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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 It has been replaced by these other countries.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. Ron

    "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."

    WOW. Historical Revision! Biden long ago CALLED FOR Iraq to be broken up along these 3 groups. Big difference between advocating and fearing.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  2. Kris Jackson

    Before the invasion in 2003, I said that the war would end only when the United States withdrew and the country collapsed in flames, with a new dictator arising from the ashes. I see no reason to change this assessment.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Steve

      With the US installed Maliki, it was only a matter of time before he tried to Take Over! Do you think the US will just stand by if their 'puppet' is in danger of losing his post??? The US will go back for 'humanitarian reasons', LOL or is it OIL

      December 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

      Your absolutely right. the reason being. Is that we wasted over 5,000 lives there accomplishing nothing because Obama like Nixon withdrew the troops. If your to fight a war insure that it is won and a new government is implemented. As for the foolish that think war was not needed in this country then go ask the Iraq people. They will tell you Hussain had WMDs. He also was doing ethnic cleansing. Now it will be wide open for a successor to rise up to take his place. And they will. Obama is a dud. If he withdraws from Afghanistan the same will happen there.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tedlink

      Field day for Iran now....abrupt removal of all troops was dumb....history is already saying so. All generals advised to keep some forces there but Obama wanted the politics of it, to campaign on ending that war....outright dumb.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Smith

      I think what Blitzer left out of the equation is that the US & Israel are going to attach Iran. This is according to the Defense Scrty and Israel PM. Iran is going to be too busy running from missles and bombs to meddle in Iraq.

      Add to that the fact that the Syrian Government is only a few months away from being taken over by its current population and therefore you have the two prime instigators with too much trouble in their own house to continue the status quo of meddling in Iran.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:31 am |
    • Jack Kennedy

      nothing like obama seizing defeat from the jaws of victory

      December 27, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Sonny

      Instead of wasting almost 5K American lives the US should have let this happen 5 years ago. Iraq is an artificial country to begin with. After WWI Iraq was carved out of the old Ottoman Empire by the British and had a King for about 65 years. Then Saddam became the strong man and hold Iraq together with the blood of his enemies. Saddam’s gone and now the old wounds are opened and they want revenge. Iraq will breakup in the next year or two into 3 distinct countries based on ethnic and religious lines.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Rsprings

      That was like predicting an earthquake...don't when but one will occur.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Steve Lay

      The facts are that everyone knew this was going to happen; it was and has been discussed on most reputable newcasts for years. So obviously, Obama and his administration has planned for this for some time. We just are not privy to the details of the US planning for the collaspe of Iraq. Islamic countries will certianly control more than just that region.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Chris Walker

      I think that the dictator that rises will be another nation-state called Iran. They will use the civil war as an excuse to send in "peacekeepers", and the next thing we know, the Islamic Republic of Iran will expand to the borders of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  3. ComSenseWiz

    As I predicted long ago, Iraq is likely to break up into 3 separate countries; Sunnistan, Shiastan and Kudistan. The tribal and religious mentality of most of these people can simply not hack putting aside these differences that has existed for over a 1000 years. It is just the way it is and no reasonable amount of lives and treasure the USA spends is gonna change jack squat. As such, going in there and staying after Sadam was captured was a complete waste of lives and treasure no ifs, ands or buts about it.

    In my view, we should have never gone in there in the first place as we had Sadam in a box and owned his airspace 24/7/365. He was going nowhere or invading anyone else again and he was a great counter-balance to Iran to keep them in their box. That is definitely no longer the case creating another costly, high maintenance country to deal with.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Steve

      I think that people must have short memories... Saddam was never compliant with the UN... There were MANY voices both Republicen and Democrat (video footage available on Youtube) calling for his removal. The questionable method we chose to remove him was to ensure some level of stability for a time. Targeting heads of State and American citizens for assassination has not been acceptable policy until THIS ADMINISTRATION. Like it or not at least Saddam was given a trial. The cost of perpetual containment of Saddam would have been less... but his insolence also demanded a response to give a modicum of credibility to the UN. There are always so many ""fair weather" allies and supporters when a tough decision has to be made.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Finbarr

      Totally agree - only way to ensure stability in Iraq is keeping a significant U.S. presence in the country, too costly - Iran is truly the beneficiary here

      December 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  4. Michael Jessie

    The thing is, WHO CARES at least our troops arnt dying anymore!

    December 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • bspurloc

      yeah who cares.....
      guess who IRANS new friend is? IRAQ. thank u bush

      December 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tedlink

      Iran is why you should care. Generals advised keeping some stabilizing forces there, as in the 24k we have in S. Korea keeping Kim at bay.....history will prove Obama a politically focused fool.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Paul Battis

      To the one who wrote "Who cares, at least our troops arn't dying anymore."

      Have you ever heard of Depleted Uranium?

      December 27, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • Red in Denver

      Don't you think it's at least a WEE bit of a problem that Iraq is negotiating and aligning themselves more and more with IRAN?? All the blood and sacrifice with our troops will have been for nothing.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Dar

      Ron Paul, is that you????

      December 27, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Matt W

      problem comes when oil prices shoot up as the conflict spills over in to other areas.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Hazmat77

      Exactly correct. We've wasted more than enough lives and treasure in trying to bring those Muslims into the 21st Century ... if they can't maintain a peaceful unified nation then that is their problem, NOT ours! Let them do with their lives what they will.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • MattNug

      More troops will die. Our "embassy" has a "staff" of 17 thousand people. One half of them are "security." We are not exactly out of Iraq. don't believe the lies.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Post American

    Who cares! They didn't have WMD. Our former ally Saddam was not a threat, found him in a spider hole. There were no ties to Nine Eleven. Saddam was secular and enemies with Iran and Al Qaeda. Unfortunately Americans are idiots and didn't know any of this in 2003. The New Iraq is not a Democracy, but a Theocracy allied with Iran. Who Cares? I don't.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Ryan

      Can you please catch up to the class? We all know what did happen. Can you please move on finally and deal with what IS happening???

      December 27, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • Geech LaManna

      No WMD. Once again a liberal disregards 500 metric tons of encriched Uranium; Sarin gas and other chem warheads, buried nuke weapon research components, and 2 moblile bio warfare labs.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • glennrobert

      We did know and ignored the facts!

      December 27, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Dar

      Ahhh, sounds like a true statemebt from a hate filled Democrat. sad, very sad

      December 27, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Lee

      One person knew and warned us about it........RON PAUL

      December 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  6. Cindy

    It's inevitable! First rule of war – never knock off your enemies' enemy. Iraq was Iran's natural enemy. Now Iran will rule. It's a shame we no longer teach history in school. It's a bigger shame our leaders do not know history.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tedlink

      Iran will rule because of Obama's politics to remove all troops in the face of opposing advice from his generals and in time for his 2012 campaign. Heck, we still have 24k troops in S. Korea. I'd like to bring them all home too, but not if it means Iran dominates and N. Korea flexes its massive military muscle.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • jnsesq

      Wow, Cindy! Sun-Tzu AND Santayana. Forget students - they're a lost cause now (and forever?) with progressive teachers unions running the show. But would, as you said, that our, um, "leaders" knew as much.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Hazmat77

      The problem with your 'theory' is that Saddam Hussein was the enemy of everyone, including Iran. Additionally, if the Iraqi Arabs want to be under the influence of the Iranian Persians, that's their own business ... if they engage in war, hopefully they'll only kill themselves.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  7. Gary

    Wolf, while your observation is probably dead on, but to infer that VP Biden has any influence is quite laughable. The prevention of a civil war has been a key reason we remained in Iraq for so long; many argue (our presence) should have continued to assist in stability and strengthening the Iraqi Security Forces – effecting, in theory, regional stability.

