US lawmakers voted Wednesday to split Iraq into a loose federation of sectarian-based regions and urged President George W Bush to press Iraqi leaders to agree. [dpa]
The proposal came from Senator Joseph Biden, the smart-ass who heads the chamber's foreign relations committee and is running for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
A few months ago, Sen. Biden, interviewed by Shalom TV, an American mainstream Jewish cable television network, called Israel "the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East". "I am a Zionist," stated Senator Biden. "You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."
We know the Israel Lobby is not a very convincing thesis, at least for Noam Chomsky. So, let’s talk about coincidences.
In 1982, Israel Shahak, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, wrote:
The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.
Israel Shahak’s The Zionist Plan for the Middle East is based on Oded Yinon's A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties, an essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14--Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.
Here two passages from Oded Yinon’s A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties:
(…) Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi'ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren't for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq's future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria today. The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi'ites in Iraq view as their natural leader. (…)
(…) Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization (…)
Just coincidences, of course...