. Finally, without oil revenes, the Sunnis of the rump Iraq would wind up radicalized and more inclined to support Islamist terror groups like al-Qaeda, not move away from them as the Sunnis are doing now in Anbar and Diyala.
It’s hard to see how Brownback can think he gains politically by allying himself with Joe Biden, so it must be presumed that he really believes in this plan. If so, it shows that he cannot be seriously taken for a presidential contender. if Brownback would seriously follow this policy as President, then we need to make sure he doesn’t get there — or else we will have a regional catastrophe that could take decades to resolve.

19 thoughts on “Brownback Supports The Biden Initiative On Iraq”

  1. I think the Republicans need to surrender to the Democrats on the subject of Iraq. This is the Democrat they should surrender to:
    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
    –John F. Kennedy
    I Support Democracy In Iraq
    or if you are interested in a more animated version:
    I Support Democracy In Iraq – The Animation

  2. OBL said 15 years ago that Israel’s plan for Iraq was to break it up into three pieces. Lucky guess.

  3. “It’s hard to see how Brownback can think he gains politically by allying himself with Joe Biden, so it must be presumed that he really believes in this plan.”
    he gains nothing. he had zero chance before and he has zero chance now. in fact were he to walk on water he would still have zero chance. joe biden is probably wincing thinking it hurts his own zero chance!

  4. So who says colonialism and “the white man’s burden” is dead?
    This is the exact same condescending racism that created the borders of the present Middle East to begin with. All that jazz about helping the Iragis set up their own representative government and respecting the peoples’ soveriegnty doesn’t really count, I guess. Someday if our convenience ever accidentally aligns with our ideals, we should probably try it out. What’ya think?

  5. These, along with dozens, if not hundreds, of others, are natural fault lines. People will do whatever serves them best. I’m betting that after the pullout, it will split into three anyway. You aren’t going to be able to stop the Kurds from arming themselves, which means the Turkish Kurds will be armed, which means they will eventually want independence (and all the oil in their lands) from Iraq. That leaves the “rump” as you call it, to be radicalized (with much less money, or more foreign money at lesat, without control of Iraqi oil fields) on a budget and the southern half of Iraq, which WANTS to be part of Iran. Go figure. And it’s “haughty, arrogant, and, in the end, rather stupid to think YOU can decided what’s best for a people who have lived there, still do, and must live with the decision. You say they don’t want a three state, but what you don’t tell us is what they want. A pie in the sky dream, the best of all worlds. They want to be left alone, with no corruption (except for THEIR weekly paycheck, of course), no intrusions by the police but no terrorists, either. Complete Islamic law with the money from capitalism, the protection of democratic militaries without allowing the infidels in their country. You aren’t going to make them happy, and you aren’t going to be able to stop the fracture. Yes, for those two guys to decide for all is haughty, but for any of us here in this country to decide is just as bad. We make judgements using different criteria, as it should be. Either assist the Iraqis in what they want, if they can ever figure it out, or split the thing up and vamoose, let them fight it out. They’re going to anyway, we can either be in the crossfire or not. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m for leaving Iraq any sooner than I previously said, only that I’m talking about what the end game should look like, and they’re waiting for Nirvana, we’ll be there forever.

  6. It’s about time we learned that we cannot defeat the Islamofascists when we fight wars on our terms.
    Not when they hide behind civilians, when they attack our civilians.
    The Islamofascists and their supporters should be put on notice – when the Muslims attack us, we will level the locale from whence the attack came.
    Do that a few times and the attacks will end.
    That is perfectly legal as per the Geneva Conventions. The Islamofascists when captured, should be tried and executed as war criminals, for launching attacks from civilian areas.

  7. Wilsonian “self-determination” runs headlong into practical geopolitics. Throw two idiot US Senators (redundant) into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for turmoil.
    IF one or more parts if Iraq decides in the future to secede, then this is between them and the Iraqi government, just as Southern secession was between the infant CSA and the US government.* But it isn’t for us to say a priori that Iraq should be partitioned. As many people on both sides of the argument have pointed out, many of the Middle East’s problems stem from the arbitrary national boundaries established after World War I.
    It may be that Iraq’s predominantly Shiite regions would be “better off” as part of Iran, though our present relations with Tehran make that a repugnant outcome. But, again, this is for those people to decide, not a couple of blowhard US Senators determined to play bushleague versions of Lloyd George and Clemenceau.
    (*) I often wonder what the people who are so hot-to-trot on the idea of partitioning Iraq – and who were openly musing about blue state secession after the ’04 elections – would think if So. Carolina decided to try again.

