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[casi] Let's Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia

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"Let's Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!"
Michel Collon
They have found the solution! Divide Iraq into three mini-states and then pit them against one 
another. Does that remind you of something else? Oh, yes! It's not the first time something like 
this happened....
The New York Times published an editorial on November 25, 2003 carrying Leslie Gelb's by-line. He's 
an influential man who, until recently, presided over the very important Council of Foreign 
Affairs, a think tank that brings together the CIA, the secretary of state and big shots from U.S. 
multinational corporations.
Gelb's plan? Replace Iraq with three mini-states: "Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and 
Shiites in the south." The objective? "To put most of its money and troops where they would do the 
most good quickly -- with the Kurds and Shiites. The United States could extricate most of its 
forces from the so-called Sunni Triangle, north and west of Baghdad.... American officials could 
then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate 
their ambitions or suffer the consequences." In short, starve the central state around Baghdad 
because the Sunnis have always spearheaded the resistance to U.S. imperialism.
We denounced this CIA plan, which has been around for some time now, albeit discreetly, in an 
article that appeared in September 2002. But, to divide Iraq has, in fact, been an old Israeli 
dream. In 1982, Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office, wrote: "To 
dissolve Iraq is even more important for us than dissolving Syria. In the short term, it's Iraqi 
power that constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. The Iran-Iraq war tore Iraq apart and 
provoked its downfall. All manner of inter-Arab conflict help us and accelerate our goal of 
breaking up Iraq into small, diverse pieces."

Will you take some ethnic cleansing again?
So, Gelb wants to break up Iraq while transforming the north (Kurdish majority) and the south 
(Shiite majority) into "self-governing regions, with boundaries drawn as closely as possible along 
ethnic lines."
But didn't this method provoke a civil war and a bloodbath in Yugoslavia? Because all the diverse 
regions in that country contained significant minorities, and partition was impossible without the 
forced transfer of populations. That is why Berlin, and then Washington, discreetly financed and 
armed racist extremists, who were nostalgic for World War II. This made civil war almost inevitable 
because the IMF and the World Bank had plunged Yugoslavia into bankrupt to make it submit to 
triumphant neo-liberalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall. All of this was carefully concealed 
from the public.
Just as they are now concealing from the public the fact that all of the peoples of the former 
Yugoslavia have been plunged into misery and unemployment, which is worse now than it has ever 
been. Meanwhile, multinational corporations have taken the upper hand in controlling the country's 
In Iraq too, the three large populations do not reside "each in their own region," but are, for the 
most part, intermingled. Furthermore, Gelb knows very well that to start up this strategy in Iraq 
once again would, in all likelihood, provoke serious "ethnic" conflicts, even maybe a civil war. He 
cynically announces that the state in the center of Iraq "might punish the substantial minorities 
left in the center, particularly the large Kurdish and Shiite populations in Baghdad. These 
minorities must have the time and the wherewithal to organize and make their deals, or go either 
north or south." In this way, millions of people would be forced to leave the regions where they 
have always lived, but Gelb doesn't find this inconvenient if it permits the U.S. to secure 
colonial domination.
Doesn't the Yugoslav precedent serve as enough warning? The truth is that, for Gelb, the civil war 
in Yugoslavia was a great success for the U.S. because it permitted the breakup of a country that 
resisted multinationals.

Again the Theory of "Ethnically Pure States"!
In effect, Gelb openly refers to "a hopeful precedent ... Yugoslavia." Curious, indeed! Weren't we 
told that the United States intervened there in order to prevent "ethnic cleansing"? Not at all, he 
admits : "ethnically pure" states are alright when they serve Washington's plans.
While extolling "ethnically pure states" (Gelb also speaks of "natural states"!), he criticizes 
Tito for having regrouped in a united Yugoslavia "highly disparate ethnic groups," while pretending 
that Iraq is "an artificial state" for the same reasons; Gelb is resorting to old theories held by 
the extreme right.
His theory about ethnically pure states is really identical to Hitler's: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein 
Führer" (one people, one empire, one führer). It is also a theory adopted by Zionists who dream of 
Israel "purified of Arabs." In Yugoslavia, it was the theory held by Western protégés, the Croat 
Tudjman and the Bosnian Muslim Izetbegovic. It was also a theory held by the right-wing Serbian 
leader, Karadzic. It is strange to find the U.S. extolling theories that it once pretended to fight 
The truth is that the United States -- just as all other colonialists -- is for or against 
ethnically pure states according to whether or not it suits U.S. strategic interests. The only 
thing that counts is to weaken resistance. Divide in order to conquer. As always. The Britons 
carefully organized the division of Ireland, India and Pakistan as well as other places in the 
world. The influential U.S. strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wants to divide Russia into three 
countries in order to isolate Moscow from oil reserves. The CIA also has its "own plans" to divide 
Saudi Arabia. In an era when very large economic and political entities are forming around the 
European Union and the United States, look at how these same Great Powers are organizing the 
balkanization of certain other states -- states that resist them.
The guiding principle of U.S. international policy is that there is no guiding principle. The U.S. 
can pretend to fight ethnic cleansing one day and then organize it the next. And with complete 
arbitrariness. In the past, the United States had obliged the Kurds to remain inside the Turkish 
state which was being led by fascist generals, but today, the U.S. is preparing a Kurdish state, 
allegedly rooted in the principle of "self-determination" (in reality a puppet state). They are 
pretending to bring democracy to the world, but in these instances the U.S. is rehabilitating 
fascist theories about "ethnically pure" states.