    Granted, the choices all come with a degree of undesirable consequence. While Obama did his chest thump on pulling the troops out, our presence in the region is little changed at the macro level. We still control the airspace and police the shipping lanes and (in spite of Obama's actions) one would hope we are still there to support Israel. The breakup of Iraq may, or may not be productive. Because it takes a 6th grade education and the ability to read a newspaper to propose some type of seperation hypothesis, be reminded that this was actually discussed as a "solution" early on in the campaign. – nothing new here, folks.

    No, the over-riding issue in the Middle East is not Iraq's geographic determination; it is the ever growing presence and eventual influence of the more radiacl arm if Islamic Fundamentalism – appraently represented by the Muslim Brotherhood. This has been growing since the pour soul set himself on fire in Tunisia and has escalated ever since.

    Dictators are being tossed out like the weekly garbage, what is replacing them, strange as it sounds, could end up being a much worse scenario, especially if Iran (backed by Russia and China) becomes the regional power and itself supports the smaller states embracing violence as a solution to their goal of the eventual spread of Islam worldwide, by hook or crook.

    In 20 years the Iraqui War will be overshadowed by a much larger problem – how to deal with radical Islamic governments in possession of the "Bomb." This, of course, assumes we're here to work on that problem.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Paul Battis

      Such dribble nonsense. And you talk like you know what you're talking about but you clearly have no clue as you ape some think tank b.s.

      The Islamics did not blow up the WTC. And only when you figure that one out can you make any sort of prediction of what the next 20 years will bring.

      And I know, I'm a conspiricy nut job blah blah blah.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Bill

      You are quite correct – especially as to the Biden/Blitzer comparison to a sixth grader and his newspaper. You left out the increasing islamization of Europe and the U.S. of A. We need to make a stand now by beginning mass deportations of members of the islam cult. Man, woman and chlid muslims nneed to go before they strike like swarms of fire ants -all in place when they all strike at once.
      For the sake of the 1st amendment, congress should rule that islam is indeed a cult and this will help to deflect court challenges. The islamic goal of world domination can only be stopped by a determined an intrepid American people. Evil islam must be exposed for what it is.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Sonny

      The civil war in Iraq was more or less contained by the US presence. Biden was all for the US pulling out and letting this happen. Obama and Biden gave the 5K dead US service man the dubious title of dying in vain for another lost cause; just like Vietnam we won on the battlefield but were stabbed in the back by the Democrats at home. What a pitiful country we have become.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Can't we all get along? No.

      Spot on. Russia and China will rue the day they supported the Iranian regime. It is not like North Korea which is a failed totalitarian state to act as a buffer against Western influence. Iran has plans. Israel is only the thorn of West to them. They want to remove the root of the thorn bush, and this is the USA. The will employ their offensive triad: 1) Economic. Iran plans to control the Arabian peninsula and its oil fields. 2) Cultural. Particularly effective in Europe, where they flood the region with refugees and immigrants, but also in the US by taking advantage of US laws to establish their Sharia law and norms whenever possible. 3) WMD. This will be primarily nuclear arms to intimidate their neighbors to bend to their will. How does Israel figure in? Iran could emerge as the authentic leader of Sunnis and Shiites by coalescing Arabs in a war to destroy Israel for the sake of a Palestinian homeland. This is the glitch in their plan – the US with the proper leader would bomb them back to the stone age if they try this. Given Iran's meglomania and psychopathic leadership, they may well miscalculate by assuming a) US will back out in game of nuclear chicken (they may well have missiles capable of reaching US shores by then), b) Russia or China will back them up, or c) US is in decline and will have not the power or the will to resist, having entered a post-colonial isolationist state (aka Ron Paul).

      December 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hazmat77

      "pour soul" ...? was your use of 'pour' supposed to relate to that individual dousing himself with fuel, or was it simply a mistake that should have been "poor soul"?

      December 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is a history lesson, folks (Republicans need not read on). Iraq did not exist 100 years ago. It was cobbled together from three Ottoman Turk provinces that couldn't get along with each other before the British left, and still couldn't after they left and put a "King" in charge. Add to that the Kurdish region that the Turks refused to recognize, and that Saddam Hussain tried to eliminate by any means available and you have a powder keg of four different regions each with their own goals and agenda.
    The comparison with Yugoslavia was totally on the money. That was a country that didn't exist, either. It was cobbled together from Ottoman Turkish provinces, Austro-Hungarian provinces and autonomous states. Look what happened after Tito died. Everything started to collapse, and the regions carried out a disasterous civil war resulting in their country's breakup.
    Remember the words of George Santayana – Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Guy

      And the same thing was said about America in it's beginning. We started out as a hodgepodge of colonies from Britain, France, Russia and Spain. Religious strife was rampant in America at the start as were various "Motherland" sympathies but the over riding thing we had was self-determination. Without that they are doomed.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Eric CT

      Sounds like we were pretty stupid to invade Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein then.... But then again, since our goal was to ensure we'd always have access to their oil just in case the Saudi regime toppled, maybe it'll all work out.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • LWJR

      Bush's fault right? Obama campaign mantra.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Lester

    Why "fear the collapse"? The people of the Balkans seem to be much happier with separate countries.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Hazmat77

      what the Wolfman fails to comprehend that, as with many other nations, Yugo was a conglomeration of different kingdoms (tribes) in the early 1900's .... with dissenters all along.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  10. joe clark

    The answer is most definitely and probably for the best.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  11. richard

    it already did. its now 3 countries. greater iran, greater syria, and kurdistan.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  12. allen

    It seems to me CNN is already putting the Kurdish territory (in prior recent stories shown on TV) in yellow as if it was independent country from the rest of Iraq (in green). Mr Blitzer of Jewish German descent who has worked for Israel publications in the past would love to see Iraq into smaller states. It is to help the State of Israel. It will help Kurdistan. But this strategy will only bring more problems in the region where Turks and Iranians do not want such a state. Maybe it
    is a new way to distract the Iranians. I do not know.

    I miss the days when news was the news only and no comments. (Walter Cronkite days)...."And that's the way it is"

    not "Iraq could break apart".........

    December 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • jnsesq

      In retrospect, the mythical Walter Cronkite days. He singelehandedly turned the tide of the Vietnam War toward defeatism after the communist 1968 Tet Offensive debacle and the nation no longer believed victory was possible because Uncle Walter had told us so. A divided country and a heartened enemy then fulfilled the prophecy.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Al

      Allan..keep in mind that this is not news, but a personal blog. Wolf is stating opinion here!

      December 27, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • David

      Cronkite was a liberal blowhard who felt quite comfortable letting his opinion shape the news. What's sad is all the people who believed that 3 white males on only 3 channels,all of the same political persuasion, were the final authority on what news should be reported.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  13. pech33

    Duh? What do you expect when you withdraw before the job is done? Oh, I forgot "campaign promise" by the annointed one. Will CNN question Obama, really question and explain what he has done? We'll see!

