As meaningless, non-binding symbolic Senate resolutions go, Joe Biden just managed a doozy. By passing with 75 votes a meaningless, non-binding symbolic Senate resolution in favor of the partition of Iraq, Biden managed to simultaneously: infuriate nearly all Iraqis, who have virtually unanimously condemned the resolution (as have the Arab allies of the US, for that matter); let Senate Republicans off the hook by allowing them to say that they voted for change even though they continue to vote against anything real; and endorse an unworkable plan which would massively increase human suffering while working against American interests in the region and not actually solving the problems.
I've never understood the appeal of "soft partition" to anyone other than dedicated pro-Kurdish activists. It sounds like such a nice, clean exit strategy. But near as I can tell, it would actually mean heavy and active involvement of US troops in facilitating "transfer" of peoples (ah, how delicate that sounds) and a long-term military commitment to protecting the new entities (especially the Kurds). It would simultaneously exacerbate Shia-Shia conflict while enhancing Iranian influence in the Shia areas. It would infuriate the Sunnis who cling fiercely to the principle of a unified state and fuel the most radical trends in those areas while undermining more moderate leader. It would guarantee that the crisis of the internally displaced and refugees will never be solved, promoting instability in the country and the region for decades (while also rewarding sectarian cleansing strategies and encouraging them in the future). And - most ironically - it would probably go along quite nicely with the current Bush strategy of ignoring the national government and focusing on the local level. At least there could be some return on otherwise wasted investment, though: the security forces we've spent the last four years training at least have some valuable experience and a fine track record in carrying out the sectarian cleansing that the plan would require.
Good for Barack Obama that he decided not to vote on this embarrassment, though I'd have preferred he vote no. Hillary Clinton voted yes.