In Washington‘s corridor of power, the subject of extending military presence in Iraq has, in recent months, become an obsession. From the White House to Congress and from the State to the Defense Department, the constant reiteration regarding the necessity of our troops to remain in Iraq has been promoted intensively. For those who are not intimately familiar with the nature of power structure and dogmatic conformity in Washington, this insistence appears to be illogical and ill conceived as ending, rather than prolonging, the war in Iraq would serve Obama’s pledge to the nation to bring the troops home by the end of this year.
However, for many policymakers in Washington, Iraq is central to the policy that seeks to maintain Israeli’s supremacy and unchallenged domination in the region. While some of these policymakers are motivated by their own interpretation of Biblical prophecies, other politicians have blindly accepted the Israeli narrative that whatever serves Israeli domination serves US interest.
In either case, both camps have reached an understanding that since Iraq has historically and is potentially capable of being a center for Arab intellectual and economic revival, it therefore constitutes a threat to Israeli supremacy. In fact, for decades, pro Israeli writers and policymakers have considered a vibrant and democratic Iraq to be an existential threat to Israel. Journalists like the late William Safire, Max Boot, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristal, along with politicians such as Mitch McConnell, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, Joe Biden, etc have made it a top priority that Iraq be invaded, occupied, and fragmented.
One of those who have been relentless in his efforts to paralyze or divide Iraq is Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is not apologetic about his ideological allegiance to Israel’s supremacy in the region and in voicing his Zionist beliefs declaring, “I am a Zionist. . . You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."
Biden was one of the few in the senate who was instrumental in writing a draft proposal for the authorization and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Moreover, in an article in the New York Times (May1, 2006), written with hard-line Zionist, Leslie Gelb, he called for dividing Iraq along sectarian and ethnic lines. And in June 2007, along with other Israeli supporters in the Congress, Biden authored Concurrent Resolution 37 urging the Bush administration to support partitioning Iraq. Bush, however, rejected Biden’s plan.
Biden, as a neoconservative democrat and an ardent Zionist, is wholeheartedly committed to the Zionist plan for dividing Iraq. This plan was originally envisioned in “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties” which was published by the World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem, in 1982. The plan calls for further disintegrating of all Arab states. It argues, “If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the down fall and dissolution of Egypt.”
However, the major focus of the plan is Iraq. It states, “In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. . . . Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad, and Mousl, and Shiite areas in the south [that] will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.”
While Biden, as a senator, had limited influence on policy making, his ascendency to vice president positions him to be a major player in shaping Washington’s policy toward Iraq. In fact, it is in his capacity as a vice president that Biden has the opportunity to frequently visit Iraq, twist the arms of reluctant Iraqi politicians, and strengthens the position of Iraqi politicians whose outlook and actions serve to accelerate the downfall of Iraq.
The Lebanese independent al-akhbar (July 7) reported that Biden has encouraged many Iraqi politicians to lend support for the establishment of a separate region in the western part of the country. Though the report cannot be verified independently, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, in his recent visit to Washington and after meeting with senior American policymakers, declared his intention to establish a region along sectarian lines; an objective that was articulated in the Zionist plan for Iraq.
Al-akhbar further reported that Biden and other senior American officers are exercising influence on Iraqi neighbors and politicians to weaken the Iraqi government so it will be more receptive to prolonging the occupation of Iraq. The ultimate objective of this measure is to break the will of the people and in the process enabling Iraqi politicians, whose interests lie in dividing Iraq, to have ample time to effectively and convincingly promote the project of breaking down the country to their constituencies.
Though in the early years of the occupation the neoconservatives attempted to accelerate the collapse of Iraqi institutions and then break the country into three different states, the Iraqi people and most of their religious leaders vehemently rejected the plan. The election of Obama gave hope to Iraqis that their nightmares would be behind them. Unfortunately, and to the disappointment of the people in the region, the Obama administration has espoused a neoconservative policy toward the region; a version that is more aggressive than that of the Bush administration.
Since 1979, the Iraqi people have experienced hardship, wars, and invasion. Their freedom and liberty have been violated, their economy destroyed, and their culture and social fabric have been weakened and poisoned. Any plan to partition Iraq under any justification will lead to further chaos and bloodshed. Iraqis seek to have a unified democratic country. Despite years of occupation and humiliation, they will not compromise on their ultimate goal of building a sovereign country and living in peace and security.
Abbas J. Ali is Professor and Director, School of International Management, Eberly College of Business and IT, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.