    December 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • travis

      You should have checked the news more. The Obama administration tried to pressure the Iraqis into extending the Status of Forces agreement so that 10-15k more troops could stay in Iraq after the one that expired this month, ended. Had he decided to keep troops in Iraq without the SOFA it would have amounted to a declaration of war on the sovereign gov't of Iraq that we built. Do you think that would have been a good plan? Get off of your partisan soapbox. In the interest of disclosure, I voted for Obama last time, and will not again.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
      • Tedlink

        Well aware of the status of forces agreement signed by Bush and that it was made possible by the surge that Obama/Biden both vehemently opposed and still can't admit for shear political reasons was successful. But if you truly believe that Obama fought hard in these negotiations to keep some small military presence there to ward off Iran and maintain some semblance of stability as we have in S. Korea with 24k troops there even today...then you are blindly ideologic left. I personally don't think we should have ever gone into Iraq in the first place, wasn't worth the lives, but we did, the surge worked, we signed the status of forces agreement to wind down the military involvement and in the end, Obama wanted us out, 100%...more people would agree with me than you....I guarantee. And our not negotiating any forces to remain, even 10-15k, will prove to be a major failure and mistake.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • arguethefacts

      Apparently you aren't up on your history. Our troops left by December 31, 2011 a bilateral treaty with Iraq was authorized by Congress in 2007 committing the United States to leave Iraq by December 31, 2011. President Obama had nothing to do with the December 31, 2011 date. Got that. Our troops left because of a bilateral agreement signed in April 2007 while George W. was in office. Congress never rescinded this. So, President Obama had to abide by the treaty. So, if you want to blame anyone blame the Republicans in power in 2007.

      Go read some history before you post again.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
      • Tedlink

        If you think that Obama's administration fought hard in those negotiations to maintain some forces there for stability (i.e. S. Korea where we have 24k troops to this day), then you are really just in the tank for Obama and feel he can do no wrong. Well aware of the status of forces agreement signed by Bush and that it came about thanks to the surge that Obama opposed.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Billy J. Bradley

      Why don't you go over there and finish the job, twit!!

      December 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
      • Tedlink

        Well that was a brilliant retort. I just hope our failure to negotiate leaving any forces for a period of time doesn't come back to haunt us, soon. And I hope we don't get drawn back in there. I didn't want to go into Iraq in the first place, but we broke it, we buy it, and we own it...Obama clearly didn't want to leave any troops there, not as good to campaign on.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Bryan

      Before the job is done? What job? Are we to occupy Iraq for eternity? Is Iraq to become a U.S. territory? The United Stated had to leave Iraq at some point and I can't imagine that our prolonged presence would change anything. Iraq was created by the brits, the only way it will ever remain whole (and why do we want it to?) is if there is a dictatorial power at it's center. Let nature take its course.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • gps137

      So silly of Obama to destabilize Iraq by invading like that, but they did attack us with WMDs on 9/11 so at least it was justified. I just wish we had stayed, spent more money, and lost more lives there because the Iraqi government really wanted us to stick around to plunder their oil.

      ...wait, some part of this doesn't seem factual...

      December 27, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Grace Of The Witch

      Before leaving office, George W. Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi
      government to pull our troops out of Iraq December 2011.
      President Obama was in negotiations with Iraq to have the troops stay longer
      but the sticking point was that thier would be no immunity from prosecution
      for our troops.
      Our troops would then be open to arrest and prosecution for any acts
      deemed innapropriate by the Iraqi government.

      President Obama did the right thing.
      Sounds like you are just looking for excuses to blame Obama
      for a war that Bush should never had started.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • DeTamble

      *** "campaign promise"..............

      Thank you President Obama for getting our troops home.
      Mission acomplished.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • Grog Says

      Duh? What do you expect when you withdraw before the job is done?

      The mission was to remove saddam from power.
      So, what job is not done ?
      Republicans are funny people,
      they scream about the war going on and on.
      But when the troops get pulled, they scream, why are we leaving ?
      Whattsa matter, cant make up your mind, or just hate Obama ?

      December 27, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • glennrobert

      Didn't Bush have enough time to finish the job! The war was NOT legal.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Puzzled

      What job was left undone? Teaching Sunnis and Shia not to hate each other? Good luck with that. No US military presence will do anything to stop those people from hating each other. This stuff is way deeper than anything the US military could ever fix. These are religious issues, not political.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Floyd from Ilinois

      >What do you expect when you withdraw before the job is done?<

      What "the job" are you talking about? America acheived everything in Iraq we were ever going to, years ago. The WMDs were gone – in fact they never were – Saddam was ousted, we imposed free democratic election, we trained their army and security forces.

      Is there something more you'd like to *accomplish* there? Like Bush and Cheney, do you have yet ANOTHER change to "the job" you'd like to tell us about?

      December 27, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • paol

      If you actually read anything you would know that it was Bush who signed the agreement to leave before the end of 2011. Obama honored the agreement.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • lu'

      Duh, Duh..........

      12/31/2011 was the date set by George W. Bush.............dear perch33

      December 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  14. Eric of Reseda

    "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." Gee, ya think?!? Earth to Wolf! Earth to Wolf! There was never ANY doubt that Iraq would explode once the U.S. left. Never. Which makes me wonder what the point or purpose of this article is? Filler?

    December 26, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Dave Piller

      Right on, Eric. Filler Blitrzer. That rings very nicely.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  15. beanne

    wow Wolf really twisted the facts here about Biden...He NEVER "feared" about Iraq breaking apart...He suggested that it should. This is a fine example of the left leaning news twisting and distorting the truth.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • n8

      thanks, Beanne. I had to keep reading the comments until I saw someone call ole Blitz out on this little fact. Now I can move on from this rag.

      Btw...good effort, Blitz, trying to convince people Biden actually does anything and has any influence outside of the labor unions. Tough sell.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  16. FLharleyPM

    Hey Wolf, perhaps it's time to have that interview with Obama to have explain to you, with that nice crease in his slacks, just how he came to the brilliant and "nuanced" conclusion that the US Military abosolutely, positively, unequivocally "needed" to leave Iraq "before" December 31, 2011. Couldn't have anything to do with the presidential campaign now, would it? When, not if, Iraq falls apart at the seams, you'd better be honest about who's watch it fell apart under and who's foreign policy it was that left Iraq in a mess. The Harvard law school graduate sunning himself on the beach in Hawaii should stick to community organizing in the South side of Chicago because what he's done in the foreign policy arena is beyond a disaster. It is immoral.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Geno

      Iraq ultimately did not want us there otherwise they would have extended the pact made under Bush to pull out now.
      If you were in Obama's shoes, would you let our troops remain without providing them immunity from prosecution which was spelled out in the previous pact?

      December 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Mark

      Would you be willing to have your taxes raised in order to stay in Iraq forever? Since the war has been put on the credit card and has added tremendously to our mountain of a deficit that should be the only question. If we stay your taxes go up, if we leave they don't. What would your answer be?

