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BLITZER'S BLOG: Iraq could break apart
December 26th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Iraq could break apart

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - I am beginning to suspect that Iraq could wind up following Yugoslavia’s example.

As you know, there once was a country called Yugoslavia. It had several distinct provinces based on ethnic differences: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Kosovo and Serbia. You get the point.

What largely held the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia together was the brutal dictatorship of Marshal Josip Broz Tito. Once he died, the country went into a series of deadly and bitter civil wars. Yugoslavia ceased to exist in 2003. It has been replaced by these other countries.

As you also know, Iraq has had bitter ethnic tensions for a long time among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. It was held together for a long time by Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship. For the almost nine years since Saddam’s removal, it has been held together by a huge U.S. military presence.

But with U.S. troops now out of the country, I suspect we could be on the verge of seeing Iraq spiral into civil war. We already have seen a series of terrorist attacks in recent days. My fear is that this will only get worse.

The Sunnis clearly don’t trust the Shiites, especially Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Some of his recent actions, including an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president, have fueled this fear of a civil war.

Vice President Joe Biden has been on the phone for days with Iraqi leaders trying to calm things down. So far, he has not met with much success. It has long been Biden – more than any other top U.S. official – who has long feared the collapse of Iraq into these three groupings.

Unless cooler heads prevail in Baghdad, his fears may turn out to have been justified.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

RELATED STORY: Al-Sadr's bloc calls for dissolution of Iraqi parliament

Post by:
Filed under: Iraq • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. bushywalrus

    Let them nuke each other for all I care. I don't want to spend a single dime in any other country except America.

    January 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  2. John Kelley

    This conversation is moving along to other aspects of Iraq's possible dismemberment. If we pull out of this area, China and Russia will fill the void. Being on station in the Gulf is ample presence of American power. I made an error in my last email.
    It is the Shites who are friends of the Iranians and our enemies. Regardless of a possible division and civil war, our real enemy is Iran, or at least its government. Iran has to be contained from achieving overwhelming power in South Asia, but we can not go to war against Iran. Iran is a pawn in a larger chess game. The Chinese and Russians are the power pieces on the chess board. We would sap our strength against Iran if we fought them and we would become vulnerable to Russia and China.
    Yet, in spite of my views, playing chicken over sanctions can led to a confrontation in the Straits of Hormuz. Nearly twenty five years ago, when we were sort of sided with Saddham Hussein in a protracted war with Iran, we patrolled the Straits, because Iran was our clear enemy. Before 1978 and 1979, we supported the government of the Iranian Shah and our presence was right up against the border of the Soviet Union ~ that is history. We didn't prevent the rise of the religous right in Iran during the Carter administration!!

    December 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Elaine Berg

    The Sunnis think shities are nuts because they like to beat themselves with chains.The Shities think Sunnis ar not religious because they don't. They need to devide the country and we need to staythe heck away from it.

    December 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  4. Elaine Berg

    I think Iraq needs to be devided.The Sunnis think the Shitiets are crazy because they like to beat themselves with chains and the Shitties think the Sunnis are not religious because they do not.Leave them alone. They like to fight.

    December 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  5. KB

    Blitzer's analysis of Iraq which parallels Yugoslavia is so elementary! His depth of thought is likened to a thirty second beer commercial on a Sunday afternoon. Fundamentally, in regards to what will happen in Iraq; he has "No Clue" to what will happen to the Kurds (their fight w/the Turks), Assyrians (Biden's Charter for Autonomy), Sunni's civil war with the Shia's over the oil, and non-theocratic government overthrow. The sole purpose of this war was to bankrupt the US for a NWO. What remnant of a democracy lies with the spilled blood of our military who sacrificed their lives for a cabal, whose judgement will come!

    December 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Dan Nelson

    Yes as I said to you guys before that we should look at Yugoslavia as an example for Iraq. The different sects could not get together at the table and now it looks like war will have to divide them. You look at all the conflicts in the world today and you see that the Islamic people are the cause of most of them. If Islam does not reform itself surely 2012 will be the worst year on record for a unified world. Also watch out mother nature will show her dislike for the way we inhabit her world. No love, no peace, no care, no share and no joy for 2012!

    December 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Menos

      Happy New Year to you too, Mr. Sunshine. The problem with your thesis is historical reality and truth. To argue that the world today is more violent and dangerous than anytime in the past is absolutely absurd. Imagine sitting down with your family to decorate a Christmas tree when news of Pearl Harbor crackled over the air waves. Would you feel more comfortable with the world at the beginning of WWII or WWI than you do as we're pulling troops out of Iraq and winding down the war in Afghanistan? Two wars that don't even come close to the incredible destruction and death of the big wars. Get some context and perspective and perhaps some anti-depressants and keep your ridiculous paranoid delusions to yourself, please.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  7. Randolph Phillips

    The US created this disastrous impending situation in 1991, when we created an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq. We made it inevitable during the occupation in 2003, when we unleashed the Shiites on the Sunnis, ran them out of government, and engaged in ethnically cleansing Baghdad of its Sunni Majority.

