Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
     This opinion was also published by the
CINCINNATI POST on November 20, 2006 at page 12A
under the title "An Honorable Answer to Anarchy in Iraq."

Depending on which source one consults, Iraq is either in a state of
insurgency or civil war.  To the casual observer, there is a definite break-down
of law and order, and civil reconstruction is hamstrung by what appears to be
random violence.  The land is beset by a lack of political authority - one might
even conclude that Iraq is now in a state of anarchy.

The present predicament of Iraq started with invasion by the United States in
March 2003.  America's reason for invading was that Saddam Hussein had
weapons of mass destruction and posed a threat to world peace.  With the
easy conquest of Iraq, came a realization of the absence of such weapons.  
The reason for remaining in Iraq then became that of building democracy.

The Iraqis, while rid of a brutal dictator, is presently plagued by deadly
sectarian violence.  The root of this violence can be traced to the history of Iraq
as recent as the last century.  The present boundary of Iraq resulted from the
collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and a subsequent
mandate of the League of Nations to Britain.   Insofar as nation-building is
concerned, this boundary is quite arbitrary and indeed is very contrary to
national cohesiveness.  Three distinct groups of people are forced into Iraq:
the Shia Arabs (about 60%) mostly in the south; Sunni Arabs (about 20%)
mostly in the center; and the Kurds who are a distinct ethnic group whose
members are mostly Sunni Muslims (about 15%) mostly in the north of Iraq.  

Saddam and his totalitarian Sunni Baath Party were able to maintain law and
order by the unapologetic use of force - dissidents and their families were
tortured into submission.  With the demise of the tyrant, the Sunni, Shia, and
Kurd are each thinking of their own self interest which includes national
identity.  Since America cannot compel unity through the use of torture, but can
only grittily soldier on for the purported purpose of promoting democracy in
Iraq, is it not time to really consult the wishes of the people there? It is not time
to seriously consider the merits of partition - to allow the inhabitants of that
land the precious opportunity to democratically separate, if that indeed is their
popular desire?

If a popular referendum confirms the wish for partition, then three new nation-
states will likely arise –  for the lack of names, shall we say - “Shiastan” in the
south, “Sunnistan” in the middle, and “Kurdistan” in the north.   Respecting the
all important oilfields, boundaries should be drawn in such a way that each
new nation has a fair and proportional share.   The immediate threat to these
fledgling nation-states will be the irate ambition of their immediate neighbors,
Iran, Syria, and Turkey, respectively.  American troops may have to remain for
sometime in all of the three new states in order to guarantee each nation
against encroachment by neighbors and between themselves.  As the
reformed national armies, in the place of sectarian militia, should be well
motivated to defend their new but clear-cut borders and their own people, the
number of American troops can be gradually reduced.  American military
involvement can be further lessened but not obviated after the United Nations
recognize the new states and commit to  their existence.

The notion of a unified Iraq after Saddam may be as flawed as the pre-invasion
assertion of the existence of weapons of mass destruction.  The post-invasion
notion of building democracy may yet be realized if the present ardor for
bloodshed can be directed into a non-violent channel, such as a popular
referendum on the benefits of partition.   Vainglorious sectarian aggression
can be channeled honorably first into separate independence, and then the
righteous defense of statehood.   Akin to a bad marriage, divorce can bring
about greater happiness.  It may be better for the diverse peoples of the former
Iraq to go their separate ways, than to be forced to live together in chronic
anarchy and endless bloodshed.  Partition was the answer when the British
Empire ended in South Asia, and of even more recent memory when the Soviet
Union dissolved.  The fact that the United States was able to remain a unified
nation after the end of colonialism does not necessary mean that other lands
with different ethnic and religious realities are also able and ready to do the
An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang 07/25/2006.   To read a
previously published opinion on Democracy & Iraq,
 click here, To read
another 2004 OpEd on Iraq,
click here.


G0D of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Rudyard Kipling, 1897