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September 28, 2006


Jon Alterman

The interview was on NPR.


I think it is the Rovian Wedge. Each time there is a sign of rapprochement anywhere, the US administration or one of its people hammers on the issue most likely to divide those groups. Condi actually spelled this out when she told NYT people the current Palestine strategy is to split Hamas between the Gaza and the Damascus people, (over explicit immediate recognition of Israel) because one side is suffering from hunger and the other is not. This was the Israeli strategy in the recent war only there the wedge was bombing and destruction. As for Iraq, I don't think it is entirely right to say the recent Baghdad federalism negotiations "failed". There is a definitive account of the current status of this by Shiite scholar Reidar Visser (available at www.historiae.com/aqalim.asp), and he notes that there were some signs in the recent talks of a rapprochement between the federalism wing of the UIA and a group of "nationalists" (for want of a better term) including Sunnis. Not a bad time to have your main ally throw the thing into confusion by saying he might secede over oil.

It's a way of looking at things. I offer some vignettes from the Arab-language press, some of which seem to be pointing in this direction, at my humble blog http://arablinks.blogspot.com


What would you expect? The Turks didn't want the Bush malAdministration invasion of Iraq at all, in large part because of their Kurd problem. It may be likely that the Turks will annex Iraqi Kurdistand (or divide it with Syria and Iran) to put the issue to rest.

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