    But our plansat the time were to permanantly occupy Iraq like we have South Korea since 1945, make it our Middle East hedqurters with the biggest embasy in the world, and us it as a staging gournd against Iran. That was the Neocon policy to take control of Iraq's oil, and destroy Iran as a threat to Netanyu's Israel.

    Unlike South Korea, Iraq kicked us out, the Kurds will end up with a lot of Iraqi oil, and work to annex parts of Turkey, Syria, and Iran into a greater Kurdistan. Iraq, which had the highest standard of living, educational system in the middle east before our 1991 invastion, a decade of killing sanctions, and the 2003 invasiion and occupation, will now be a broken, almost destitute nation under the influence of Iran–or whoever succeeds Iran if Israel and the US destroy Iran.

    Oh yes, what a great influence for good the US has proven ourselves to be.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • WCH

      Amen. Wolf Blitzer is part of the propaganda machine that scares US citizens into believing that we are somehow being threatened by 3rd world Iran. What a joke. Blitzer has his own agenda to keep the US at war and anyone who watches his bias "coverage" knows this. Turn on CNN now and you see nothing but anti-Iran propaganda, just like we did in 2002 leading up to our "preemptive" attack on Iraq (because we were so threatened by them). Mr Blitzer, you are so eager to go war, tell me how many of your kids are in the US military? SGT USMC 1997-2002

      December 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
      • Presstitute Media

        Amen WCH!

        Hey Wolf, funny how the live feed of CPL Thorssen cut out when he mentioned Israel! Who did you used to lobby for WOLF? What did Paul WOLFowitz say in the PNAC report back in 2000?

        Tell your handlers controlling the MSM is no longer enough. We know who was really behind 9/11

        January 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  8. International_Bro1

    I find it interesting that peoplewill sit here and say "they know Iraq was a mistake" yet there sit here and criticize Obama for withdrawing when in fact he stood by the mandate agreed to during the "W" administration. Iraq was a lost cause from the jump and the lives, money and resources that were wasted were already in vain. Didn't matter if we stayed or withdrawed, civil war was inevitable. All we did was delay it. Iraq has to decide its own future now!

    December 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  9. Scott

    Independence is good and it's possible but at what cost? after what? the people of Iraq have been oppressed, suppressed and repressed ever since Iraq's creation back in the 1920s. There shouldn't be something called Iraq in the first place as it's is artificial and imposed by the British Neo-imperialists. Later, the American Neo-imperialists took over, both remain like two sides of the same coin – western secular elitists. whether separation or unification, the average Iraqi citizen is secularized now, regardless of ethnic or religious background. "novus ordo seclorum", meaning the new secular order, written on the back of the American one dollar bill. for the neo imperialists, it's not just oil and economy, there's more to it.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  10. Jessica

    Yes, Iraq should have been split into three long ago. And the U.S. should split into at least two countries. I hate you more than those Shias hate Sunnis and vice versa.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Geechee

    Perhaps they could do something similar to what Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, a member of the House Committee on Southeast Asia, described when she informed us that "Vietnam is two countries – North and South – living side-by-side."

    December 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  12. joe leand

    As you know, there once was a country called Iraq.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  13. Maltese Falcon

    Historical correction: Yugoslavia did not fall apart when Tito died, as everyone feared at the time, it fell apart after the fall of the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia held together because an external threat – Soviet invasion, not internal dictatorship. As soon as the Soviet threat disappeared the raison d'etre for Yugoslav unity disappeared along with it. Check the dates of Tito's death and the fall of the USSR, that's an easy clue. Since the conclusions on Iraq are based on an erroeous reading of history I would not put too much stock in this analysis.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  14. MDWhite

    For the past three years, the Obama Administration has done everything possible to alienate al-Malaki and the Iraqis. We've pulled our troops out before the fight's over and have that genius Joe Biden on the phone trying to calm things down. Great...a complete, bumbling moron (who thinks the Taliban is our friend and who couldn't organize a garage sale) "phoning it in" just like his boss has been doing since he took office.