The Danger of a Theory that Is Exportable throughout the World
The danger of this false theory goes far beyond Iraq and Yugoslavia. Most of the states existing on 
the planet today are "multinational." And sensible people consider themselves to be enriched by 
this mixing of cultures. But if one allows theories of "ethnically pure" states, the USA would have 
a pretext to break up any "multinational" country that resists it.
Washington, in effect, intends to trample to a greater and greater extent international law and 
state sovereignty. The U.S. is preparing to do throughout the world what it had begun in Yugoslavia 
and Afghanistan, which, unfortunately, a majority of Western leftists allowed them to do for the 
worst reasons. Stop! It is time to assess the disastrous alliance of this Left with the United 
States in the Yugoslav and Afghan affaires. If anyone wants to resist global war, that is to say 
the recolonization of the world, it is time to come to the defense of the sovereignty of Third 
World countries, a principle that is embodied in the UN Charter. This change for the better took 
place in 1945 and the USA is intent on dismantling it.

Support the Resistance
The essence of Gelb's plan is to plunge Iraq into a long civil war in order to rescue the U.S. 
colonial occupation and to be able to continue stealing oil. The U.S. will attempt to divide the 
resistance -- which can be found in all of the various populations -- by punishing those who would 
continue to live together and by hypocritically organizing "ethnic cleansing." The U.S. plan is to 
divide Iraq by blackmail, while defaming the Sunnis, who have long been at the forefront of 
resistance to imperialism.
Will Washington implement Gelb's plan? What will prevent them from doing so? The fear that an Iraqi 
Shiite state would join Iran, the most powerful "hostile" army in the Middle East. And the fear 
that an Iraqi Kurdish state would become a lightning rod for Kurds who want to secede from Turkey, 
a respected strategic ally that lies on the crossroads of the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle 
East. But if Iraqi resistance continues to grow and unite its diverse currents, including Shiites, 
then Washington risks missing its chance to implement its plan to break up the country.
The Yugoslav precedent must serve as a solemn warning! Plunging other countries into the same drama 
is out of the question! In view of the fact that Bush has unleashed new dangers throughout the 
entire world, and in view of the fact that he is resorting to fascist theories more and more 
frequently, the only possible answer is to build up a united world front against the policies of 
the United States and to support the resistance everywhere -- and first and foremost, the 
remarkable Iraqi resistance (the mainstream media have often characterized them as "terrorists").
The Iraqi resistance is preventing Bush from attacking Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cuba in stride. 
It shows once again that the United States has never been invincible. Bush is becoming the world's 
laughingstock. "Paper tiger" is the classic expression. In this way, the Iraqi resistance offsets 
the discouragement and the pessimism that had begun to spread in Iraq after the "liberation of 
Baghdad." The war is not over; it's only just beginning. Support the resistance, because we are 
supporting ourselves.

Translated by Milo Yelesiyevich Also available in French and Spanish

In order to Understand Iraq:

- 23 million inhabitants, divided into 3 large groups (no official census and the USA destroyed 
state and civil registries).

- Shiites: 55 - 60%. Mostly in the south.

- Sunnis: 20 - 25%. Mostly in the center (between Mosul and Baghdad).

- Kurds: 20%. Mostly in the north (significant Kurdish minorities also live in Turkey, Iran, Syria, 
Russia). The majority of them are Sunni.

- Minorities (5%): 200,000 to 300,000 Turkmen, Assyrians-Chaldeans (Christians), Yezidis, 2.000 

- But no region is ethnically "pure":
o At least one million Kurds live outside of Kurdistan (mostly in Baghdad, but also in the south, 
in Basrah).
o At least one million Shiites live in Baghdad.
o Some Sunnis live in the south.
o Some Arabs live in Kurdistan.

For this reason, dividing up Iraq is impossible without risking a civil war and ethnic cleansing. 
Especially so in a climate where the U.S. has done everything it could over the past twenty years 
to stir up conflicts while provoking (i.e., financing) certain minority leaders so that they will 
favor a breakup. This is exactly how they did things in Yugoslavia.
In short, if the USA is permitted to divide up Iraq, important "minorities" risk being targets 
throughout the country. Then, Bush is going to say that he is obliged to keep his troops there to 
"protect" these minorities.
Exactly as in Kosovo, where the U.S. has installed a military base with a landing strip that can 
accomodate bombers (sic !), after having systematically fanned the flames of the conflict behind 
the scenes. Today, the USA in Kosovo is protecting KLA criminals and the mafia which practices 
ethnic cleansing. (see Test-medias, Kosovo questions 2, 5, 7 in our report "Autopsy of Yugoslavia").

In order to Understand Yugoslavia:

- 21 million inhabitants, divided into 6 republics. According to the official census of 1991: 
Slovenia (1.9 million), Croatia (4.7), Serbia (9.7), Macedonia (2.0), Montenegro (0.6), Bosnia 

- No region was ethnically "pure": substantial minorities resided throughout the country which 
rendered the country indivisible.

- In Croatia: Serbs (12%).

- In Macedonia: Albanians (21%), Turks (5%), Roma (2%), Serbs (2%).

- In Bosnia: Muslims (43%), Serbs (31%), Croats (17%), Others (7%). All of these groups were mixed 
together throughout the region.

Despite the warnings of numerous experts and Western leaders in 1991, Germany, and then the United 
States, forced the division of the country at the price of a terrible civil war and the forcible 
displacement of populations of all minorities.
Here also, Berlin and Washington have supported, financed and armed - secretly - separatist leaders 
and extremists. All this has been carefully hidden from the public.

BIBLIO: Maps showing the "indivisible" nature of Yugoslavia and Bosnia, in particular. Michel 
Collon, Liar's Poker: The Great Powers, Yugoslavia and the Wars of the Future, IAC, New York 2001, 
P. 11 & 13.

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