Thursday, August 14, 2008


"Georgia" and "Iraq" tend to get uttered in the same sentence a lot around here, usually in terms of complaining what a hypocrite George W. Bush is to complain about Putin's puppet's invasion of a sovereign state on phony pretexts.

Exactly the same!

E.g. here (in comments, but by the post's author):

For the record, to date, Russia has toppled ZERO governments in this decade, the US has toppled 2.

So where do we draw the line on the US?

Leaving aside the question of when progressives became so concerned with governmental stability and integrity of international borders, I'm trying to picture the Iraq venture if it had been done according to the Russian model. Some parallels do suggest themselves. You already had two separatist regions -- the Kurdish north and the Shiite south -- nominally under the protection of the U.S. (and its allies). You had any pretext you like for an attack based on infringement of that unhappy status quo -- no need to read the tea leaves on WMD when there were almost daily violations of the no-fly zone that one side never accepted.

You wouldn't have to trouble with nation-building or infrastructure reconstruction or keeping order while democracy goes through its romper room phase. No danger of being cheated by your friends in the new government, either.

Just calve off the parts you want, occupy them with full force, and turn lose the ethnicities and religions you favor to drive out the ones you don't. Take a few big bites out of the rump nation you leave behind, just to square off your fronts and make the point stick. Then let your enemy's friends figure out how to keep it alive.

Which, in the case of Iraq, would have been the governments and national oil companies of France and Russia.

For starters.