    That's all that's missing are the slap-shoes, big red noses and fright wigs.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bill

      You are just wrong. Obama did not want to withdraw. He has withdrawn because the Iraqis refused to extend guarantees of immunity against prosecution to American troops. If after nine years, thousands of casualties, tens of thousands of injuries, and two trillion dollars, Iraq cannot hold together, let it go. We should have NEVER, EVER been there in the first place.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
      • Ignasij

        I was aghast more at the 22% figrue associating Hussein with planning 9/11, but you bring up a good point about the weapons. I have no doubt they existed, but I do have some doubts about who has ultimate control of them today.My conclusion isn't to attack Saudi Arabia. I can't imagine where you might get that from. My conclusion is that an alarming number of Americans are ignorant.

        July 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  15. Songtime

    There's a song out there that makes much sense. It goes: mind your own business, mind your own busines, if you'd mind your own business then you won't be minding mine! As a Texan, I'm ashamed of Washington nowdays and wouldn't mind if Texas succeeded from all those shadey players affecting everyone in bad ways just to justify their own existance and line their own pockets............. Boooooooo! All this stuff plus R.P. makes Texas look bad.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  16. Ned Beaty Squealed

    It's hard to imagine the downside to this, as when Bidden was first criticized for the idea.
    God that was hard to type!

    December 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Earthlyvision

    Wise up. It was time to get out. Are you saying we should leave our troops there indefinitely? Are any of you veterans? What exactly were we fighting for to begin with? Iraq was going to fall regardless of how long we stayed. We should never have gone in. Saddam Hussein kept a balance while he was dictator and we removed that balance by attacking Iraq and killing him. This is not President Obama's fault.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Firespyder

    you know in america we have a concept of seperation of ideas for diffrent cultures while banding togather for a common defence, its called a union! A federal goverment with limited duties and the governing powers for each state remain to be chosen by the occupants of each state, with equal representation in the federal branch!

    Why cant this be proposed, are we so disenfranchised with our own system that we cant suggest it to others even though we promote democracy everywhere in the world!

    Or, could it be that if Iraq were to have the same system it would only show how far we have strayed from our founders path!

    December 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  19. NoMoreMrNiceGuy

    So what! It is a country put together by the British anyway.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  20. sailordude

    "the brutal dictatorship of Marshal Josip Broz Tito." thats the first time I ever heard of that one! Tito was loved around the world as a moderate Commie. Now it's all been a lie? LOL, CNN you guys probably hated him since he stayed outside Moscow's circle of total control.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  21. carlos hernandez

    All courtesy of George Bush and Dick Chenney the two worst leaders in the history of this country, and most possibly for the forseable future as well, even given the clowns we have today in Washington, I do not believe any of them will rise to the level of stupidity and destruction they (Bush/Chenney) caused our Country.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  22. Steve

    Wolf, you may want to consider including in this article why we were gone by 31/12/2011. I believe we were legally bound to do so under an agreement made by the previous administration, coupled with the current disagreements over the Iraqi government refusing to give immunity to US military personnel for criminal actions, correct? I see a lot of comments included here blaming the current administration for this action, when we had little choice under international law, and also did not want to submit our troops to their legal system.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  23. Mike Oxbig

    Secure the oil fields for ourselves and let them kill each other...as we should have done from the beginning.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  24. transpo1

    Wolf, are you kidding me- Joe Biden PROPOSED splitting Iraq up into three parts- he didn't fear it splitting up. Get your facts straight.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  25. redpoll

    Iraq just might collapse into warring ethnic enclaves, but I'm not Nostrodamus. However, I had to chuckle seeing Joe Biden elevated from court jester to sage Mideast diplomat.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  26. Mike Alright

    Iraq will break apart. And so will the USSA.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  27. RozAnders

    Seems to me, Saddam had all this under control.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Rina

      WW2 ended because there was a dotcaralien of war that was fulfilled. There was never a dotcaralien of war here. There was never an enemy designated. The only way it can end is if we leave. You know what you need to do, since you seem so ignorant of the goings-on over there? You need to read the Wikileaks documents regarding Iraq. You'll learn about the Pentagon's fraudulent casualty reports, the displacement and torture of innocent people, and corruption at the highest levels.

      August 3, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  28. mipak

    Lets up hope into thousands of tiny pockets of religious insanity.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  29. 2bits

    Let us hope that all of the middle east splinters apart into thousand of tiny pockets of religious insanity.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  30. Hard to accept

    It might be hard to accept right now. Espeically with a civil war surely to cost thousands of Iraqi lives. But in the long-term, the break up of Iraq might be the best avenue for stability in the area.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  31. Mark

    What this is some kind of surprise. This was known before we ever went into Iraq. All countries in the middle east are the same. You can see it in Egypt, Lybia and the rest. So what did you do Wolf go back and look at 10 year old news clips that explained the whole thing.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  32. Eric R.Ewell

    Was anybody really expecting a different outcome once we left Iraq?

