Polemics & Exchanges

On the Way Out of Iraq

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic’s “Iraq: The Way Out” (American Proscenium, August) is the most promising piece I have seen since it became apparent that our initial military victory marked the beginning of our warfare in that country, not the end.  For more than a year, I have been advocating to those (precious few) who would listen that Iraq should be reconstituted along ethnic lines as three separate nations.  Such worked reasonably well with the former Yugoslavia.  The Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, and Serbs behaved better once they had, or were confined to, their own countries.  I would think that, faced with the prospects of having to pacify the Sunni Triangle, most Shiites and Kurds would vote for, at most, a loose federation rather than tight integration with that land.  At the same time, the prospects of serious Sunni troublemaking in the neighboring states seem remote.

But there is a serious complication that Dr. Trifkovic did not address.  Not all the ethnics conveniently reside within the boundaries of their ancestral homelands.  Should the many Shiites who live in Baghdad be forcibly removed, as refugees, to the south?  Should there be some kind of asset (e.g., oil wells) or territory exchange as compensation to the otherwise dispossessed?  Or should it be assumed that, once...

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