They donâ€™t call it that, but thatâ€™s exactly what it is.Â See what you think:
In a major repudiation of President Bushâ€™s failed policy in Iraq, Sen. Joe Bidenâ€™s plan for a federal system in Iraq passed the Senate today by a vote of 75-23 … The plan called for a decentralized, federal system in Iraq, which would give its people local control over the fabric of their daily lives, including police, jobs, education and government services.Â A limited central government would be responsible for protecting Iraqâ€™s borders and distributing its oil revenues. …
Iraqâ€™s own constitution calls a â€œdecentralized, federal systemâ€ and sets out the powers of the regions (extensive) and those of the central government (limited).
Sounds like the United States, doesnâ€™t it?Â That is, like the United States under the original Articles of Confederation.
And letâ€™s not forget that the Constitution, as originally construed and implemented, created a confederate system, with the people of the States retaining ultimate sovereignty.Â The seat of sovereignty these days is DC, which has usurped the power of the States to regulate every aspect of what used to be their own affairs, from education, to the legal age to buy alcohol, to how they elect representatives in Congress.
This measure is clearly a repudiation of Bush and his war policy.Â Present US policy in Iraq is to prop up a strong, central government.Â Of course, Bush has American troops sweating, bleeding, and dying in pursuit of a desert mirageâ€”the central government doesnâ€™t even control Baghdad, much less the rest of what used to be Iraq.Â The so-called Iraqi national government exists only within the confines of an American fortress in the Green Zone.Â
This is the reason violence continues in Iraq.Â The three main populations there do not possess the mutual trust that holds an organic nation together.Â When it was united, it was under the brutal control of Saddam Hussein, whose Sunnis pretty much ran everything, including the bloody repression of the ethnic Kurds in the north.Â What happened under Saddam was part of the 19th and 20th century ideal of the unitary, centralized state.Â Charlene Spretnak, discussing the current resurgence of old cultures and nations, has observed that forced centralization spawned much of the bloodshed of the 20th century:
In hindsight, the confederal model wold have been a wiser choice than the federal model whenever modern states were formed by the merging of ancient nations.Â In that way, ethnic and regional identity could have been formally honored at the same time the Enlightenment values of human rights and tolerance were adopted. Instead, the domination and elimination of difference has resulted in patterns of persecution and loss played out over generations.
Resurgence of the Real, pp. 28-9
Now, free from Saddam, the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds, like the Croatians, Serbs, Slovaks, and the other ethnic groups who seceeded from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, can make their own choices.Â But Bush, who has flatly stated he rejects partition, has American troops doing the job that Saddamâ€™s troops used to do, and that is to hold this artificial nation together by force.Â When the confederal model has been implemented in Iraq, American troops can finally come home.