    December 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  33. Borninmombasa

    oh you mean another 7th century disfunctional society based on tribalism, nepotism and bribery may fail? I'm shocked!

    December 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  34. Mark in St. Louis, MO

    DUH, whadidyathink would happen once we pulled out and left a vaccumm?

    If we (really Obammie the Commie) loose Iraq to the Muslim fundamentalists and Bahgdad become the "Riveria" for terrorists again, as it was in the days of Saddam Hussein, we have another example of the Communist Democrat Party of America foreign policy, same as what happened to South Vietnam in 1975.

    The Demoncrats CANNOT be trusted on foreign policy matters nor on domestic economic matters.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  35. John in Colorado

    Wolf, I am more concerned about the increasingly bitter divisions in this country; the USA. When I read and listen to the right-wingers spew their invective at the GOP debates such as booing an active-duty soldier in a combat zone, yelling, "Let him die," regarding a young father without health insurance, I don't recognize these people as Americans with American values. They claim to be Evangelical, born-again Christians, yet they are about bigotry and intolerance, the antithesis of the teachings of Christ. They claim to be patriots and defenders of the constitution yet they elect people who defy the constitution by refusing to do their jobs in Congress. They profess to be radically pro-Isreal, even though this is for political purposes only, as they would like to siphon away Jewish votes from the Dems. Isreal is a nuclear power; quite capable of defending herself and preferring that we leave them alone; but send $Billions in foreign aid anyway. They rattle sabers about attacking Iran but don't dare send the sons or daughters to be in uniform. Incredible that these people have serious aspirations to ascend to the presidency.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  36. jimmy

    Whatever happens we should let them decide on their own. It is their business and their business alone.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  37. Prophet

    Ron Paul looks smarter day by day

    December 27, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  38. al in memphis

    The people of Iraq have to make their own decisions. We value that in America, so let them have leaders who value that in Iraq.
    You can only champion freedom for people who want freedom, people who want power want war. Bush should have known that before he started a war.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  39. cntrlfrk

    We told you this would happen if you pulled out based on Obama's re-election campaign rather than conditions on the ground.

    But, hey, who cares if we create another couple terrorist states controlled by Iran??? At least Obama has something to campaign on, right?? Isn't that's what is most important???

    December 27, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  40. Doug Ericson.

    My impression is that Sadr will end up boss in Iraq, and if it does split up it will be his decision. Doug.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  41. Rick

    Well, we brought the troops home, another Obama success. The great forigen policy genius he is. Yep four more years.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  42. bammbamm

    I'm starting to miss ol' Saddam Hussein.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  43. JV In N. TX

    Seriously... Who cares. I for one will enjoy watching these sub human animals turn om each other like packs of rabid dogs. May the death toll reach into the millions!!!

    December 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  44. Lou Gots

    Let us raise a glass: "Confusion to the enemy!"

    December 27, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  45. BStaton

    Wolf – VP Biden didn't "fear" the partitioning of Iraq, he advocated it from the start.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  46. Rsprings

    Next stop for the US Military is Tehran

    December 27, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  47. Puddin

    I did not read all of the above comments, but I agree with the few I did read. Since I've been an adult, I have felt the US should take care of its own before "saving" other countries. We just cannot continue to loose the lives of our military, not to mention the costs to the US taxpayers, helping other countries that do not try to help themselves. These countries have been fighting for years, so I figure if they don't want to live in peace, let them kill each other off. Our politicians who decide "the economy needs a good war" need to have their heads examined (or worse). Charity begins at home, so let's take care of our own first.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Ernes

      Leibniz never married; he had cornidesed it at the age of fifty; but the person he had in mind asked for time to reflect. This gave Leibniz time to reflect, too, and so he never married. by

      November 11, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  48. Geech LaManna

    DUH ... Like a 5th grader (a conservative one) couldn't see this coming once we left?

    December 27, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  49. Jack

    Who was Iran's number one enemy? It was Iraq, not the U.S. Since Bush upset the balance of power in that part of the world by invading Iraq and destabilizing that country we will now see a terrible civil war and expansion of Iran's power. Hussein, granted a dictator, kept the country together and kept a kind of peace in the region. He ranted and rave a lot, but mainily to scare Iran from invading his country. The idiots in this country couldn't tell the difference between a real threat and a paper tiger. Sad how we've messed up all this. There was never any reason to invade Iraq and destabilize that part of the worl.d. Now we are in a no win situation. We cannot restabilize that region without untold loss of American lives for a very long time. Not acceptable. Thank you GWB et al.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  50. Fancy That

    CNN is pleased with the concept of Iraq falling. That way,they can claim they were right.

