jessman
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Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 1:51 pm

This topic stems from the very real possibility of civil war in Iraq, but can be expanded to any country where the recognized borders extend over the territory of more than one nation/ethnicity.

Let's start with Iraq. It seems that many of the current problems stem from the fact that there are unresolved differences between Sunis Shia and Kurds. These people also seem to have fairly defined geographical areas where they are in control (The Sunni triangle, the Kurdish north, etc.)
Why not have three countries? Why force the Shia to get along with the Kurds to get along with the Sunis? Saddam just forced his will on all three, why not go in a totally different direction? We could have Shiaville, Suniland and Kurdsbekistan.

If the Iraqi people want a unified Iraq then the insurgency can't win. If they don't really want a unified Iraq with everyone represented I can't fathom why anyone wants to fight for one country there. The US's stated goals of "A free Iraq" could just as easily be accomplished with three free Iraqs, couldn't it?

I do very much generalize this because state borders over traditional national lands are a problem all over the place. Africa is probably the most visible. Some tribes have been split by country lines. Others have been grouped with tribes they don't necessarily like. The Hutus and Tutsi's are some very recent examples. The lines on the map don't represent the land of a sovereign people. These are the ghosts of colonies formed by powers with no regard for where they drew the lines of control. Near the end of colonialism it wasn't even about raping Africa anymore, just about who controlled how much. Why do we spend so much time trying to keep these artificial boundaries?

A powerful dictator may keep the lid on things, but I don't think this should be preferable anywhere. I don't really have time to elaborate so I'd like to hear your thoughts on the issue.
 
Delta767300ER
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:05 pm

I have been thinking the same. However I hear Turkey would be concerned about the Kurds having their own nation since they are traditionally enemies. I wonder also if the US would be concerned with the Shia's being linked to Iran?

Overall I think it could work.

-Delta767300ER
 
L-188
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:06 pm

Why keep the southern states part of the US when they split off before the civil war.

Why did the British want to keep the colonies, British colonies?

Why had Britian kept holding on to Northern Ireland, Scotland?

Why are the russians so dogged about Chechnia (spl?)

Why did Tito insist on one Yugoslavia.

Why are the Chinese so damming if Taiwanese independence.

There are all sorts of examples out there.

[Edited 2004-09-19 07:08:06]
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
prosa
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:13 pm

Partitioning Iraq into three nations would be complicated by the fact that the Sunni territory, unlike that of the Shiites or Kurds, has little or no oil deposits. Heavy violence on the part of the Sunnis would almost certainly greet any partition plan. In addition, there are many people living in the "wrong" ethnic territories, who'd have to be relocated.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
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yyz717
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:57 pm

Iraq really is 3 separate nations. Only a strongman like Saddam could keep the country together. If Iraq splits into 3, Iran will likely control the Shia south. Turkey will likely go to war with the Kurds to prevent their own Kurdish minority from getting thoughts about nationhood.

The US should be willing to see Iraq split into 3 nations if that's what will keep the 3 peoples from fighting each other.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
jessman
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:23 pm

L188; That's what I'm talking about.
The US is somewhat of a special case though in so much that we really can't be called a nation except for in the Pledge of Allegiance. And the China/Taiwan thing isn't really about two nations either.
BUT if you want to further expand this Idea to ideologies of a large part of a large population with a given territory, then sure I'll give you the US Civil War and the China/Taiwan thing.

PROSA;
I didn't know that about the oil. I could see where that could cause problems.

And about the Kurds, Why do the Kurds get the short end of the stick wherever they are? Turkey hates them. Saddam Hated them. Are they a majority in any country?
 
levent
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:02 pm

The Kurds are scattered over Turkey, Syria and Iraq and understandably want an own nation, but being where they are it is very difficult to achieve. On the Turkish side, there is an extremely strong resistance against letting the Kurds have a piece of the country because the founder of modern Turkey, Atatürk, said that the country should remain unified always. Although not a war, Turkish armed forces and Kurdish separatists are continuously clashing arms in South-East Turkey.

In Spain there is the problem with the Basque separatists. The nationalistic group ETA is notorious for kidnappings, killings of high-ranking people (mainly politicians) and bomb attacks all over Spain. Most Basques do support the dream of their own country, but don´t support the way ETA is trying to achieve this.

