The Corner

Splitting up iraq

Belated follow-up to Biden’s op-ed in the Times Monday urging the soft break-up of Iraq into autonomous regions. This is a serious idea (which goes without saying since the piece is co-authored with Les Gelb), not nearly as risible as Kerry’s May 15 deadline. But I think it’s wrong to think that going this route would necessarily help much. What would you do with the ethnically mixed Baghdad? Biden and Gelb write that their scheme would need “a viable central government in Baghdad.” Well, you only are going to be able to create one with exactly the sort of hard political and diplomatic work to forge some sort of unity government that we are involved with now. Also, even if al Anbar province goes its own way, we will presumably want to keep it from being over-run by jihadis, which means we will have a security role there until Iraqis can do it themselves. Finally, if we are going to pull out by 2008, as Biden and Gelb propose, we need an Iraqi military to fill the vacuum, so training one will continue to be a priority. In other words, the Biden/Gelb plan still leaves us with our three most pressing and difficult tasks: creating a coherent and viable central government, securing the country from jihadis, and building an Iraqi military.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More