    They'll be pleased enough to report the resampled polling that includes even MORE Democrats than Republicans, cf the last round, to ensure that Obama's numbers swing higher, too.

    All charade. All lies.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • bushywalrus

      Obama's number are higher. What is your point?

      January 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  51. susan

    Very well said. You think and write very clearly and I appreciate that. I remember at one time Biden felt that a Iraq should be broken into those 3 sections. He is a smart man.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  52. Peter Marx

    You are right on the money Mr. Blitzer

    December 27, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  53. jnsesq

    "Vice President Joe Biden has been on the phone for days with Iraqi leaders trying to calm things down. So far, he has not met with much success.

    Really?

    December 27, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  54. Gurgi

    Iraq will be held together......as soon as Iran finishes taking over. Is anyone really suprised by this? Iran has just been biding their time until we leave. The biggest mistake we are making is leaving, though it is not entirely our doing as Iraq says they don't need our help. I wonder how long it will be before they are begging our assistance to keep Iran out?

    December 27, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  55. Ernie

    Who care if Iraq breaks apart. The United States did their job and now the United States is gone and it's business as usual in Iraq. People killing people and the Iraq government is doing nothing to stop it. I knew this would happen the minute the United States left Iraq. Iraq wanted the United States to leave so the United States left. In about 3 to 6 months the Iraqi government is going to call back the United States Military to clean up their mess. But I hope this time the United States says "you want to come back you have to pay for us to come back". The United States is not going to spend one red dime "you (Iraq) wants you pay us". Clear and simple.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  56. noami

    Most Arab states are dysfunctional; the reason is luck of equality among man and woman.
    The Arab human did not succeeded in creating any healthy collective social group
    Which is not led by the power of arm!
    Not a family, not a village, not a state

    Myabe all of you stop to think using your western way in order to judge the Arab people?

    Maybe it is time to blame the Arab people ?!?!?

    BTW The only stable states in the Middle East are those states
    Which based on ethnicity!
    All arab states must be broken into smaller states.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  57. dionysus

    As usual I'm amused by the people blaming Obama. What's he going to do, keep the troops in Iraq forever? Even if that were an option you'd then blame him for wasting money perpetuating the war. Some people are just so full of hatred that they'll find any excuse to hate. Obama could do no right to you people. He could cure cancer and you'd complain the cure still costs money.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  58. dareisay

    Who cares? Those people over there have fought for eons amongst themselves, they are tribal and will never change, until they fight till one man is standing!

    Best the USA, the UK, and other countries just stay away from all of those countries, and let them do what they do best, kill each other!

    December 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  59. Shablon

    I think that Blitzer and his Zionists could break up, and evaporate. Pure unadulterated propagtanda!

    December 27, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  60. Publius Novus

    And why would this be a bad thing? The rise of the nation state over the last one thousand years has produced higher standards of living in most places. Unfortunately, it has also permitted the accumulation of large amounts of tax money to finance wars on a scale never before seen. The result has been mechanized death and destruction at obscene levels–the U.S. Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq-Iran, and two Persion Gulf wars, not to mention the nuclear Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads since 1945. Perhaps we would all be better off if most, or all large nation states broke up into smaller regional states that could not afford to finance "defense" departments with advanced systems of human destruction.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  61. Able Cynic

    The very thought of Joe Biden being on the phone for days with the leaders of the warring groups in Iraq should tell you that all hope is lost. Since 'Talking Joe' Biden never shuts up to listen to anyone else, it is clear that nothing will be accomplished through his "diplomacy." Sounds like the end of the world to me.

    December 27, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  62. ddb

    Wolf you're finally figuring this out? You have been carrying Obama's water for so long you can't see the forest from the trees!

    December 27, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  63. Steve

    It is probably incorrect to refer to Sunni and Shiite as "ethnic groups". These are more accurately described as theological divisions and not really ethnically defined.

    December 27, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  64. Joan

    Compared to the thousands of Iraqi people who have been killed and wounded and who have had their homes and businesses levelled because of the illegal Iraq war, this is not an unexpected or excessive outcome. Everyone knows that Iraq only stayed seemingly stable because of Hussein's iron fist and he kept Al Queda and other terrorists out of Iraq. He was a horrible dictator but getting rid of him was not a US problem until they made it so. No brave US soldiers died in Libya and a fraction of the money was spent. The US could stay for ten more years and the country would still be unstable when they left. This is a volatile and unstable region and probably always will be. During the war this many people died or were wounded on many days and this is happening daily in other countries like Egypt and Syria. Stop giving credence to the warring factors there because they love the publicity and notoriety. Finally, let Iraq step up and solve their own problems and work on the problems in the US instead.

