For the most part, I agree with Jimbo. But I do disagree on partitioning Iraq. Because while short term that might help engage the Sunnis and defeat ISIS, long term you're setting up a war between the Shia and Sunnis. And the major problem with THAT is then you've got a regional war on your hands. I could be wrong, and I can be convinced I'm wrong on that, but that's my read on it.
I think the partition works the other way: it reduces the threat of a regional war by giving each side a clear title to 'their' territory. What's going on in Iraq right now is a Sunni-Shia war, and (combined with our reckless pursuit of a 'deal' with Iran on its nuclear program) it's raising the stakes for Sunni regional powers. Given a Sunni state in western Iraq that they can prop up and support as a hedge against Iranian influence, and I think you'd see tensions dropping even if Iran solidifies its hold on Baghdad (as they probably will).
The problem is that not all territories are easily divided as "this is Sunni, this is Shia". And when you leave people in one or the other of their opposing sides, you've now created an "oppressed minority" situation, so we can have one side or the other fight about who should really own that area. It's Kashmir all over again. Sorry, but world history on dividing up regions into clear "this is X's territory and that's Y's territory" has been abysmal. See the Balkans, Ireland, Iraq itself, Israel, Sudan, Eritrea, India, etc.And if nothing else, you're putting a Sunni state in the path of Iran's ambitions. Something Iran won't tolerate. I think it just raises the stakes unnecessarily. Personally, I'm ok with taking the Kurds' side and declaring a pox on both their houses.
As far as the Balkans, it's worth remembering that the bloodshed was as much the result of trying to force them to live together -- in "Yugoslavia" -- as it was anything else. That required massive oppression to sustain, and the breakup that followed was earnestly desired as well as bloody. Iraq's actually the very same story, in a way: Saddam held together a multi-ethnic state only by terrible oppression, and the bloodshed which is following is about their desire to live independently of each other. Diversity in general seems to be the enemy of stability and social harmony. You need massive force to suppress popular violence against it, and in the absence of that kind of force, the best thing is to let people go their own way. Otherwise, they'll kill until you do.
Technically, the strongman government of Yugoslavia was the ONLY thing that kept them from killing each other. Prior to it, we had the Balkan nations of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and Austro-Hungary, which led directly to the kind of situation I'm outlining with WWI. And prior to THAT, the inhabitants of the Balkans have been fighting each other for hundreds of years, partly over religious differences, but mostly over old grudges and lands. It wasn't until the collapse of the Tito-ist Yugoslavia that they got to killing each other again.So based on those two examples, apparently the only way force different peoples to live together in harmony is to put a dictator over them who frightens them all. That or cooperative democracy, like we exercise.Diversity in general seems to be the enemy of stability and social harmony. You need massive force to suppress popular violence against it, and in the absence of that kind of force, the best thing is to let people go their own way. Otherwise, they'll kill until you do.Question... what is the massive force we bring to bear in America to force this popular violence?
"Question... what is the massive force we bring to bear in America to force (is "quell", what you meant?) this popular violence?"Historically, a slow enough influx so the "other" can be integrated. More recently, self imposed segregation by all. The rise of political efforts to force integration are likely to have a severe case of unintended consequences at some point.
We also have a huge security state standing on the neck of people. You're aware of our massive incarceration rate. That especially affects any non-white person who shows anti-social tendencies, but also poorer whites. It hasn't avoided a race-based violence, but it has contained it to the prisons, where gangs affiliate by "race" and wage war on each other. For the wealthier and less anti-social, we have a strict system of political correctness laws governing anti-discrimination. Though in theory the first amendment protects racist speech, in practice the law will require your employer to fire you if you are creating a 'hostile work environment.' Because the law operates at one remove from directly suppressing your speech, courts hold it is not a violation of the first amendment to have Federal laws that enforce an environment free of 'hostility' in this manner. Those may be good laws, all. They may be necessary for the good order and discipline of a diverse country like ours. But they do entail a huge amount of state intrusion into our lives -- especially of minorities, but of all Americans.
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