November 14, 2005


An idea whose time has come (Bruce Walker, November 14, 2005, Enter Stage Right)

What is the solution to our national security problems? Balkanization. Those unfamiliar with history (almost anyone who has passed through public schools and our system of universities) may never have heard that term, but it was all the terror in foreign ministries throughout most of the 20th Century. But Balkanization has worked in the Soviet Union, where constituent republics have become peaceful, free and relatively democratic. It has worked in the "Velvet Divorce," the naturally ending of that unnatural union of Czechs and Slovaks in the former Czechoslovakia. The smaller states of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia work better than the old polyglot Yugoslavia. Pakistan and Bangladesh get on better than the single nation of West Pakistan and East Pakistan ever did.

Balkanization would work well in Iraq: split this unnatural imperium into three natural nations of Shia, Kurds and Sunnis. America could offer to defend each from aggressive invasion by the others, but then leave these nations, naturally suspicious of each other, to rely upon American friendship as the sure guarantee of political success.

Ever since Woodrow Wilson made it popular such ethnic self-determination has had a grip on peoples' imaginations and the evidence continues to roll in that smaller states fare better than larger, with the exception of the U.S., the exceptional nation.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 14, 2005 4:32 PM

Time for New Hampshire to secede from New England?

Posted by: Genecis at November 14, 2005 5:11 PM

Time to trade New England, sans NH, to Canada for British Columbia and the Yukon, so Alaska can be contiguous. Throw in Alberta too for New York.

Posted by: erp at November 14, 2005 5:26 PM

I've said this before and I'll say it again, I refuse to see the Strategic Lobster Reserve (Maine) fall under the control of a hostile foreign power. 54-40 or fight! Praise the Lord and pass the melted butter!

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 14, 2005 5:41 PM

It is time to start asking that "What went right, what went wrong?" pair of questions concerning the United States and everybody else.

I have an idea as to the answer. For a nation-state to hold together, it must have a folkish spirit. (Yes, I know quite well who used to talk this way, but they screwed the idea up, as they screwed up almost everything else, by mixing up folkishness with genetics, which is nonsense.)

Our folkish spirit is cultural. It subsists in our history, in the age of discovery, the Decarlaration of Independence, the opening of the West, as well as in our history of gathering to ourselves kindred souls from the four corners of the Earth.

Exactly because the American folkish spirit is non-racial, it can support a hyperpower, while all the rest are doomed to fragmentation.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 14, 2005 6:02 PM


Judeo-Christianity as the basis of consensual government.

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2005 6:07 PM

Iraq is simply lines on a piece of paper drawn up by England and France after WWI as they split up Africa among themselves in order to loot the continent---check the British Museum and the Louvre and you'll find things like the Rosetta Stone etc. France basically looted all of Mesopatania and has, among a ton of other priceless Iraqi treasures, artifacts and sculptures from Assur, Babylon, Khorsabad and Uruk dating back to 2500 BC.

There has been a unity of sorts during the old days of Hammurabi and a few other guys, but the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites are clearly separate. The problem with splitting it up that way is that the Sunnis in the middle have no port so they cannot trade; the Kurds have no port either but they have oil they can ship by pipeline and presumably they can make some deals with Turkey and Syria to take advantage of some ports.

But the Sunni's absolutely won't stand for the "Federation" maps. This endless churning is why Iraq has been ruled by tyrants for most of the 20th century

Posted by: Duke432 at November 14, 2005 7:48 PM

oj: Yes, that is so, which is why the pagans, supposed athiests, and other heathens among us undergo a kind of baptism of desire* as a consequence of being part of the American folk.

Precisely because those bibical principles are so central to our system, those who will to be part of our folk partake of them even if they don't know it. Conversely, those who obstinately reject those principles are not of the folk.


Posted by: Lou Gots at November 14, 2005 9:34 PM

It seems obvious that the US should support the break-up of existing nations. Smaller countries are more susceptible to Uncle Sam's carrots and sticks.

Posted by: Kevin Colwell at November 14, 2005 11:24 PM

Kevin Colwell:

Except Haiti, which makes Cuba look good.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 15, 2005 3:38 AM

An open communion is hardly folkish, is it?

Posted by: oj at November 15, 2005 8:31 AM

The US breaking Iraq apart would be wrong because it would be seen as a power grab by the US. Far better to simply let the Iraqis do it (or not do it). I don't want the headache when all these talking heads start moping that Iraq would've worked if only the US didn't sabotage it.

It's their country. It's up to them to stay united or separate, to build something great or flush it into the toilet. It's not our concern.

The US war objectives were to:
1) Remove Saddam and destroy Baathist power
2) Eliminate any potential WMD program
3) Leave Iraq in a way that contains any incipient terrorist threat

We accomplished the first two in the first year. Everything else has been about securing #3.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at November 15, 2005 11:19 AM