STATES' RIGHTS IN THE 51ST STATE?
The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.
--George W. Bush, speech at the UN, 9/12/02
If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.
--George W. Bush, speech in Cincinnati, 10/7/02
I'm here really in part to say to the Turks that we are fully committed, fully committed, to a unified Iraq.
--Condoleezza Rice en route to Turkey, 2/6/05
U.S. weighs plan to make Iraq a federation of six states
The United States has been quietly mulling the prospect that Iraq would break up into autonomous regions.
The Council on Foreign Relations, which usually reflects State Department thinking, has recommended the restructuring of Iraq into six states under a single national government. The council, in a report entitled "Power-Sharing in Iraq," warned that even with elections an Iraq led by a strong central government might not be democratic.
Officials said the Bush administration has been discussing options for Iraq following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2007, Middle East Newsline reported....
Yeah, World Tribune isn't the most reliable source, but Drudge and Limbaugh like it, and, as this New Yorker story notes, "Its editor and publisher, Robert Morton, is an assistant managing editor at the Washington Times and a former “corporate editor” for News World Communications, the Times' owner and the publishing arm of the Unification Church, led by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon," so it doesn't seem crazy to suppose that this is a trial balloon the administration wants to send out to right-wing media consumers without anyone in the mainstream noticing, does it?
If you want a more conventional story, here's one from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which discusses the CFR report without suggesting that it reflects the thinking of anyone in the government.
If the World Tribune story is accurate, it hints at what the Bushies might really be thinking:
Already, Kurdistan has been seen as the most stable area of Iraq and has been attracting foreign business meant for Baghdad. The Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans plans to hold a conference in October in Kurdistan for 240 firms that seek to invest in the Kurdish areas. The autonomous Kurdish government has signed 70 contracts with foreign companies and executed 25 projects worth $75 million.
Is that it? We're going to let the Shiites and Sunnis kill one another while we declare that the Kurdish state is the "free, democratic" utopia we fought the war to create (and is, as it just so happens, gratifyingly business-friendly)?