      December 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • travis

      See above comment. Obama tried to extend the Status of Forces agreement to keep 10-15k troops in Iraq. They said no because the Iraqi people didn't support it.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • Tedlink

        Well aware of the status of forces agreement signed by Bush. The failure was not negotiating some military forces or presence to remain...and to say oh well they didn't want us there anymore is about as weak an argument by a President I've ever heard. We weakened Iraq's military and Iran is licking it's chops waiting for us to leave. We should have never gone into Iraq in the first place, but we did, we did the surge which was successful (and Obama/Biden opposed and still can't admit was successful) and they want to get all of our troops out, period. If you think Obama fought hard to keep some troops there, you are in la la land.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Mike

      In case you missed it, our occupation was forced to end as our agreement with the soveriegn Iraqi state ends this week. The final date was negotiated under the Bush Administration, and the Iraqis opted to not accept a smaller training force beyond this date.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
      • Tedlink

        If you think that Obama's administration fought hard in those negotiations to maintain some forces there for stability (i.e. S. Korea where we have 24k troops to this day), then you are really just in the tank for Obama and feel he can do no wrong. Well aware of the status of forces agreement signed by Bush and that it came about thanks to the surge that Obama opposed.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Billy Boy

      Get a grip! you have selective amnesia. Bush Jr. got us into this mess with Cheney's guiding hand. This war has been an unmitigated disaster for our country and Iraq. The hubristic thinking of Bush, Cheney and the rest of the neocons drove us into this morass. Talk about morality!

      December 27, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Larry L

      President Obama has done a masterful job as CINC. He has become the terrorist's worst nightmare without making a fool of himself like "W" when he declared "Victory" that day, very long ago, on the deck of the carrier. You're allowing the voices from hate radio to make you less of an American and more of a political terrorist. Look at the President's record and look yourself in the eye.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  17. DaveInTexas

    Well, Wolf, isn;t this exactly what you and all other Left wing liberals wanted? Welcome to the world you helped Obama create. Now enjoy watching and reporting on the massive deaths that are about to occur.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • J.V.Hodgson

      Why pray is it what Blitzer ( liberal!?) wants. This is all happening because America went to war against first Islamic terrorists and then with Iraq an islamic state, Doing the first and second created in an Islamic religious sense the right to go into global jihad.
      I seem to recall sir that these "blameworthy liberals" were the ones against the wars.
      Your logic is full of holes.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  18. sally hood

    Imagine that..............

    December 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  19. JonDie

    Yes, it could.

    But united or broken up, it doesn't matter what happens in Iraq.

    Every penny of the TRILLION dollars the deficit that Bush and then Obama spent on Iraq has been a waste.

    And every one of the 45,0000+ U.S. soldiers who were killed or wounded, regardless of their intentions, wasted their lives in Iraq.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Mike

      @JonDie your remarks are about as well written as Wolf Blitzer's in this piece. Neither is factual. 45,000 U.S. and colaition troops did NOT lose their lives in Iraq. Take a moment to check your figures before you hit the "post" button. Putting out bad information regrdless of intent is just irresponsible. But then again, you may be able to get a gig with Dan Rather. Why let something as silly as facts get in the way.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Mike

      I agree with the waste of money, and waste of purpose, but NEVER will I agree to the statement made about our troops (45,000 plus wounded, many killed) "wasting their lives" over there. They went when they were called, and while we may not agree why they are there, we should NEVER doubt them for making the sacrifices they have made. To say they have "wasted their lives" over there is true in some respects, but I would and will gladly ALWAYS have massive respect for the duty they have ALL done.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  20. Michael Giuliani

    With an inane person like, Vice President Joe Biden on the case; Iraq's failure is assured!

    December 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Bush/Cheney handed this war to Obama/Biden,
      but now its Obama/Bidens fault ?
      There is something wrong with republicans,
      nothing is ever your fault.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Puzzled

      Where have you been? Some predicted this a long time ago. Wake up.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  21. aaron loxxley

    Sooooo, Wolf believes that the breakup of Iraq into three factions has been long feared.I thought it was VP .biden who suggested this kind of partioning years ago. This should be an "I told you so moment" for Joe.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  22. George Patton

    Actually, splitting Iraq into three different states is the best thing that could happen to the Iraqis as that appears to be the only way now to end the violence over there.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Peter

      If Iraq seperates into three different states,it will be a disaster,the same as former Yugoslavia,former Macedonia.
      Just look what is happening with Serbia and Kosovo,Greece and Macedonia,North and Sout Koreas,and before that,North Vietnam and South Vietnam.These divisions breed disasters.
      And yes,VP Biden suggested to divide Iraq.I dont know if these people in high places can think straight.
      Look to history,every division brought us to war,just look at the years of 1913,1945 and 1947.Know history,will know the dates.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  23. thomas

    Wolf; well DuH! intelect abounds

    December 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  24. Roger F

    You're probably right, but somehow or other it will all be Pres. Obama's fault. I've already seen one columnist (Charles K) make remarks along that line.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  25. Andrew thorby

    I don't wish to diminish the worth of Mr. Blitzer as one of our better journalists however this article does nothing more than state the blindingly obvious. In retrospect we should have held a referendum on partition a long time ago. As it presently stands the Kurds already have a state within a state so we're a third of the way there. Now comes the ugly part. I rate the chances of avoiding a civil war at no better than 1 in 4.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Jim

      While you may not want to diminish Mr. Blitzer's standing as a journalist, you don't need to, since he has already done so by conveniently omitting the fact that, when Vice President Biden was a Senator, he advocated that the US adopt partition as its policy regarding post war Iraq. Funny how he has changed in position now that he is in a position to actually affect US policy!!

      December 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  26. mike t

    if Iraq breaks apart it will be Obama's fault. Everything was going fine until he pulled our troops out to early. Way to go turning a victory into a defeat. Just like a socialist.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Post American

      Uh Obama isn't a socialist which is why he is hated by the right and the left. Second, Obama pulled the troops out, because it was a dumb war. It was never worth the sacrifice of 4,500 US Troops for a Theocracy allied with Iran.

      December 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
      • YourMentor

        The actual truth is that Obama pulled the troops ONLY because he and his administration failed to negotiate continued amnesty for our troops. He and the media have somewhat successfully redressed this as it being his "choice". Obama had no choice.

        December 27, 2011 at 9:28 am |
      • Tedlink

        I know that. Status of forces agreement signed by Bush said we were to negotiate the end of our military operations there in 2011, but it didn't say we pull all troops, we were to negotiate what the end game looked like, the new status of forces going forward, i.e. S. Korea where we have 24k troops today (in part to keep N. Korea in check but also a forward base near China). The news here is that Obama's administration failed to negotiate amnesty for our remaining forces, to keep some semblance of stability, to keep a foothold in case Iran tries to move in...Iraq's in a delicate state mind you after 9 years of war with the USA...but Obama/Hilary etc. failed in those negotiations...though I believe they got what they wanted, a full removal, which was a massive mistake.

        December 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
      • lolo S

        Ah yes he is a socialist. Are you blind.

        He just knows that to get to all out socialism will take time.
        He is working on it piece by piece. If he gets re-elected we will see it in front of our eyes.

        December 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Geoff Wise

        Iraq was not a theocracy before or during our occupation. With the US out of the picture it soon will be in the Iranian sphere of influence, a theocracy. This was the obvious outcome all along. Only uniformed children did not understand this from the beginning. Way to go Wolf! Way to to bring us a story I could have written years ago. This is about par for the course for CNN, probably why nobody watches.

