What if the Brits gave up on the American experiment?

The last few days have revealed to me that among my readers at least, Joe Biden gets a lot of respect. Sort of makes you wonder why he’s not doing better in the polls. But there are detractors, and some of them have thoughtful things to say as well.

So far, I give the prize in that department to our own Michael Rodgers, who (in case you missed it back here) parodied the Biden/Brownback approach to Iraq thusly:

I just heard that some members of Britain’s parliament have decided that the US government isn’t living up to its promise.  They propose to partition our country into three regions based on ethnicity & skin color.  They propose three classifications: white, black, and hispanic.  They say that anyone who doesn’t clearly fit into any category will have to apply to become a member of one of those three categories, and a draft will be held, like in one skit from Chappelle’s Show.  They say that whites will live in the north and the rockies, blacks will live in a line from Michigan down to Louisiana and Florida, and hispanics will have the southwest.  All white Floridians will be required to move to New Jersey (unless they wish to apply to be black, and then they can stay if approved by the black caucus, unless they get drafted by the whites first).

The members of British parliament say that they have the votes to achieve such a resolution, and that it’s only a matter of time.  They say it’s necessary to prevent violence between the races in that unstable and fledgling US democracy they created just a few short centuries ago.  They cite the recent race violence in Jena, Louisiana and recent gang activity in Mauldin, SC as proof of the unstable nature of the citizens of the US.  The parliamentarian’s rallying cry is that "the Americans of all races are just not ready for democracy." 

Critics in parliament say that there is progress being made, and that this new partition plan should be shelved for 90 days until Washington can deliver on their promises.  These critics of the partition plan cite recent convictions of members of the mob by Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago as proof of progress for justice and the rule of law over sectarian violence.

American polls strongly indicate that they oppose such a partition plan.  Also Washington declares the plan ridiculous on its face.  President Bush declared, "America is a stable, unified government that is in complete control of it legal and illegal population.  Just because we use vigilante minutemen to patrol our Southern border does not mean we have no respect for the law."  President Bush elaborated, "Before we invaded Iraq, I sent Colin Powell to get the UN to pass a resolution that contained language that I feel allowed me to invade Iraq legally.  That’s how I respect international law.  And I got the US Congress to give me a resolution authorizing me to invade Iraq.  That’s how I respect the US Constitution."  Finally, President Bush declared, "And that’s why the USA is a strong country that shouldn’t be partitioned by Britain."

There is support for the partition plan in Washington, though.  After all, why shouldn’t an outside force decide how a new democratic government should be formed?  Hey, if Britain wants to pay the bills and get access to our natural resources, why shouldn’t they decide how to partition the USA?  The British have an excellent history of successful nation building by partitioning.  They split the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan, and, while there have been some wars, and now both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, all in all, it turned out to be a complete success.

Supporters of the USA partition see it as an example of how the US should partition Iraq.  They scoff at the notion that perhaps the United Nations should be the organization that debates such outside actions imposed on fledgling democracies.  "That’s a bankrupt institution," they say, "that can’t even organize a plan to help Darfur."  Critics counter that it was Colin Powell’s efforts with the United Nations that gave President Bush’s invasion of Iraq the semblance of legitimacy that it has.  They say that Condoleezza Rice should report back to the United Nations, and that the Security Council should decide whether to recognize or reconstitute the Iraq government.  With the US, as well as Russia, Britain, China and France, holding veto power on the Security Council, perhaps neither partition plan will pass there.

But the British parliament may go it alone and partition the USA.  And perhaps the US Congress will go it alone and partition Iraq.  Hey, at least it’s a plan.

4 thoughts on “What if the Brits gave up on the American experiment?

  1. Brad Warthen

    For fun. That, and an appreciation that someone had spent that much time and trouble, and I wanted to make sure people had seen it.
    But I don’t agree with the point. We have a situation here in which the Iraqi constitution allows for such a federal approach, and it seems wise to push for it. If one wants to draw parallels to the American experiment, it would be logical to note that even though the colonies were settled by people whose values were much more suited to national government than Iraq’s, the differences that did exist (the Southern plantation culture vs. Northern mercantilism) were sufficient to make a federal system preferable to an out-and-out national system.
    The Civil War made us less federal and more national, but look what it took to get us there. All of this argues for the wisdom of a federal, or even confederal, approach in Iraq.

  2. josh mcdonald

    That is the most incorrect analogy regarding Biden’s bill I’ve ever heard of. First of all, were talking about federalism not partition. Second, the bill just supports what is already written in the Iraqi constitution. Lastly, no one is going to be thrown out of there homes based on ethnicity.
    Furthermore, were not going to use the gun to make sure that Iraq becomes a federal unified country. Were going to use diplomacy, and if it doesn’t work and no political solution can be made, we’ll get the hell out of there. It’s at least worth a shot, yeah?

  3. Michael Rodgers

    The “Plan” can say it’s not a partition and not a foreign imposition and not an invitation to sectarian cleansing, but come on!
    Who is going to “establish three largely autonomous regions” and who is going to require exactly three regions (why not 13 or 50?), and why are they picked ethnographically instead of geographically, and who is going to figure out all the other questions that wax and wane over a federal nation?
    Here’s an alternative that I call, “The Alternative Plan to Complete the Mission in Iraq.”
    Employment and community policing are great ideas. We should present the Iraq government a report about the success of community policing in USA cities, and we should suggest that they support community policing. We should also present the Iraq government with a chart showing our history of low unemployment and high prosperity, and we should suggest that the Iraq government support job growth. One actual action we can take is to remove our contractors and military and hire local people to do the work that needs to be done.
    Working within the UN is crucial, obvious, and mandatory. The UN gave us the legitimacy to invade Iraq, so that we could remove any WMD and destroy Saddam’s weapons programs. One actual action that we can take is to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to report back to the UN and ask nations to recognize the Iraq government. Then, we can work with the UN to pass some resolutions that respect Iraq as a nation.
    The Alternative Plan to Complete the Mission in Iraq
    1) We “close the loop” on the Iraq mission by sending Condoleezza Rice to the UN to report the history since the Security Council Resolution 1441 and the current status of Iraq as a nation with a democratically elected government. We negotiate with the UN and with Iraq on the coalition mission over a short but reasonable time period of 2-6 months. We work so that the UN recognizes Iraq and declares that we should now bring our military home (because the UN pledges to help Iraq with any security issues for which Iraq requests help). We must try very hard and make many concessions to achieve a good UN resolution, but if we do not achieve one then we must still leave Iraq. Either way, the mission in Iraq is over, and our duty is discharged.
    2) We begin a slow drawdown of troops and contractors now, while we are negotiating with the UN, and we also encourage (by offering grants) the Iraq government to institute job creation programs and community policing programs in any manner they see fit. The jobs we leave behind will be taken by the Iraqis.
    3) We bring all our contractors and military people home in a rapid, yet organized manner when the UN negotiations from (1) are concluded. We display banners saying, “Mission Accomplished.”
    We must complete all three steps in one year, from today. Let’s get to it.


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