Saturday, October 21, 2006

Iraq: The New Yugoslavia?

I was struck by the following historical insight in a response to a column in the Telegraph by John Keegan, in which he remarked on what he sees as similarities and distinctions between the situation in Iraq and the situation in Viet Nam 30 years ago.

“Iraq isn't Vietnam, its Yugoslavia. A fake, erroneous country created after WW1 from the corpse of a decrepit empire whose borders were drawn without regard for the ethnicities and histories involved. No one cried when Yugoslavia dissolved, we should let Iraq dissolve as well.”

This comparison with Yugoslavia got me thinking: suppose the USA got out of Iraq as soon as possible and -in our absence- the Kurds, Shia, and Sunnis each claimed their own region as three independent nations? What would be the problem with this scenario?