        December 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Geno

      If Iraq breaks apart it will be Iraq's fault. Bush signed a pact in which our troops would pull out by Dec. 31, 2011. Obama tried to extend the pact but the Iraq powers that be did not want to extend a provision that would exempt our troops from prosecution by the Iraqi government. If you were prez do you leave our troops there without protections in place for our troops or do you pull the troops out by the expiration date of12/31?

      December 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Mark

      Look up what a socialist is. It isn't Obama. Not even close.

      December 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Mike

      The departure date was set by Bush, not Obama. Iraq refused to extend the agreement unless all U.S. military in country were subject to Iraqi courts. Sorry but this one isn't Obama's fault, no matter how much you dislike him.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • factChecker

      mike t: "everything was going fine"???!!! There were several sectarian suicide bombings two days after our withdrawal. Everything is unraveling so fast because it was never "raveled". They were just waiting and could wait as long as they wanted. Iran, Sunnis, Shiits, Kurds; they were not going away no matter how long we stayed there.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Larry L

      I'm amazed that you saw "victory" in the Iraq War. "W" parading across the deck of a carrier declaring victory doesn't make that a fact! President Obama was left more than one mess by that fool. In a just world Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would stand trial. President Obama has killed terrorists – not tried to make buddies at Haliburton richer.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Gonzo

      The pullout was arranged between the Bush administration, and The Iraqi's
      long before Obama took office.
      Nice try.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • maggie

      Actually, no, it won’t be Obama’s fault. We never should have disrupted their culture to begin with. We historically have this pesky little habit of inserting ourselves into foreign affairs with the blind expectation that the nation in question will be clamoring for our Western style of democracy. Well, it usually doesn’t work out that way but hey, why bother with history? We went into that country, destroyed it structurally, politically and killed a few thousand innocent people along the way. Anyone who ever thought that this country would magically rise from the ashes we left it in, whether we pulled out yesterday, today or tomorrow is a dreamer.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • dan25ny

      Bush already signed on to leave Iraq by 2012. Obama just made good on this...

      December 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  27. Karwan

    Sometimes, break-up is the best and only viable solution under a democratic system. Sunni sect will never trust Shi'te leadership, Kurds will never another Sunni leader (i.e. Saddam was Sunni), and you get the point. The best solution in this case is to break it up into 3 states with 1 central government. If that's not doable, break up into independent states is also an option. Why not...

    December 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Mike

      Check where the oil is in Iraq and how it gets from the oil fields to the oil tankers. After you've done that, do the same exercise for Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan. See a pattern?

      December 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  28. Dan5404

    I predicted that a long time ago. Nationalism comes well behind in priorities to religious and tribal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands over many generations in several Mideast countries. You can't expect to change centuries old practices by forcing Democracy and freedom. The Crusades tried that and Christianity with limited success. Little has changed except the ability to kill each other with more modern weapons and the fact that world opinion is slowly pressuring them to stop barbaric practices agains their own people, especially women in some countries. There are growing numbers of people that really want freedom and peace, but it's a long road.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • gary

      Dan - Are you serious? You think the Crusades were an attempt to introduce Democracy into the Middle East? Here's a clue : there was no Democracy and freedom at the time of the Crusades. There were Kings then. Democracy did not come along until hundreds of years later. The Crusades were an attempt to deal with the Muslims who had invaded and conquered the Holy Lands at the point of a sword. It was a response to agression. Look it up ; it's in all the history books.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  29. Tim Parsons

    The Turks will never allow the Kurds to form their own country. The Iranians will exploit the Shiite majority and the Sunnis will fight to the death. Wolf is correct, the worst is yet to come.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  30. Rigoman33

    What did this administration THINK was going to happen after it removed ALL U.S. Troops from the country not to mention made next to no effort WHATSOEVER to work with the Iraqis in keeping at least a token force in country to avoid the massive amount of bloodshed we are about to witness. If I'm the administration, I would be very nervous about events that occur in Iraq. Unfairly or not, If the country descends into a civil war, Obama will be blamed with losing the almost 10 year Iraq war. Not exactly something you want on the resume in an election year which explains why Biden is in over drive trying to have the Iraqis work things out. Good luck Joe. You will need it.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Dan5404

      This administration didn't put us there in the first place and they and the military DID negotiate very hard to keep a residual force there, but a soverign country's rulers didn't want it. We got what Bush wanted: a freely elected government that can rule their own country. In that part of the world, you can't dictate Democracy, peace or Christianity. We didn't get the girl and ride off into the sunset, but we won't be losing American soldiers every month.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Larry L

      Are you willing to die for democracy in Iraq? Are you willing to send your children to die for that cause? Really?

      December 27, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Puzzled

      Where have you been for the last 8 years? Did you forget that the "token" force we had in the country did nothing but serve as IED targets. Things didn't APPEAR to turn around until the surge. They have to solve their own problems. We can be honest brokers when both sides want peace. When both sides want war, there is nothing that our drones or troops can do about that. We can't stay there forever.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • maggie

      Got news for you. We lost that “war” when we entered it. We had no business being there.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  31. mick e

    another country destroyed by the US govt corporate state

    December 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • jnsesq

      Yeah, Mick. It was a such a happy place living under a Stalin wannabe and his psychotic sons before they decided for themselves how they choose to live. And this is indeed how they choose to live...

      December 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  32. James LaForge

    Beginning to suspect we could be ....... that's taking a bold position.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  33. Archy Cary

    Wolf, it's gong to be fun watching you turn the crateromg of Iraq into Bush's fault.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • DaveInTexas

      I agree...Can't wait for Wolf to manage the Bush's fault theme.

      December 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Jack

      Was that a pre-emptive strike by you guys? FAILED!

      Everyone knows we should have never gone over there in the first place. I am glad we did; otherwise, Obama would not have been president. LOL!

      December 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Mark

      I don't think Obama invaded Iraq did he? Did you want to stay there forever? How about raising your taxes to pay for it? Didn't think so.....

      December 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Jack Harrington

      Of course it's Bush's fault. Obama didn't invade Iraq using a pack of WMD lies as justification. By the way I'm voting for Ron Paul and have no use for Obama's police state either.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Puzzled

      Was this stuff happening in Iraq before we invaded in 2003? Even if he did blame Bush, explain why he would be wrong? On a more mature note, this is no one's fault. They want to fight. There is nothing that we can do to stop that.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  34. JimWWhite

    Maybe it would be correct for Iraq to fragment back into the three automous regions that existed long before Hussein's dictatorship. Maybe it should revert back to the regions that existed before the Brits went around the Arabian Penninsula drawing lines in the sand without regards to which ethnic groups lived here or there. The Kurds need a homeland and they have one. The Sunnis and Shias have one also if they can be separated into them. The whole conflict was caused by the high handedness of the Brits after WWI when they tried to be nation builders. Maybe the US should learn from that sad mistake and stay out of it and let the Iraqis, or better yet the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds work it out.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Mike

      I agree, any student of history should realize that most of the Middle East and Eastern Europe was drawn up on a map by the "Allies" after WWI. Look at that closely and see how many problems around the wourld resulted in the post WWI era.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • jnsesq

      Why would we have learned from that? It's history. We don't need no stinkin' history.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  35. J R Brown

    While the fundamental flaws in Iraq are the sectarian issues of the culture, the reality is that oil is the catalyst for the atrocious order of things. The insane amounts of money funneled to a select few in positions of power is the true devil in disguise; we Americans and our disposable lifestyles are the driving engine behind the atrocities committed to keep a stranglehold on oil and the revenue generated by it. From plastic bottles and grocery bags to gasoline, our dependence on oil for our "lifestyle" is the real source of all evil here.