    December 27, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  65. Sam Rogers

    I don't pay attention to your media.
    I get my news from outside of the clutch.

    December 27, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  66. Ralph

    The tragedy that is the Middle East will not cease until the base problem is resolved...oil. The need for oil and who produces it was at the very foundation of the creation of countries as they now stand. We, the United States can begin to change this historical line by developing our own energy sources, oil, wind, electricity and yes, atomic power. Not only will it dilute the power held by these oil rich "nations" but it will provide jobs and a sense of accomplishment that is lacking in the American psyche at the present time. Without oil and the money that it brings, there is a great chance that the people of the Middle East and elsewhere will come to the table and begin to recognize that war and all that it entails is not the answer. So, Mr.President, caste aside this overwhelming desire to get re-elected and do what is right for the American people...assure the environmentalists that any new construction will not jeapordize our beautiful country, permit the pipeline to begin construction now, permit drilling in areas that have until now been off limits, fund with Federal money (if we have any left) programs to foster economic independance from oil...make it the "land on the moon" project of the 21st Century. Do this and although it may be too late for re-election, I daresay you may eventually be labeled one of our greatest Presidents.

    December 27, 2011 at 6:14 am |
  67. hokkoda

    If memory serves me correctly, following US and European military intervention in the Yugoslav civil war in 1998, the West maintained a military presence for over a decade. EUFOR still has troops (about 2,500) on the ground in a peacekeeping capacity. That number was much higher in the years after the breakup up Yugoslavia. Now, flash forward to Iraq, where the breakup has not yet happened, but the US has precipitated it through a destabilizing military evacuation.

    All Obama has done by fleeing Iraq is guarantee that we will be back. Just like we intervened in Yugoslavia and Libya to prevent a "humanitarian crisis". Had our incompetent president been able to negotiate a SOFA (an agreement we have with dozens of nations worldwide), we might have had a reasonably good prospect of facilitating a peaceful dissolution of Iraq while maintaining stability and preventing Iran from dominating the post-US power vacuum. Instead, we will see a descent into chaos, and calls for he US/NATO to intervene militarily to prevent a slaughter. We'll be back.

    December 27, 2011 at 5:26 am |
  68. JJ -Stutgart

    I thought Biden was the one that originally was arguing that Iraq should be broken up.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:13 am |
  69. Tedlink

    How on earth can Wolf write this article and not mention IRAN? I mean, talk about leaving out the most important influence and concern about an unstable and divided Iraq with zero US troops there. Iran will dominate that country folks....Iran insurgents and terrorist support has been the major problem there, and now that Obama pulled all troops out, Iran is licking its chops. That's the story Wolf....that's the real concern. Wake up.

    December 27, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  70. sylvie

    Yea, we know this. It could break apart at any moment. And? What, you reckon we should send more of our soldiers in there and we will keep it glued together with more American corpses? We had no business in there anyway, and there is no one that can, in their right mind, defend it. So... with that, lets let them duke it out over there and in the meantime lets finally begin working on the mess we have in our own country. If you cannot help yourself, your really in shape to be going around trying to help others... you just drown together... got it?

    December 27, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  71. James P. Evanhoe

    IF Iraq breaks up into 3 Countries Shia, Sunni, and Kurds that would be great. Remember the current borders that make up Iraq were drawn by Westerns not by the people who actually live in that region. Muqtada al-Sadr, if he poses a problem you can blame Bush & Obama and the US Military failed leadership for keeping him in power and paying him an estimated $500million to go away during the So-Called Surge, as they did other gangs to make the US Military's So-Called Surge look successful. The failed leadership of paying off religious thugs developed in-part by General Petraeus, see google on these details of facts. Maybe we should pay off the GANGS in the USA. The USA needs to stay out of other Country's business. Our own Country is in a mess far greater then Iraq. If we are not in a Huge Mess then why is the Construction of Prisons and Prisons for Profit the #1 Industry in the USA for 2011. Stay out of Iraq's business and pay attention to our own problems. Many Republicans and most Democrats are absolutely pathetic failures at governing in my highly educated opinion. Lets Throw Out the Trash in 2012, for a new Independent President and a new Congress JAMES P. EVANHOE

    December 27, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  72. Ghostsouls

    We said this would happen before obama got elected, and if he withdrew the troops before the job was done, voilla! Nice job obama, you are responsible for the murder of untold numbers.....

