Unity that is dictated by the powerful is not unity. Unity at the cost of the poor and the oppressed, at the cost of the integrity of the gospel, is not unity.
- Alan Boesak
Consider the geopolitical applications of this.
This is what we saw upon the collapse of the old Soviet Union. Not only did the USSR fall apart, leaving us with "former Soviet republics", but we also saw the collapse of Soviet bloc nations. This led to the division of some of those nations, and a major humanitarian crisis in Bosnia.
This principle is also apparent in Iraq. The 'unity' of the nation under Saddam was not true unity. He could not really 'force' a unification of the ethnic and religious differences that existed in Iraq. He could only keep the divisions beneath the surface. When the US invasion of Iraq removed Saddam, the apparent unification disappeared.
Can the US now force unity on Iraq? The obvious answer is no. In fact, the US will not even be willing to use enough force to create a surface unity. That is the our credit, one may say.
However, what we have, if we seek to retain the territorially integrity of a united Iraq, is an untenable situation. It will also be a situation that will not see an end of US military presence in Iraq any time in the foreseeable future.
While I know it will not be easy, it is becoming apparent that we need to explore the possibility of the partitioning of Iraq. Perhaps, in the end, that will not be the answer. We do not know this yet, however. I have heard no serious discussion of such a move from any political leader. As we move forward in this political season, we need to demand serious consideration of all legitimate (especially meaning "moral") options by our political leadership. We should not accept the political garbage that Rudy Guliani has resorted to ("We must fight them there so we don't have to fight them here") or the facile answers of Obama and Clinton (vague explinations of "draw-down" and "redeployment").
American has already been led down the wrong path by a leader of simplicity. We need to recognize the complexity of the Iraq situation, and demand realistic and detailed answers before putting anyone else behind the desk in the Oval Office.
Partitioning Iraq may be a bad option, but the fact is that when the decision to invade was made, bad options was all that the US was left with. Perhaps the bad option of partitioning would be better than the terrible option of 'stay the course,' which, despite any window dressing that may be used, is essentially what all parties are discussing now.