Remember her? She’s the congresswoman from Minnesota who laid that Vulcan photo-op death grip on Bush at the SOTU:
Kid from Brooklyn thinks she’s got Katherine Harris kookiness potential. And you know what? She just might:
“Iran is the trouble maker, trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided that they’re going to partition Iraq.
And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called…. the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. [Close enough. — ed.] And I’m sorry, I don’t have the official name, but it’s meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made.
They are going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a terrorist safe haven zone where they can go ahead and bring about more terrorist attacks in the Middle East region and then to come against the United States because we are their avowed enemy.”
A formal partition agreement between Shiite terrorists and Sunni terrorists seems … unlikely (albeit not impossible), but if Iraq falls apart and we pull out, a de facto partition doesn’t seem unlikely at all. It’s all a question of how many resources each side wants to commit to sectarian war against each other versus consolidating power in its own spheres of influence. If the Mujahedeen Shura Council a.k.a. the Islamic State of Iraq a.k.a., the Sunni insurgency turns its attentions to terrorizing Anbar and the Iranians turn their attention to Basra, then they might be willing to accommodate each other, at least for awhile. Spiegel and NPR each have reports out today about how far gone Basra already is towards being controlled by the Sadrists, which makes the British drawdown that much more depressing. From NPR:
Richard Beeston, diplomatic editor of The Times of London recently returned from a visit to Basra, his first since 2003. He says in 2003, British soldiers were on foot patrol, drove through town in unarmored vehicles and fished in the waters of the Shaat al Arab on their days off. He says the changes he saw four years later are enormous.
“Nowadays all troop movement in and out of the city are conducted at night by helicopter because it’s been deemed too dangerous to go on the road and its dangerous to fly choppers during the day,” he says.
Beeston says during his latest visit, he noticed a map of the city in one of the military briefing rooms. About half of the city was marked as no-go areas…
This is indicative of many parts of southern Iraq, says Wayne White, a former State department middle east intelligence officer. White says the south is riddled with rival Shiite groups vying for power, and roving criminal gangs because there’s nothing to stop them.
Iran would enter and bring those rival groups to heel, either by backing one over the others (probably SCIRI) or smashing them all itself and asserting direct Iranian control. Given that they’ve done it by proxy in Lebanon, they’d probably do it by proxy here too. And quickly: a intrasect war is the last thing they want on the Shiite side, especially now that there’s one threatening to break out on the Sunni side. The Blotter points to a letter from Ansar al-Sunnah to the leader of AQ in Iraq dated last month complaining about AQ having killed some of its boys. Last week, the Islamic State of Iraq issued a statement emphasizing that it’s not the same group as AQ and shouldn’t be referred to as such by the media. And a few days after that, al-Zawraa, the Sunni jihadist satellite network, broadcast a speech by its owner slamming Al Qaeda for making Sunnis’ lives harder.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Shiites respond if a full Sunni red on red war breaks out. Do they try to capitalize by attacking the divided forces, or they lay back, avoid conflict for the time being lest it drive the Sunnis back together, and then go after the winner when the smoke clears?
Update: Bachmann has issued a statement clarifying her earlier comments by not really clarifying them at all.