    December 27, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  73. eddy james

    We can just sit back fire up the popcorn machine grab a couple of beers and watch them kill each other,no big deal. It's what they do,and if they are not killing each other they'd be killing us. I know which I prefer,but I'm not a liberal.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  74. Jasonn

    Sounds to me like Barack has seized defeat from the jaws of victory.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  75. Thedon

    . . . . . . and where is our bumbling "on-top-of-every-situation" appeasement president? Out on the golf course in Hawaii
    of course, and letting Clown Joey B play presidential. And his back-up will probably be the "Big Sis"
    We (the country) are in serious trouble for 11.5 more months.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  76. m

    The only thing that held Iraq together in modern times was the iron fist of Saddam. Too many countries were artificially created after two world wars. What is left are sectarian divisions that have never healed but were controlled through force giving the appearance of a viable nation state. While Iraq was far from perfect under Saddam's rule, it could be argued it was better then that it is likely to be for years to come.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Vivek

      I didn't mean we literally wrote it. I meant the US bkcead candidates wrote it once they were voted in. Did you know what happened to the few candidates that were voted in that weren't supported by the US? They suddenly became terrorists and were dragged off to a detainment camps to be tortured while a new election took place in where more US candidates were elected.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  77. AlexB

    I wonder why would Mr. Blitzer be rewriting the history. Joe Biden did not "fear" the collapse of Iraq into three groupings – he was the proponent of such arrangement.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  78. wahela

    I was once married to a Croatian, back in the 80s when Yugoslavia was still together. He always said that Croatians and Serbians will NEVER get along, he said (and I believe him becuase I saw him do it) that he could spot a Serbian very easily, even in the US. His Father was a Partisan in the war, and he always said the Kingsmen were still running around the world looking for people to assasinate. We could be walking down the street and he would look over and say, "there is a Serbian walking over there." And he probably was right. If Yugoslavia was so divided for centuries and the Croatians (Catholics) hated the Serbians (most were Muslim) that much, I can certainly see how Iraq is going to go. Whether we stayed for two more years, or another century, Iraq is going to divide itself along ethnic lines, just like Yugoslavia.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Nina

      I would have to correct you. Serbians are not Muslim, they are Eastern Orthodox. I'm Croatian and honestly amazed how many misinformation is out there about Yugoslavia and former Yugoslav Republics, not provinces as Wolf mentioned. I don't even bother anymore to tell people what really happened and why. I can't believe Wolf compared distinctive nations living on the Balkan to different sect in Iraq. They all have different cultures, history and mentality and therefore are incomparable. All this ignorance and unwillingness to know the truth, especially if you go out and write about it, makes me sad.

      February 4, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  79. gary

    Yeah, the most risible aspect of the analysis is the implication that Joe Biden has or ever had any real influence with Muslims in Iraq. Joe, bottom 10% of his class , Biden is an infidel to whom no Muslim is going to surrender even a fraction of his judgement. Moreover, with Joe's analitical powers the Muslims know he is highly unlikely to have anything valuable to contribute. Democracy is anathama to Muslims and will never voluntalily be maintained. In fact , it's the system Muslims would like to eliminate every place it exists in the world. Our refusal to accept the truth about Islam will guarantee our continued failure in dealing with them.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  80. Tak

    Iraq was being held together by sheer terror under Saddam Hussein. Well he's gone now and so are we. If it breaks apart, that is to be expected and is a natural progression.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  81. Curt

    "It has long been Biden – more than any other top U.S. official – who has long feared the collapse of Iraq into these three groupings." CORRECTION WOLF – Candidate Biden didn't fear or predict Iraq's break up, he campaigned and advocated it as the only solution. Why he's the point man on this boggles the mind. Why not Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus? He surged the country to stability before, why not let him build on that reputation? I suppose the Obama administration has decided to glide out of the issue through the election. Too bad if Iraq does break up the ensuing violence will be attributed to letting the clock run out on forces in country.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  82. Thomas

    Remember what the Great Bush said , the Iraqi people are smart , they have money ?

    Crawford Texas is welcoming the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refuges that will need homes if Iraq breaks apart.

    Ahmed Chalabi / George W. Bush

    December 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  83. GB2Longhorns

    None of this matters. it was to make some dough. the mission was a success and everyone who matters retired.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  84. BeanerECMO

    I tell ya, Wolf's really on top of it. Such an astute observation. Whatta guy.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  85. Chicken Hawk

    Any guesses as to when we will be going back in?

