Partition of Iraq into 4 States is a viable solution
October 6, 2006
formation of the modern Arab world by the European colonialism of the past
century was riddled with time bombs and mine fields. Almost without exception,
all Arab states were patched up together arbitrarily with neither a concept of
the modern citizen, nor a homogeneity of populations and national aspirations.
The result has been 60 years of dictatorships, genocides, tribal wars disguised
as safeguarding the unity of the “nation”, wars of aggressions, and gross
violations of human rights, all contributing factors to the economic and
cultural retardation of the whole region.
intervention in Iraq did not create the ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.
Rather, the root cause is the suppression of national aspirations and the
merger/dilution of different and distinct people into larger artificial aimless
states ruling thru blood, iron, and fire. The Kurds were denied their statehoods
by Sykes-Picot. The Christians of Lebanon were tricked into a “Grand Liban” only
to see the first republic betrayed and then confiscated by the Syrian Stalinist
regime. The Copts of Egypt, the Berbers of Algeria, Darfour and Sudan, on and
on, everywhere in our area, ethnicities and national aspirations are suppressed
often brutally. The Middle East is a prison of nations. Artificial states were
erected everywhere based on geographical extents without a unifying humane
ideology and far long before America’s arrival.
Since the concept of the modern state is grossly lacking, the ethnicities of the
Arab world have no other choice but to seek their own political structures to
protect their people and achieve their national and cultural aspirations. The
world should let such eventuality occur before it becomes too late as is the
case in Iraq. We have done it in former Yugoslavia, and it can be done
A reasonable solution for the Iraqi civil war may consist of dividing the
country into 4 states; a Sunni state in the West, a Kurdish state in the North,
a Shiite state in the South, and a mini federated state in the center to resolve
areas of contention, avoid the division of Baghdad, and to allow the nucleus of
a multi-ethnic society as another viable model. These 4 new states could join
the United Nations as democratic allies of the war on terror. The seeds of the
civil war could then be extinguished and all parties get their fair share of the
A similar, albeit modified model could also be applied to Lebanon. It would
consist of dividing Lebanon into two states; A multi-ethnic, democratic, and
liberal Sunni-Druze-Christian state, and a Shiite state, each pursuing its
diverging national aspirations and identities, living in peace with each others.
Past partition options were not viable, but a Sunni-Druze-Christian mix has a
good chance of succeeding as proven today in the March 14 Cedars Revolution.
Territorial concessions will be required on all sides and some towns may fall on
one side or the other of a new border. The Lebanese would then need to abandon
their delusional nostalgia of a “Grand Liban” in favor of realistic territorial
aspirations. This goal is however risky, since it formalizes the Syria-Iran
Hezbollah colony in Lebanon. But it would on the other hand, isolate the Iranian
bridgehead, and shield the rest of the Lebanese from Hezbollah’s wars. We would
simply extract the Hezbollah state-within-our-state, which the world seems
unable to defeat, and turn it to a state of its own, answering the national
aspirations of its constituency, and making it independently accountable for its
own actions. Perhaps in a generation or two, we may again contemplate a reunion
of some sort, and perhaps not.
Like the Iraqis, we Lebanese have today a historic decision to make. The brutal
truth is that the old 10452 square kilometer Lebanon has died long ago, and
perhaps never was. We must either formulate an acceptable vision of a New
Lebanon for all its children, or part ways. We have reaped only futility in the
forced union of 1920, that great deception of “Le Grand Liban”. A whole
generation tasted this sweet but illusive dream during the first republic, but
the dream turned into a sour nightmare after 86 years of Syrian wars of
aggression and sabotage. We need to dream and dare again! For the ultimate
objective of any nation must be peace and the well being of its people. And the
true borders of Free Lebanon will expand with the march of democracy and human
* Charles Jalkh is a Lebanese Freedom Fighter opposed to the Hezbollah.