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Dividing Iraq August 31, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in geo-politics, history, india.

If there was the internet, the online commentators/bloggers out in 1947, there would have been an endless stream of articles talking about the possible consequences (perils ??) of partitioning India, much like this article warns against dividing Iraq into 3 countries, or at least into a “federation of three ethno-religious regions is that it would provide a solution to the ongoing conflict between these groups.”

A final reason to be skeptical of plans to partition Iraq is that they suffer from the same fundamental issue that has plagued the broader Iraqi reconstruction effort—the inability of foreign occupiers to centrally plan liberal democratic, economic and social institutions. Historical efforts to partition countries and regions (e.g., Israel, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and so on) have generated benefits, but they have also generated significant unintended consequences that could not have been foreseen at the time of the initial interventions. There is no reason to believe the partitioning of Iraq would be any different.

Weirdly, the writer does not mention the Indian subcontinent in that list.

We (rightly) talk of how the British may have played a role in the lingering Kashmir dispute, or even in the post-partition riots by hurrying through with the partition (with much help our own leaders who were increasingly getting impatient). Sometimes I think we still go away lightly, just wonder how much worse it could have been. (of course, this is just a thought, such lines of arguments can often cloud real issues)

My previous posts on the subject : Comtemplative in India in 1947 and Iraq in 2007 and quasi-speculative in Why partition may have been the best thing happened to South Asia.




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