Let us have rigorous discussion and debate between parties who can offer insight , support and mediation for the interested parties. Lets not go off half-cocked as we did with the Iraq invasion.

Let us go into the discussion with open minds, neither with the conviction that there is no way partition can work nor that it is the only way to go.

We would need a strong smart leader who can act as an honest broker between the parties. GHW Bush (the Elder) and /or Bill Clinton come to mind. Jim Baker and Geoge Mitchell are others.

And the solution will be equally complicated. We, who pleaded in vain not to invade Iraq, have seen our worst fears more than confirmed. Not only do we have a mess, but we have a mess from which we cannot easily walk away. Does everyone agree about that?

Whether we like it or not, we are “staying the course”. While we are staying the course, why not do some things that might result in allowing us to reach some safe harbor?

One possibility is to get the appropriate people together and DISCUSS the POSSIBILITY of partition of Iraq.

The idea of changing ones mind has gotten some bad press lately and has been demogogically labeled flip-flopping but I claim that changing one’s mind is a legitimate part of decision-making. There is a difference between being indecisive and changing one’s mind.

Although many people may not be initially receptive to the idea, I can see how partiioning Iraq can be in the best interests of most people concerned.

Unlike the decision to invade Iraq which was made by relatively few people, what I propose is rigorous discussion among well chosen representatives of the various points of view and a strong smart mediator acting like an honest broker to keep the discussion oriented and progressing. Two names that come to mind are George H. W . Bush (the Elder) and/or Bill Clinton.

Saddam was holding Iraq together as a single entity and he maintained a certain stability in the region by keeping Iran at bay. All of that was disrupted when, for whatever reason you choose to believe, the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq.

Unlike the Bush administration, which at the very least went off half-cocked into a very expensive adventure while thumbing its nose at most of the world, I propose that we get the appropriate people together and sit down and TALK about finding the circumstances under which we can have : Kurdistan, Shiistan, Sunnistan, Iran, Syria and Turkey living together side by side.

We can , of course continue to “stay the course” and hope for the best. Alternatively,while we are “staying the course”, we can get the right people together and TALK and try to find the circumstances under which we can have separate independant states carved out of Iraq which can live together in harmony.

If someone can propose a better approach to solving the problem in Iraq, while we are “staying the course” I certainly would like to hear it.

With all due respect to the Bush Administration, “staying the course” is not cutting the mustard not does it seem likely to.

Let’s not cherrypick intellegence that is in favor of partition. Let us not rely on convicted felons and known swindlers like Ahmed Chalabi for the major part of our information. Get the world community including Arabs involved for input and support. Let us not lie and mislead. Let us act in the interests of the Iraqis.

LET US CONSIDER PUTTING ASUNDER. Sometimes arranged marriages work out. Sometimes even shotgun marriages work out, but the arranged marriage of Kurds , Sunnis and Shiites has become very dysfunctional. That marriage needs to go to councelling and one of the options needs to be divorce.

THE DEVIL IS EVERYWHERE IN MAINTAINING IRAQ INTACT. God did not join the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis together. Neither did the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. The British did after World War One. The continued juxtaposition of these three different ethnic groups is a major obstacle in the recovery of the region.

Let the international community, including Arabs sit down to rule in or rule out partition.

CARGO HAS SHIFTED MAKING THE SITUATION WORSE. THE 2006 ELECTIONS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN RIGHTING THE VESSEL TOWARD THE PORT SIDE SOME BUT NOT ENOUGH.

THE CREW WHICH IS TIRED AND HAS BEEN FIGHTING WITH KNIVES AND FISTS HAS STARTED GRABBING FIREAXES OFF THE WALL.

THE PLANT IS BARELY FUNCTIONING AND PIRATES ARE GETTING READY TO BOARD.

THE CAPTAIN COMES OUT OF HIS STATEROOM OCCASIONALLY AND SAYS “STAY THE COURSE”

RUMOR HAS IT THAT HE IS BACK ON THE BOTTLE AGAIN.

WE NEED TO SEPARATE THE FIGHTING CREW MEMBERS AND GET THE VESSEL BACK ON AN EVEN KEEL .

IRAQ NEEDS A COMPETENT SURGICAL CONSULTATION TO EVALUATE SURGICAL SEPARATION THAT WILL ALLOW THE TRIPLETS TO SURVIVE.

WE CAN SPECULATE BUT WE WILL NOT KNOW UNTIL WE GET EXPERTS AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE TOGETHER DISCUSSING HOW TO MAKE IT WORK.

WINSON CHURCHILL WAS A GREAT MAN BUT WHEN HE SAT DOWN WITH A YARDSTICK AND DREW THE BORDERS OF PRESENT DAY IRAQ, HE DID SO THINKING MOSTLY OF BRITAINS INTERESTS AND NOT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF FORCING THREE DISTICT ETHNIC GROUPS INTO ONE POLITICAL ENTITY.

What we ended up with was the equivalent of congenitally conjoined triplets. We need consultations with surgeons from many specialties , radiologists, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists and others.

It might have been possible to maintain the status quo but the triplets are not getting along with each other and a surgical separation needs to be discussed.

BY DOING SOMETHING TO IMPROVE OUR CHANCES OR GETTING TO SOME SAFE HARBOR. Something other than wishful thinking. i am open to ideas. I would suggest that we do something about the intersectarian violence in Iraq among other things. Partition is my answer.

The crew is fighting amongst themselves. Right now they are just using their fists but they may be soon cutting up each other with knives and grabbing fire axes off the wall. Being boarded by pirates and a full fledged mutany are other possibilities.

The Captain relyed heavily upon his mates. The Second Mate has been forced by the crew to walk the plank. The Chief Mate has a bum ticker and has shown some signs of being detatched from reality.

The Chief Engineer is running out of parts and is holding the plant together with baling wire and scotch tape while being told by the Captain FULL SPEED AHEAD!

The token convoy travelling with the ship have mostly peeled off and foujnd ports of refuge.