  8. Pull out of Iraq and partition it?
    Let’s look at the probable consequences:
    1) Turkey immediately invades the north, using the excuse of “pacifying Kurdish terrorists”, and moves to “annex” Kurdistan.
    2) Shia militias, under al Sadr and the influence of Iran, increase their revenge attacks on Sunnis and former Baathists, and attempt to solidy complete control over the areas not seized by Turkey.
    What will Syria do? Will they ignore the pleas of their fellow Sunnis, and maintain their anti-American pact with Iran, or will they move into western Iraq?
    Saudia Arabia won’t just sit there and do nothing. They will be forced to move into Iraq to come to the aid of their Sunni brothers and to counter the growing threat of Iran right on their northern border. Perhaps we’d even see open hostilities between Saudi troops and Iranian Revolutionary Guards as they cross the border to aid al Sadr and the Shia militias.
    All leading to a larger, regional conflict that could grow in intensity and destruction.
    At the very least, we’ll see a lot of barbarity, terrorist attacks, and reprisals against the freedom-loving Iraqis who’ve trusted the US and aided in our attempt to build a better system in Iraq.
    Cambodia’s “Killing Fields” after we pulled out of Vietnam will look like a walk in the park compared to this.
    Biden, Reid, Kennedy, Kerry, Obama, et al are idiots of the worst sort.

  9. I’m not going to attack Senator Brownback for this seeming alliance with Joe Biden. In fact, although I have more than a handfull of objections and disdains for Biden, I give this guy credit for being the ONLY Dem that i’ve seen actually step up to the plate in the last year and OFFER A POSSIBLE SOLUTION.
    The rest of the Dems have sat on their cowardly hands and done nothing but throw out jabs about “incompetence” and “failure” and “defeat.”
    I looked at that panel of Dems the other night vying to be the next leader of our Country and I put myself in the place of a Democrat and so wanted to ask the question….”What exactly are you going to do about the whole Middle East situation and how will you do it?”
    Hillary Clinton says, “I will pull our troops out immediately when I am President.” Care to expound on that, Mrs. Clinton?
    At least Senator Brownback is putting forward some suggestions to the Bush administration. It may be a faulty plan, but it speaks to the old adage….”Put up or Shut up”

  10. When has allying with a Democrat EVER worked for a Republican? Brownback just ruined himself as a credible candidate.
    As for Iraq, it seems Congress is willing to do anything to that country except defend it…

  11. Brownback is annoying, false, cowardly and uninformed. that makes him a perfect partner for Biden.

  12. “I would venture to guess that neither Biden nor Brownback have ever engaged the Iraqis in a discussion about how much they would like to see their country hacked to pieces.”
    Precisely. Every survey I’ve seen says the Iraqis don’t want partition. The attempt to partition will result in a real civil war.
    Is Brownbeck’s candidacy designed to show that the Democrats haven’t cornered the market on idiots?

    Fight 4TheRight,
    I generally agree with you but Biden is not suggesting a possible solution. Biden is doing what he does best, listening to himself talk.
    A “solution” which the Iraqis don’t want and which will lead to civil war is not a possible solution, it is a waste of time and worse. Biden should be ridiculed for this nonsense and Brownbeck along with him.

  14. Doc,
    Supporting the Iraqi people is what why we have a mess.
    We should support Iraqi democrats.
    Posted by: M. Simon at April 30, 2007 09:12 AM
    I agree, which is probably why I said this:
    “And it’s “haughty, arrogant, and, in the end, rather stupid” to think YOU can decided what’s best for a people who have lived there, still do, and must live with the decision. You say they don’t want a three state, but what you don’t tell us is what they want.”
    “Every survey I’ve seen says the Iraqis don’t want partition. The attempt to partition will result in a real civil war.”
    Posted by: Terry Gain at April 30, 2007 01:36 PM
    Not real sure about some of those surveys, since it would be hard to take them in Kurdish and Shiite areas, and since none of the three trust any one, hard to tell what they want. You can say well, most of them don’t want partition, but when you offer them choices, they like those choices less than partitioning. For instance, the Kurds want to control the oil, but neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis want to give that up. The fractures WILL take place, there’s nothing we can do. All we should be doing is placing some form of stable government in place, securing the areas (not nearly enough forces to do this, occupation takes bodies) where people live and making it a hardscrabble living for the terrorists. Once you impose that situation on the country, then give Democracy five or ten years to bloom, start raising a new generation of those who were raised under freedom, then you’ll start getting a return for the investment, but not until. This was explained before the war, I know it was talked about, I remember saying myself we should expect to be there at least one generation, maybe two.

  15. We have 3 groups that can logically be paritioned.
    We have a group of people that don’t want to lose nationhood.
    So create 3 states, and then unite them under the Iraq banner. Give each state a degree of autonomy in rule, police, infrastructure, etc, and grant the Iraq government control over the military and oil industry.
    Let each group take care of themselves, and yet retain the nationalistic benefits of retaining the whole.

  16. A couple of months ago (?) I caught a few minutes of Hugh Hewitt interviewing Brownback. The first couple of questions were easy warmups. Amazingly, Brownback folded like a taco — had to study the issue.
    Not ready for Montessori.
    A true lightweight — seems to think that a couple of “conservative” buzz phrases will trap the gullible.

  17. Iraq has 18 provinces lead by governors. Why force this into 3 states, loosely federated? Second, Iraq has a ratified constitution, how could this 3 state solution be forced on Iraq without a vote of all Iraqis? I listened to Sen Brownback on Hannity today. He just seems flat, not much passion and nothing really exciting. His revised position on immigration didn’t make much sense. He did propose something call an alternative flat tax, which I’ve never heard of before. It sounds like one could choose to file under the current system or his flat tax.

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