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An Alternative Approach to Iraq
Monday, 25 June 2007 10:10
by Dr. M. Jamil Hanifi

1. Openly and unambiguously embrace the fact that the United States government, in violation of international law and our founding papers, has destroyed the institutional and material assets of the secular state of Iraq. Accept the stark reality that the violence in Iraq is fundamentally energized by the presence of the occupying forces of the United States and its “coalition partners”. The Shi’a-Sunni violent outbursts of rage are fueled by each imagining the other as collaborators with the occupying forces and the United States’ sponsorship of Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is very likely that the imaginings of collaboration are sown and irrigated by the occupying powers.

2. Through a promethean diplomatic effort and the facilitation of the United Nations create a 80-100K regional security force consisting of contributions from Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. An enlightened and creative diplomatic effort will be able to persuade Turkey, Iran and Egypt to jointly anchor the organization and command structure of this security force.

As this force enters Iraq and as the Iraqi security forces are reconstituted the American soldiers should withdraw from Iraq in corresponding numbers. Set a timetable of 12-18 month for the transition to the total withdrawal of American and coalition forces and the establishment of Iraqi security forces.

3. Simultaneously with this process, initiate a sincere and genuinely even-handed policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel should be required to withdraw to its 1967 borders in exchange for international security guarantees. Israeli militarism and unending appetite for territorial expansion and blind American government support for this militarism and expansionism are the central causes of instability in the Middle East and the main source of energy for the hatred and disrespect of the United States. The success of steps number 1 and 2 in this alternative is contingent on step number 3.

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