    December 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  86. Chicken Hawk

    "Vice President Joe Biden has been on the phone for days with Iraqi leaders trying to calm things down. " I'm surprised ole Foghorn Leghorn even knows where Iraq is. After all, he still doesn't know the Taliban is an enemy of the US.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  87. Lotuswoman

    I do agree with Wolf. I am old enough to remember when Iraq and Iran were all Persia. The waring continued until it divided. I think it is probably inevitable that the same will happen now that the US and UN are leaving/ left the area. That region has been unstable since the beginning of time. Perhaps it is best to just let them fight it out. Somethings just cannot successfully be changed unless those living it want it changed.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  88. Ed Ward II

    Who had this right to begin with? None other than Ron Paul.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  89. sally hood

    Do you think collapse is due to premature evacuation by Obama ?!

    December 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  90. fred

    Ralph Schoenman, in his book about Zionism records that the disintegration of many of the states surrounding Israel was the explicit goal of Israeli policy. He quotes from famous Israeli politicians and strategists to prove his point. Since it appears we went to war because a bunch of Neocons thought it was a good idea, we should be wondering of the USA has not, in fact, been used "like a whore" by Israel, exactly as Congressman Jim Trafficant has said. It is time we take back our foreign policy, conduct some reverse ethnic cleansing at the State Department, ask that Israel start paying back the money we have loaned, and strongly advise they re-integrate Palestinians with full rights, ditch their nuclear program, and make an Israeli Patriot like Uri Avnery their leader. Such actions will result in spiritual and material riches for everyone in the region, and even if not, the goal itself would get everyone pushing in the same direction.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  91. Tom Hagen

    Language is the unifying bond among people.

    Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis speak Arabic. Iraqi Kurds speak Kurdish.
    Iraqi Shiites must understand a partition will leave the Shiite areas of Iraq under pressure of consumption by predominantly Shiite Persian speaking Iran based on Shiite fanatics in both Iran and Iraq. The Persian Shiites will dominate any such union. Iraqi Arabic speaking Shiites will be a minority. That will not work for the Iraqi Shiites.

    A continued union of Arabic speaking Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis is in boths best interest....THAT IS THE ANSWER FOR THEM! A CRYSTAL BALL TO SHOW THE IRAQI SHIITES THE FUTURE. THE SUNNIS should understand what a union of IRANIAN and IRAQI SHIITES MEANS...many, many Srebrenicas!

    Iraqi KURDS are different. They speak Kurdish.
    A independent NATION of KURDISTAN CARVED FROM NORTHERN IRAQ will work. It will draw KURDS FROM TURKEY and IRAN.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  92. ET Skippy

    And why does it seem Obama will be happy with civil war in Iraq? Why has he been so happy to see friends of the US in the middle east booted out or put on trial? Now look at Saudi leaders... they see how Mubaraq of Egypt was treated and are no longer cooperating with the US. Obama seems thrilled with the chaos and Muslim resurgence. By plan, by design, bye bye the USA we know and love.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  93. richroo

    i hope all the moham countries sel-destruct for their habit of moongod worship. your beloved obamy can join them

    December 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  94. Mahakala

    Obama's legacy will be Iraq falling into chaos as sectarian violence breaks out because of his abruptly pulling out our troops for purely political reasons. He is a Clear and Present Danger.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  95. The King

    Just redraw the map to include Iraq as part of Iran. The idea of implementing a "democracy" in that country was that of neocon, born of privilege, chickenhawks, it was doomed from the start. If only we could have installed a heavy handed, Sunni, Bathist President to prevent the alliance with Iran, and Al Qaeda......

    December 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  96. JimM

    Since the invasion, scores of Middle East experts advocated partition of Iraq (into Kurd, Sunni and Shia areas) as the only true way to assure longterm stability.The Bush Administration opposed this solution wanting a strong big country to counterbalance Iran.The Obama Administration has only cared about getting troops out ASAP. Ironically, a longtime proponent of partition has been Joe Biden. Iraq was always the Yogoslavia of the Middle East. The Kurds pretty much have semi-independence.The real issue to solve remains the Sunni and Shia.

    December 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  97. lynda

    Things have not changed in 1000 yrs watevr made us think we could change an entire culture. of course Iraq will begin civil war sooner than later

    December 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  98. Mr. R0ntastic

    If Joe Biden is on the case Iraq is definitely screwed

    December 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tedlink

      Joe's on top of it. "Iraq can be fixed quite easily, break it into 2 countries, Sunni, Shia and Kurdish....wait, that's 3 countries"

      December 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  99. Lardeau

    The United States should leave these countries alone and mind their own business. Corruption rules and it always will in the near future. Why are so many U S soldiers' lives taken in vain ? Oil, and drugs are always involved and that is why. No longer do we need foreign oil now. The mind-boggling Baaken Formation in the Dakotas and Canada has all the oil the U S needs for a long long time. And the drug trade can be policed much better at the Border crossings than it is now. CUT THE SUPPLY LINES !!!!

    December 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
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