Fred Kaplan Steals From My Playbook

I Called It!

Yesterday in Slate, foreign policy expert Fred Kaplan mused on the similarities between a potential partition of Iraq and the partition of India back in 1947:

Anyone who believes that U.S. troops can simply and suddenly leave Iraq without risk of unleashing great horror—or who regards religious or ethnic partition as a solution instead of a desperate ploy—should look back at the summer of 1947, when the British Empire packed up and India fulfilled its "tryst with destiny" (as Jawaharlal Nehru described its awakening to independence), only to plunge into a monstrous spree of ethnic cleansing (12 million people uprooted, as many as 1 million murdered) that continues to take its toll today.

… which sounds a lot like what I wrote on this blog back on July 22:

My prediction is that we’re going to hear a lot more about the so-called "soft partition" option once the nation gets serious about withdrawal in the fall. "Soft partition" is the plan favored by Senator Joe Biden and some other foreign affairs types in which Iraq would essentially be divided into three countries along ethnic lines…

This is actually not without precedent; the Partition of India in 1947 saw millions of people uprooted as British India was split into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. But that event was marked by serious violence, and left bitter hatreds that have set the two states at each others’ throats for sixty years.

New slogan for Just Well Mixed: "What You’ll Be Reading In Slate Two Weeks From Now."


Valentine Anthony

November 17, 2009
9:29 pm

As we wish to post Fred Kaplan’s “Remembering Partition” in our website, may we have your permission to do so. The author and Slate will be cited accordingly.
Thank you.
Valentine Anthony