Iraq Partition, US Way
Nikolai BOBKIN | 15.07.2014 | OPINION

Iraq Partition, US Way

Iraq was the first phase of the US Greater Middle East plan being shaped on the world map. Even before the 2003 invasion, Washington wanted to partition the country into three parts: Sunni, Shia and Kurdish. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (alternatively translated as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, abbreviated ISIL, ISIS) offensive to capture a large part of Iraqi land is nothing else but part of this plan. Speaking formally the White House calls on the Kurds not to sever ties with Baghdad and promises military aid to the Shiite – dominated al-Maliki government. The United States also talks about the possibility of joining efforts with Iran to counter the terrorists, but in practice it sticks to the policy of instigating chaos to make Iraq a divided state… 

The hostilities between Shiites and Sunni become more violent going out of control, the confrontation between the two religious groups practically excludes a peaceful settlement reached by Iraqis themselves without outside intermediary efforts. 

The preservation of Iraqi territorial integrity is not on the Washington’s foreign policy priority lists. The US President agreed to send 300 military experts only to guard the US sites. Besides, Baghdad ceded under the Washington’s pressure and let the US secure an immunity agreement for American forces. This is the United States contribution into the stabilization of the situation in Iraq at the time the al-Maliki government has been calling for emergency aid for three weeks already. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant expands the territory it has captured in the north-west of the country making one city after another fall into its hands, the death toll is on the rise and bloodshed never stops. 

It’s clear Washington wants to get the Kurds involved into the fray and weaken all the parties to the conflict leaving no one in the position to win. President Obama was happy to withdraw from Iraq without leaving anyone behind. He paints it as a great achievement but the emerging rapprochement between Iraq and Iran is something he wants to evade at all costs. America is in for revanche. The main result of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant invasion is cutting off Iran from Syria. The US structures with a mission to provide aid to Syrian opposition do the same thing in case of the Islamic State. It would be naïve to believe that Washington does not control the ISIS. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian affirms the US financial aid destined for Syrian opposition gets into the hands of radicals in Iraq. According to him, the US helped the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant emerge in Syria. The group is carrying out the very same mission in Iraq as it was in Syria before. 

On June 25, President Obama presented to Congress his budget for diplomatic and military operations abroad (Overseas Contingency Operations, OCO) 2015. Out of a total of 65,800 million will be allocated 5,000 million to the creation of the Fund Terrorism Association (Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, CTPF), as announced by the President in his speech at West Point on May 28, 2014. According to a statement from the White House, this allocation will be divided between the Pentagon and the State Department: 4,000 million and 1,000 million military for «diplomats». 3.000 million allocated simultaneously to the formation of local, combating radical ideologies counterterrorism forces, combating the financing of terrorism and the promotion of ‘democratic’ ways of governing.

1.500 million will be used to prevent the Syrian conflict from spreading to neighboring Syria, which should be achieved by allocating the money to the formation of the security services, to effectively close the borders, and assisting refugees.

500 million will be used to «train and equip controlled Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential elements, counter terrorist threats and promote conditions of a negotiated settlement. 

And 500 million will be retained to confront new crises. What does it mean for the White House «stabilize areas under opposition control»? It cannot be to create embryos states and that these areas are too small and scattered, without communication with each other. So probably about creating safety zones for Israel, the first in the Israeli-Syrian border and the second in the Turkish-Syrian border, thus creating the possibility of having a grip on Damascus in case of conflict. These areas would be entrusted to the «controlled Syrian armed opposition elements,» which confirms the idea that the purpose of backing the Contras Washington is no longer overthrow the Syrian state but to protect the Jewish settlement of Palestine.

The Iraqi Kurds have already made known their plans to separate from Iraq. Mansour Barzani, director of intelligence and security in Iraqi Kurdistan, says the Kurds are as near as never before to achieving their goal and this is a crucial phase of the historic struggle. The President of Kurdistan has asked the Kurdish parliament to launch preparations for a referendum on independence. It’s hard to imagine the Iraqi Kurdistan will not seize the opportunity and not use the ISIS intervention to make the dream of creating an independent state come true. Masoud Barzani launched the referendum initiative right after the visit of US State Secretary John Kerry to Kurdistan. Talking to CNN, Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave his strongest-ever indication on June 23 that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq. «Iraq is obviously falling apart». he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. «And it’s obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing – the army, the troops, the police». «We did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown,» he said through an interpreter. «The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold». Iraqi Kurdish independence has long been a goal, and the region has had autonomy from Baghdad for more than two decades, but they have never before said they would actually pursue that dream. But the latest crisis, in which Sunni extremists have captured a large swath of Iraqi territory on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to have pushed the Kurds over the edge. «Now we are living in a new Iraq, which is different completely from the Iraq that we always knew, the Iraq that we lived in ten days or two weeks ago». «After the recent events in Iraq, it has been proved that the Kurdish people should seize the opportunity now – the Kurdistan people should now determine their future».

The US-Kurdish partnership may seriously destabilize the situation in the region. Iran realizes that the Kurdish factor has become an important factor in geopolitical games of world powers and could turn against Tehran. The United States politicians have always tried to use as leverage the inter-ethnic and inter-religious contradictions that exist inside Iran and make them work to the US advantage. At present the Kurdish issue is in a stalemate there. The emergence of an independent Kurdish state on the territory of neighboring Iraq will certainly provide a strong impetus to Iranian Kurds fight for autonomy. If Iranian law enforcement agencies will resort to any kind of repressions it will be used by the United States to its advantage as it strives to rekindle the escalation of Iranian-Kurdish conflict. No matter the Iranian Kurds mainly refused the radical ways of fighting for their rights they have not negated the use of force once and for all, and with a little help from outside they can restart anti-government activities in Iran. 

The Unite States could use Iranian Kurdistan for the purpose of uniting the nationalist movements in Iran. Some Pentagon experts believe, the position of Iranian government could be undermined only by simultaneous protests of Azeri and Kurds. Provided they get aid, the unrest may spread on Balochistan which wages armed struggle against the Islamist regime. The national minorities are concentrated along the borders with other states (Iraq and Turkey in case of Kurds, Afghanistan and Pakistan in case of Baloch people). The religious factor will work. The Baloch and the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims. 

Nowadays many say a partnership between Washington and Tehran in Iraq is possible. There are also rumors going around there is an informal understanding between the United States and Iran on the partition of Iraq. All these conjectures are devoid of substantiation. No matter Washington’s objections, Iran has sent advisers and weapons to Iraq. It never sent troops because it is ready to provide aid to Shiites but not Kurds. Tehran has apprehensions that a Sunni-minority ruled state may emerge at its border. It has fought The Saddam Hussein – led Iraq for eight years and it hardly wants to go through it all once again. Iran is concerned over the possibility of destabilization in Iraqi Kurdistan; it has no wish to be encircled by failed states.

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