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Issue Position: Iraq

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IRAQ

The reasons for invading Iraq were valid enough but the political rationale leaves much to be desired. President Bush wanted his Nation Building campaign to bring Democracy to a United Iraq. In response to a question concerning Joe Biden's idea to divide Iraq into three separate countries to represent those separate areas heavily occupied by Sunnis (South and Southeast), Kurds (Northwest, and Shias (Northeast) Karl Rove said on the Hannity Show (as I recall) that was a terrible idea saying "I'l have that debate right now."

BRING IT, KARL

Essentially modern civilization, including invention of the wheel, books, civil and criminal law, began in Mesopotamia (Arabic 'Sumerian?] for "between the rivers" - as in Tigris and Euphrates. We all learned that stuff in school and I hope students still do. I digress.

That region's alignment as part of the Ottoman Empire came to an end when that empire was broken up after WWI. At the Cairo Conference of March 1921, the British set the parameters for Iraqi political life that were to continue until the 1958 revolution; they chose a Hashemite, Faisal ibn Husayn, son of Sherif Hussein ibn Ali former Sharif of Mecca as Iraq's first King; they established an indigenous Iraqi army; and they proposed a new treaty. To confirm Faisal as Iraq's first monarch, a one-question plebiscite was carefully arranged that had a return of 96 percent in his favor. The British saw in Faisal a leader who possessed sufficient nationalist and Islamic credentials to have broad appeal, but who also was vulnerable enough to remain dependent on their support.

During World War II, the British reoccupied Iraq and in 1947, through the treaty at Portsmouth on January 15, 1948, Salih Jabr negotiated British withdrawal from Iraq.

The July 14, 1958 Coup in Iraq marks the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince Abd al-Ilah, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said, all of whom were perceived as minions of the British. The coup established an Iraqi Republic and was a result of a number of different grievances with Hashemite Iraqi policies.

CIA Director Allen Dulles told President Eisenhower that he believed the coup was the hand of Egypt's President Nasser that implemented this coup.

The reinstated Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown by a coup d'etat of the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution. The coup brought Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union, but his government lasted only until the February 1963 coup, when it was overthrown by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif. Salam Arif died in 1966 and his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, assumed the presidency.

In 1968, Rahman Arif was overthrown by the Arab Socialist Baath Party, a military-backed coalition that included the minority Christian community. Ahmed Hasan Al-Bakir became the first Baath President of Iraq but then the movement gradually came under the control of Saddam Hussein al Tikriti, who took over the presidency and control of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), then Iraq's supreme executive body, in July 1979. Saddam Hussein al Tikriti, in 1979, Saddam Hussein took power as Iraqi President after knocking down his close friend and the leader of his party (Ahmed Hasan Al-Bakr) and killing and arresting his leadership rivals.

Shortly after the war ended in 1991, Shia Muslim and Kurdish Iraqis engaged in protests against Hussein's regime, resulting in an intifada. Hussein responded with violent repression against Shia Muslims, and the protests came to an end. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people were killed, including hundreds of Kurds killed by gas.

SO?

Karl, there is no historical Iraq and you just read the history to prove my case. Here's my argument. These people are tribal. They don't get along. Kurds kill Sunnis; Sunnis kill Shias; Shias kill everyone. Some of their disputes go back 3,000 years, and George Bushes dream of a Democratic Iraq is pie in the sky. If one country under Democracy was such a firm American Policy, why didn't we favor keepingYugoslavia together as one country after Communism fell. Well, that policy had nine ethnically-diverse areas killing each other. Now we have nine separate countries and no one is dying.

If it was such a good idea then in Yugoslavia, why isn't it a good idea today in Iraq, Karl?

MONDAY MORNING JOE (BIDEN)

Now it looks like I am agreeing with Joe Biden. Not so fast.

1. This was my solution for Iraq before we even invaded them.

2. Joe Biden didn't share his epiphany until three years AFTER we invaded Iraq.

3. You can bet that someone else gave this brainstorm, because he is too dumb to have an original thought.


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