I’d love to be able to secede from the United States. It’d be great to form an independent progressive nation out of California, Oregon, and Washington. I’m thinking like a Kurd, for the Iraqi provinces of Kurdistan are making preparations to secure their own borders.
Even though I’m an American who has lived in a united country for all of my life, it’s easy for me to get enthused about establishing a separate nation that is truly in tune with my values.
If California doesn’t want to come along, I’m equally up with the Republic of Cascadia plan that drops Oregon’s southern neighbor and adds in British Columbia and part of Alaska.
Given my readiness to embrace independence, which surely is shared by many millions of my West Coast brothers and sisters, those who optimistically envision Iraq becoming one big happy country after a new government is formed are, I predict, going to find their hopes dashed.
A recent poll found that 73% of Kurds feel that life is better since the war, compared to only 25% of Sunnis. Just 22% of Kurds oppose the coalition forces, while 85% of Sunnis do.
So a reading of Iraq’s tea leaves points to continued sectarian and ethnic tensions. A breakup of Iraq isn’t inevitable, but an extremely loose confederacy probably is the most that the United States can expect from its nation-building efforts.
I wonder how President Bush will react if the new Iraqi government asks for a complete withdrawal of United States forces. Two-thirds of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition forces in their country, and almost half (45%) say that coalition forces either should leave now (26%) or after a new government is in place (19%).
And there’s a good chance that Iraqi opinion is going to shift even more to the position that the United States presence is making Iraq less, rather than more, secure. If this happens, then Noam Chomsky’s forecasts are likely to come true: (1) an American withdrawal will be requested by the Iraqi government, and (2) close ties will be established between the Shi’ite majority and Iran.
What a prospect. Several thousand American soldiers will have died to establish a Iranian-style theocracy in a splintered Iraqi nation.
I can hardly wait to pledge allegiance to the Republic of Cascadia.