    Aside from the fact that Middle Eastern countries term "The West" to seemingly be any country which had an Age of Enlightenment and is still not mired in the Dark Ages in terms of culture, we do nothing to help ourselves when we transfer a king's ransom every day for oil to a few select individuals/families. Muslims aren't allowed to hate their leaders, so they hate us instead for the malfeasance of their leaders and their lots in life.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  36. Ari

    I'm so glad the US government tanked itself into an insurmountable debt sinkhole, losing thousands of precious lives, to hold together a country that is going to break apart in the next six months. As has been famously said before, Mission Accomplished!

    December 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  37. Daniel

    This was seen long before U.S. troops invaded in 2003. George H.W. Bush refrained from taking out Saddam after Desert Storm because he feared precisely what has been happening since his son's invasion: an occupying foreign force that could not reunite a country created under colonial rule. It is lamentable that "W" did not take the advice of his father.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Gene

      You are absolutely right. This is why Bush Sr.'s place in history is rising while his son is cratering.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  38. RLA

    Another Obama blunder??? But he kept his promise to bring the troops home, Give Iraq to Iran, cause a civil war and great loss of life. Thanks for wasting those lives and treasure so you could play politics!

    December 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Mark

      The 'blunder' happened when W and Mr Potter bumbled their way in to Iraq with their arrogance that we would be greeted as liberators. After that it was only a matter of how much time, lives and money do you want to waste.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  39. Future Diplomat

    Is this a bad thing? Yes there will be tension in the region, possibly greater power for Turkey or even Iran, but three states could also make the situation better. Iraq is broke and has been for several decades, thus a division of the ethnic groups could make the situation better.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  40. Sankalp

    Great lead-in Wolf, but you leave us hanging. There's much more to this story. What would the impact be if this happened? Kurdistan develops in the North? How nervous would Turkey get if that happened? What could happen between the Sunnis and Shiites? Are there natural geographic boundaries? Could we get an India-Pakistan type migration? Who are the power-brokers if the situation disintegrates?

    December 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Mike

      I agree, this story has much more to be told, especially with the Kurds, Turkey, and the underlying history of the region. The tie-in to Yugoslavia was spot-on, as it was another example of a failed attempt by the "Allies" after WWI to make proper sense (In the British way of thinking) of a problem, but this article stopped well short of any actual thoughts. More actual information resides in the comments, absent the dramatic on-screen time with pretty graphics and a touch screen tv to make us all "understand" the deepness of the issues.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • jnsesq

      Oh... You must be referring to journalism. Those were such quaint days. Now we have fawning cheerleaders hoping for WHite House event passes.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  41. Brian Smith

    Yes, e gave them their freedom – freedom to much more easily kill each other, USA USA USA!

    December 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  42. Jimmy

    VP Joe Biden is right, Everyone knew that it was a mistake to pull out all the troops at once, However our wise president wants to show how he keeps his word, and what better time to do it then when he need re-election.
    9 years of our troops getting hurt and dieing, and family's sacrifices there loved ones for our president to throw it all away so quickly. And for what, so our troops can come home to no jobs, thats what they needed. but he wants them to leave with there heads high, for what? so they can here the bombs going off before they even get out of the country, and to hear everything there brothers have died for to just fall apart. The only thing he has kept his work on is change, he has deffinetly changed things for the worse! great job press!

    December 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Mikey

      The mistake was going in based on false pretenses and deceitful propoganda. This original farce was further compounded by rosy projections of "6 months and we're out," and "we'll be greeted as liberators." The whole shebang was a loss from the get-go.. All responsibilty for failure rests on the shoulders of the fool architect who built this mess on a foundation of quicksand.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • JTWelshro

      Actually Obama did it because if he did not, US troops would be indicted and most likely incarcerated under Iraqi 'law'. Iraqi officials won't grant US Soldiers immunity, so if Obama did NOT pull out it would result in terrible things.

      It was a good move.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  43. cck99352

    Who cares if Iraq undergoes civil war? It is not our problem, as our concept of nation building was flawed from the start. Those people are not capable of democracy – not at this stage – and I fully expect it will break into warring factions within 6 months. 5000 American lives have been wasted, on a "country" that will soon cease to exist.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  44. Davonskevort

    we should have broken them up into 3 nations in the first place.. that way all 3 would have liked us alot better, most importantly the Kurds. If I was Israel... i would support a kurd homeland just to jab at the turks and the stuff they are putting israel into with the philistines.. keep in mind turkey said it would attack a kurd state if it formed.(nice ppl eh)

    December 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  45. Kevin

    Wow. There's a real shocker. Who could have ever predicted an possible outcome like this? Only anyone that has an eight grade understanding of Middle East history. Well, that couple trillion dollars and untold thousands of lives was certainly money well spent.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  46. Dizzy Dezzy

    The US was only stupidly and wastefully delaying the inevitable. Let the real civil war can begin which for once and for all, will settle this. Like the Soviets who occupied eastern Europe...once they occupiers left, the farce that was Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) disintegrated into their respective historical ethnic countries/cultures (some through war, others peacefully). Chechnya is another example of that. The British created Iraq and Iran for the oils after WWII. Now that they are finally free of occupiers (be it dictators or westerners), they can finally settle their differences and have their separate states. Westerners had their wars (WWI and WWII) its time for the Arabs. less

    December 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Gonzo

      Dizzy, you are.
      Your history is so wrong, i dont know how to start.
      One example Czechoslovakia, did not disintigrate,
      The Czecks and Slovaks peacefully voted to seperate thier countries.
      Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have been occupied by Kingdon of Poland, Kingdom of Lithuania,
      Russia, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, then found independance.
      They did not disintigrate.
      Iran/Persia has been there for thousands of years.
      It was the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of world war 2
      that the British and the French decided to carve up the middle east.
      Kuwait City has been there for thousands of years, but never a country called
      Kuwait, and there is no such thing as an "kuwaiti", as they are just Arabs
      like the Palestinians.
      The state of Kuwait was put together as the center for oil flow.

      History books are your friend.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  47. The LONE OKIE

    We can't stay there forever, they have to learn to live together on their own.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  48. billNY

    Geez Wolf, what did you think would happen once Obama dumped support for Iraq. It's a matter of months or even weeks before it collapses into civil war. They can thank the ridiculous liberals in the USA for this.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Grace Of The Witch

      Another Republican moron.
      The deal to pull troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011,
      was agreed on by George Bush and the Iraq government,
      before Obama took office.
      YOU FAIL !