Many times it´s more a matter of pride besides anything else trying to keep on to territories. An example are the Falkland Islands, belonging to Britain and very close to Argentina´s southern tip. The Argentinians call these las Islas Malvinas and regard them as being part of Argentina. I was living in Argentina during the war in 1982 and will never remember the alarms going off every night, out of fear that the British would bomb the air base of Bahía Blanca. We never were actually involved in the war, but it sure was a scary experience. What I remember vividly were the demonstrations of parents walking through the streets with photos of their young sons that were killed over there.
For me this was yet another stupid war with unnecessary deaths on both sides.
 
mrniji
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:23 pm

There is this entire discussion about the future of the state going on in academia. Moreover, some minority opinions - me included - interpret Articles 1 and 1 of the Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural, respectively [both have the same text: "All people have the right to self-determination"] as the Human Right, which literally would mean something like a right to autonomy.. I could write pages here, but will rather refrain with the thoughts that many things about statehood will change (as it has started with Yugoslavia, the Former USSR...) .. then, last remark (  Smile ) - the ICJ that time determined the colonial borders to remain valid, when African states gained independence... in my eyes, this is a fatal decision, enforcing the territorial definition of states regardless of language, linguistics and religion, which can all be valid criteria for statehood and identity... Full Stop now  Big grin
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
petertenthije
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:40 pm

Instead of breaking up states, would it not be easier to form republics? Something similar to the US, Belgium or Germany. Each state has a lot of autonomy, with only certain things in the control of the federal government. Safety, foreign policy, economy etc.

Just make damn sure that a reasonable part of the oil proceeds from the Kurds and Sunnis also go to the Shiites otherwise there'd still be a civil war. Something like that is also being done in Belgium where a lot of the money from the Flemish is used to support the Walloons.
Attamottamotta!
 
Alessandro
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:42 pm

I agree why let Iraq seaze to exist and make 3 countries of it. Turkey and Iran won´t like it, but that´s their problem...
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
qr332
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:47 pm

Alessandro, neither would Iraqis. Iraqis actually like being part of one country, they do not want to be split up.
"The greatest threat to knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
 
bennett123
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:53 pm

L188

If you look at the Balkans over the last 10 years, you can see that creation of a state called Yugoslavia did not work. However letting it split ended in heavy bloodshed. The problem is that they hated each other before and there were wars and heavy bloodshed.

Sometimes there is not an ideal solution. Single country result Civil War = Bloodshed, multiple countries result local wars = Bloodshed. This is what is happening in "Soviet Central Asia" and in Chechnya. Whichever route you
take the result is Bloodshed.

Coming back to Iraq, if you allow three countries, firstly every ganster with a few AK47's makes a bid for power, then the Northern part becomes Kurdistan.

Kurdistan then becomes a launch pad for Turkish Kurds, the result is some sort of Palestine situation.

The Southern part becomes close or merges with Iran, result Saudi Arabia, (another local ally) becomes extremely P***** off.

The fact is that the Coalition went into Iraq, and now has to find a solution. Walking away from the mess is not really an option.

It is a pity that nobody thought about this before chargeing in!!.
 
prosa
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:01 am

Iraq really is 3 separate nations. Only a strongman like Saddam could keep the country together. If Iraq splits into 3, Iran will likely control the Shia south. Turkey will likely go to war with the Kurds to prevent their own Kurdish minority from getting thoughts about nationhood.
The US should be willing to see Iraq split into 3 nations if that's what will keep the 3 peoples from fighting each other.


Turkey wouldn't like an independent Kurdistan, but they'd surely know that a military attack on the new nation would kill off any chances of their joining the EU. The Kurd area likely would be the most stable and prosperous part of the "old" Iraq. The Shiite part would, as you said, be under Iran's thumb, which creates problems of its own. But of course it's the Sunni region that's almost certainly going to turn into Hell on Earth.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
Alessandro
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Mon Sep 20, 2004 4:57 am

QR332, do you mean all Iraqis? Personally I think the Kurds would love the idea, lot of oil in their turf.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
BA
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RE: Why Try To Keep A State That Is Not A Nation?

Mon Sep 20, 2004 5:42 am

People, the Iraqi people want to live together. It is these insurgents who are wrecking havoc wanting to start up violence between the different factions but the Iraqi Sunnis and Shias want to live together and lived together in peace in the past.

There are numerous examples of countries with large Shia and Sunni populations. Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Bahrain come to my mind.

It is true that the Kurds want there own nation, called Kurdistan. They want their own nation made up of northern Iraq, the northeastern part of Syria, the southwestern part of Turkey, and the western part of Iran. The Kurdish issue is another matter that needs to be dealt with and a complicated one.

While Kurds are Sunni Muslims just like the Turks and many Iraqis, they are not Arabs. They are their own ethnic group and they have their own language, Kurdish.

Lebanon is a country that is 60% Muslim and 40% Christian.

Of the Muslims, the majority are Shia, but there are also lots of Sunnis. Of the Shias, there are also subsects called Alawis and Ismailis. There is also a major offshoot of Islam called Druze. For a while they were regarded as not being Muslims, but nowadays they are considered Muslims although a very significant offshoot.

Of the Christians, there are 16 sects, the majority being Maronites. Then the 2nd largest Christian sect is Greek Orthodox. The other sects include Roman Catholic, Protestant, and others.

They all live together in peace in one country.
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