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"Saddam ran a mostly secular society."

That does make up for a lot, doesn't it?

"...the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiite rivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of a breakup of Iraq ..."

Why is a breakup of Iraq a "specter"? Since the borders of what we now call "Iraq" were arbitrarily established by the British after WW I, it's not like there's a great deal of historical significance there. The best plan probably is a three-part division: the Sunnis get this piece, the Shiites get this piece, and the Kurds get that piece over there.


The best plan is to have no division at all by us. Otherwise, we will just be drawing up new "colonial" borders and new wars.

We need to leave Iraq immediately and let them settle their future themselves. This is what self-determination is all about, and I believe we went to war over that once. Of course, I understand it was just propaganda as far as our rulers were concerned, but I do believe each country has a right to self-determination. The alternative is conquest and division by outside powers.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

America's borders were and still are for the most part, totally fluid! Ask the Indians, Hawaiians or Philippinos!

Now we have decided the entire planet is ours and this is pure insanity. Scratch that---all of space AND the Earth.


The best plan probably is a three-part division: the Sunnis get this piece, the Shiites get this piece, and the Kurds get that piece over there.

If you conservatives think this is such a great plan, why have we not heard a word about it until the idiot Bush blundered into a illegal war there, too stupid to know that the place was going to split into 3 main factions? Please cite one single justification for the war given by Bush in which he shows any recognition at all of the secular or sectarian divisions in Iraq. And, relatedly, why should the US decide what's best for Iraq? Bush has provided the perfect example of Americans "liberating" and democratizing Iraq, allegedly in the best interests of the Iraqis, and look how well that turned out. Do you really think we're in a position to tell them how to be 3 countries after we've savagely, brutally, and criminally destroyed the only one they had?

The neocons gloated and screamed "Victory! Praise to Bush" when the purple fingers of Iraqi voters were in every American media outlet. Now, that gov't is in disarray, the trial they're holding for Hussein is a joke, and the violence has already killed 70 American soldiers in Oct. and God knows how many civilians with the Iraqi gov't comprehensively unable to do anything at all. Yep, America should decide what's best for Iraq. Too bad they'll all be dead before they can feel the showers of American love and kindness.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Correct as always, Daliwood.

Chopping up other people's countries: a good way to start wars.


Re: "The NYTimes notes today that the people running our foreign policy know practically nothing about Muslims."
Wow... How perceptive of the NYT:) Indeed, I have yet to run into one American who truly understands the Arab or Muslim mind.... let alone the Arab or Muslim world. The president of the United States himself didn't even have a passport before becoming president. He hadn't even been out of the US:) Americans are on so many levels totally isolated from the rest of the world... and they are much too isolated to even appreciate the meaning of that

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