      December 27, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • EatRunDive

      We left under an agreement signed by Bush.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  49. TexDoc

    The idea of splitting the country up is sound. It isn't a colapse of Iraq. Iraq is a made up country by the British to rule the area. No one in the region considers themselves an Iraqi, they are Sunni or Shia or Kurd. The idea of three countries was rejected by the military early on in the war, but that is where it will end up–but with many more deaths.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  50. Trip

    So what's so bad about Iraq breaking up into three countries? The Shiite's will side with Iran, while the Sunnis and Kurds go their own way.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  51. C.W. ALBERT

    With 65 % of Iraq Shia, there is no doubt Iran will have a major influence in shaping the future of the region.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  52. Montello

    Look for a long and violent three-way civil war in the near future. Eventually if a "leader" the likes of Saddam Hussein emerges from the civil war and is able to regain stability through fear and violence, Iraq may survive. If another Saddam fails to appear, Iraq will probably break up into 3 entities, though that probably won't stop the violence. Constant battles will be fought over the real or perceived inequality of resources (oil) among the new countries.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  53. stanley friedman

    A column for kindergarten,or for citizens of another planet.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  54. Phyllis G Williams

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand" (Mark 3: 34). I guess that applies to Iraq (smile)

    December 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  55. Joseph B

    Last time I checked, the countries of former Yugoslavia are now stable, productive countries. What would the dissolution of Iraq mean for the Middle East? For the countries that Iraq could potentially break into?

    December 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  56. db

    So, why not let it split up into peaceful areas? Why this desire to keep it all under on flag? Does not make since. If they are starting all over again, let them start the way that best fits their society, not ours.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Grace Of The Witch

      The powers that be dont want Iraq split into three states
      because of oil flow.
      Think of it this way, Iraq is just another department in a larger
      In fact, it may help you to see all countries this way.
      People are just a usefull tool, not unlike cattle
      to a farmer, but resources mean riches.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  57. Phyllis G Williams

    "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand" (Mark 3: 34). I guess that applies to Iraq (smile)

    December 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • EatRunDive

      Let's just hope that it doesn't apply to us.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  58. Rich

    Wait... is Biden or someone ACTUALLY going to take credit for predicting what was almost guaranteed to happen after the fall of Saddam Hussein?

    It'll be interesting to see what an independent Kurdistan does to Turkey, a NATO ally, and what we might be required to do in response. The Kurds are more like the good guys in that relationship, and our NATO alliance my require we go and kick their teeth in – for TURKEY.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  59. ChoCho

    Let 'em fall apart, they wanted us out, and the PM even told Obabma in so many words that "he would not be able to guarantee your troops' safty if they stay past this date". So, not wantig to stay where they're UNwanted, he pulled them out. All I can say is, if they aske for help again, leave them to their fate!

    December 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • ChoCho

      Correction, Obama...but still, he ought to leave them to their fate. We've lost enough soldiers, seabees, marines, airmen, thanks...

      December 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  60. Brian

    The question, of course, in. "So what?" The borders of present day Iraq – as well as much of Western Asia and all of Africa – are the remnants of imperialistic policies of superpowers who could not think beyond the day they made the borders. Left to their own devices, these peoples likely would have divided the region into many countries, anyway. Americans can barely keep 50 united states on a cogent path. Why should we be surprised that groups with fundamentally different religious and geographic concerns cannot mend into a single administrative entity.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  61. EatRunDive

    Of course Iraq will break apart. We knew that going in. We also knew that we would strengthen Iran, but we went in anyway.

    It's worth noting, for all the lies we get from our elected officials, had we funded the war at the time we wouldn't be in our current economic mess, but the GOP didn't want a war tax.

    In one swoop, we strengthened our 2 biggest enemies, China and Iran.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  62. outawork

    Long live Kurdistan!!!

    December 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  63. Deryk Houston

    No one has been more brutal than the United States when it comes to killing anyone who questions their authority and dominance. If you don;t believe me...look at what happened to Fullujah in Iraq. They cordoned off the city..stopped anyone from leaving and then bombed the hell out of it. If Saddam had done that then we would have never heard the end of it. So we prefer living in a world of double speak and double standards and then ponder why the world seems to unravel.
    The Iraqi's will have to sort this out for themselves. The most powerful and the most brutal will win. It always does.
    We are not smart enough to do things any other way. Look at history.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Between The Hammer And The Anvil

      The United States is no longer a country.
      We Americans no longer have control.
      Our "corporation" has been infiltrated.
      Our military is now being used to secure the resources of the planet.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Sorin N

      After September 11 2001 the entire Middle East should have been cordoned off and blown to pieces. End of problems, our life could have gone bad to normal.these don't understand anything but fear and death. The Liberals think that they can be changed..... Thousands of years of fighting didn't do it so the bleating hearts think they can buy their transformation to normalcy with financial help..... Drem on.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  64. james

    That will be the final outcome regardless. We fought a war against our own interests.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  65. Asturiano

    Iran should thank George Bush for giving the shia ayatollahs their new country of the Iraqi Shia Islamic Republic.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sorin N

      The Shia was handed over a country by their fellow Muslim Barak Hussein Obama. George bush hasn't been in charge for 3 years now. Start assuming the responsibilities little spoiled children of the Left.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  66. john in vermont

    Iraq was cobbled together by the British and French–it was never a country. What kept the feuding and disparate tribes and religious sects together was the brutal Sadam. With the US gone Iraq will descend into civil war between tribes and Sunni and Shia. There will be no kumbaya in Iraq.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  67. stephen

    splitting into three countries may not be the worst thing for Iraq as is evidenced by the states to have emerged from Yugoslavia. Diplomacy should try to avert a civil war and allow peaceful transitions to a three state solution in which oil revenues are shared for some time, etc....

    December 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  68. CRG

    This is the best thing that could happen in a country where they appear to enjoy killing each other, including women and children. We made a mistake removing Sadam and the only thing we can do at this point is get out of there. We destabilized this country and are responsible for its disintegration into chaos. Bush, his cabinet, big oil, a majority of congress, and the American people are all calpable. I hope we never repeat this folly, but apparently our evolution is not far enough advanced to abolish greed and war.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  69. Beverly

    I hope whoever becomes our next president has the will and ability to STAY OUT OF IT. It's not our fight and not our right to intervene in civil war. The only way there will be peace is if they choose to have it.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  70. Kyle

    Thanks, Mr. Bush.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Sorin N

      Thanks Barak Hussein Obama. You did it! Their blood has been in your hands for three years now and now you assured more if it.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  71. tony

    The USA is also heading in the same direction. We've already witnessed a decade of half our politicians in congress trying to reverse the outcome of our first civil war. And they are already half way there.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  72. Phil

    It's too bad our previous administration didn't have that same insight and wisdom before they made the seriously terrible decision that Sadam just had to go. Like the old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for; You just might get it". Now we have similar problems in Egypt and Lybia. Not to mention Syria and Yemen. Let us hope our Government has the wisdom to stay out of thoes civil wars.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Sorin N

      Same saying goes here in the US. Everybody wished George Bush will go away...... How you got what you wished for.... Barak Hussein Obama.... Hope you are happy now with your Hopey Changey Thang....LOL

      December 27, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  73. Mark

    Would the dissolution of Iraq be so bad? I believe some people just do want to tolerate individual freedom of religion, politics, etc. They want to only associate with individuals of like mindedness. I believe this particularly true of the Middle East and I believe history bears this out. So why not let Iraq split into three countries? Is it just because it would make all our efforts and costs in lives and money for naught, that our government would want to see this? I think so.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  74. Jim Thomas

    If they break up okay,as long as they do not kill ou G.I.'s and/or we get involved in another war.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  75. John PA

    You'd have to have been living under a rock to not know this was bound to happen eventually. It should have been considered long before we invested so many lives and money into this place. Thanks, Bush/Cheney.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  76. VikingsLost

    Iraq has had plenty of time to build up its own security during the U.S. occupation. Iraq did not want U.S. presence in Iraq any longer which resulted in the withdrawal of the majority of U.S. troops.

