My Turn: New approaches are needed to end fighting
Now that two administrations (and Congress) have squandered trillions of dollars of treasure and thousands of lives on wars that any student of history could have predicted would not result in lasting victory, it’s time to divide those countries along sectarian lines so they can see that once divided, they really do need each other.
It’s just like sending the kids to separate rooms when they fight over something. They soon realize it’s no fun to be alone. It may take decades, but it will come to pass. History is full of former enemies who, once separated, eventually came to become friends.
The United States and many of its current allies are a case in point.
For Iraq, there never really was an “Iraq” – it was an artificial construct created as part of a British “divide and conquer” plan. Hence there is nothing historically wrong with breaking it up along sectarian lines. We should be able to get all parties to agree if we can make the separation process include an interdependency: The oil under Iraq belongs to all its peoples, hence profits made are to be distributed accordingly, and this should be possible since oil is an international commodity.
Each new “country” will have in its interest to not destroy or take over the other’s petroleum facilities.
For Afghanistan, we can realize that there are perhaps $2 trillion in natural resources, and a thin piece of Afghanistan touches China.
We have long been told if we invade, we own it, so how about an offer to trade Afghanistan to China in exchange for China zeroing out the debt we owe it (a couple trillion). China could easily move in 10 times the population of Afghanistan, and we would have peace. I would wager that nothing would bring peace to Afghanistan faster than the worry that the world would welcome China annexing the country to bring peace!
As a precedent, remember that William Seward bought Alaska from Russia.
We need to think creatively and differently and constructively to end the senseless violence and waste of treasure so we can free up resources to save what really needs saving: the planet Earth.
(Alex Slocum lives in Bow.)