    Iraq will learn to handle their own sovereign affairs.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  77. 2bits

    Lets hope it breaks up into three countries and they live in peace. Kurds in the northern part, Sunni's in the northwestern part, and the Shiites in the southern half. OF course, it's all about oil so any civil war will be a long one with Iran licking it's chops and nearly doubling it's oil reserves when it merges with the Shittes in the southern half. These groups hate each other so much it's a wonder we ever got this far along in a new Iraq. A testament to the power of America. But we can't afford to get involved if civil war breaks out and if any US President tries he should be impeached immediately.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  78. ISU Mathematician

    Iraq's borders were arbitrarily drawn by foreigners in London, over 120 years ago. It should not be that way today.

    We should not support an arbitrary union of people who don't want a common state.

    The only problem now is, who gets the oil?

    December 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  79. Ryan Champlin

    Why do we insist on keeping them together? Let them split and run their own societies and economies. Economies work and adapt better when its oversight is done as locally as possible. When an economy is regulated and taxed from a violently factioned central government that no one trusts, it cannot help but be static and magnify social problems. Let them split and start seeing that, in order for each to survive, they will need to have good trade relations with each other. No sense in forcing them to stay together when they don't want to be.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  80. safari

    To Blitzer. Who cares????

    December 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  81. brian

    Iraq along with most of the countries in the middle east and africa are artificially created as a result of colonization or apportionment after ww1 and ww2. The boundries and mixing of volatile ethnic groups has and always will be a recipe for disaster. It only makes sense that these countries (just as Yugoslavia and the former soviet union) devolve in to independent nations where the interests of each particular tribal or ethnic group can be dealt with as suits them best. The issue will be the redistribution of resources and wealth as too often one region of the country has a preponderance of these

    December 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  82. PAPilot

    There's nothing to break apart. Iraq was never a cohesive nation. The Sunni/Shia/Kurdish division was alive and well through the entire Iraq occupation and continues today. There will never be peace in Iraq or any other Muslim nation where each faction calls for the extermination of every other in the name of Allah.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  83. Andrew Eden-Balfour

    In my honest to god opinion; Iraw was a lost cause from the beginning. There are many paralells between Yugoslavia and Iraq, including they're respective dictators that hold they're countries together through violence; Hussein and Tito. With them gone all that bad blood boiled over there is no doubt that Iraq's future may be in jeopardy. The U.S. occupation in Iraq only effect was to delay the powder keg of civil war from explosion, the place wasn't improving at all even when the U.S. army was patrolling. The criticism of Obama's hasty withdrawl from the country is fruitless as everybody knows that once we leave, no matter how long it takes to reach that point, the powder keg will just be lit.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  84. Funboy

    Thanks for the "insight", Wolf, but the high likelihood of this occurring has been with us for quite a while. This is why, even though Saddam was undoubtedly an evil tyrant, the downside of removing him was most likely greater than that of permitting him to remain in power. Had we not toppled him, at least the problem would not be "ours" to fix...

    December 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  85. Pat Sommerhalder

    I think the break up is inevitable. These three ethnic groups can never get along, and violence is the result. Let them go their own separate ways, they should never have been grouped together in the first place.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  86. Scott Drake

    Been following he Iraq situation for years now.. my question is with all the poverty in country with the US out for the most part, the Iraqi people have to be able to improve their lives. There seams to be lots of work to do with rebuilding the country. However again from what I see there is no value to their money. If we want Iraq to stand on its own their people must move ahead, if and when that happens the violence will end.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  87. Aloha Betty

    After all the American troops and money we have sacrificed in this war, Obama has made those sacrifices mean nothing by pulling out prematurely. Watch Iran take over. More failed policies by the current administration. Obama has got to GO!

    December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  88. James Mancham

    Clinton should not have invaded Iraq in the first place. We were not welcomed by flowers as he said. Many brave men lost their lives for Clinton's war.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Gene

      I'm assuming you're making a joke. But just in case, Clinton didn't invade Iraq George W. Bush did.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  89. Aloha Betty

    After all the American troops and money we have sacrificed in this war, Obama has made those sacrifices mean nothing by pulling out prematurely. Watch Iran take over. More failed policies by the current administration. Obama has got to GO!

    December 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  90. Adam

    Looks like our time and money was well spent. The entire economic collapse could have been prevented had we funneled those dollars into the American economy. Thanks to our industrial military complex's ability to convince those in power that our presence was necessary, the entire world is suffering as a result.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  91. Dave, Keller Tx

    Iraq is an artificial construct create by the British so there is very little recent history to hold the country together. Iraq has major ethnic and religious differences even a stable democracy would struggle to keep the country in one piece. As a contrast Belgium looks like it will split peacefully into two countries, Iraq will probably split during a low grade civil war exacerbated by regional religious and political differences.

    One wonders if letting the Iraqi people overthrow Sadam would have created a nationalistic sprit that would have carried the country to a more stable future.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  92. MK54

    Iraq's political boundaries are an artifact left over from British Imperialism. Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish people might well choose to separate along ethnic and religious lines. If they do, it is their business, not ours.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  93. J Marcus Campbell

    Wolf, consider how Iraq was created by Lord Mountbatten, from three distinct minorities without regard for there historical economies, anything is possible, however as the Kurdish north has plenty of wealth from oil, the balance of power falls to that region to keep Iraq a nation, so as long as the Kurdish North can act as a mediator I think Iraq will not become a post Yugoslavia nightmare. So let's hope the Kurdish north can mediate disputes.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  94. Jesse Callahan

    In the long run, that may be the best solution. Break up Iraq into separate but equal ethnic entities. It seems to have worked fairly well, with a few minor outbreaks in the former Yugoslav region.

    Jesse in Texas

    December 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  95. SSG Morales

    I do agree with you Mr Blitzer but Iraq has the potential to protect their own democracy. We did what we were asked at the cost of many lives and now is time for them to step up to the plate and play ball.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Little Tin God

      "we did what we were asked"??? By who? The Iraqis? Or George W. Bush and his gang of neo cons? Nobody "asked" the United States to invade a sovereign country!

      December 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  96. DoubleW

    This breakup has long been obvious to anyone with a nodding acquaintance to the history of the region.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  97. Keksi

    CIA broke up Yugoslavia.
    Who wants to have military power where people have minimal debt in 21st century in middle of Europe.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  98. Nicky

    if Iraq breaks up in the same way as Yugoslavia. The US can wind up back in Iraq in the same way as Yugoslavia.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Arianna Eisenberg

    Saw the stats on Obama's likeability. I, too, LIKE him. Will I vote for him again because I "like" him? Emphatically no. I like my next door neighbor as well but he's also not experienced enough to be President either. I'll hold my nose and vote for the generic guy. Sadly disappointed in the current administration on all levels from Holder up – with the exception of Hillary – she's massively wonderful. Too bad for the rest of us – the experiment has gone south hasn't it.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  100. Little Tin God

    Geez Wolf! Did you really thing that the neocon plan of creating a "democracy" out of Iraq was a doable thing? Haven't you been paying attention the past 8 years to the civil war that's been going on in Iraq which was killing our troops? Did you drink the kool aid that Bush, Cheney and even Obama was feeding you? I think you're a smart man, but sometimes you write the dumbest things!

    December 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
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