Monday, November 27, 2006

Can Iraq regain balance in its society?

What does the Universal Principle of Balance have to do with Iraq today? Simply that there isn't any Balance nor is their any hope for any.

The Principle of Balance infers that in order to have a stable relationship between 3 groups or individuals, you must either have all 3 relationships positive (+) with each other or, if there is any relationship that is negative (-) to either of the other individuals, then one of the other relationships must go negative for balance to emerge. Some examples are in order to bring clarity.

Think about a family of three, a mother, a father and a child. As long as the parents are positive to each other, the child relationship has stability. Even in that circumstance where the mother or father has a negative relationship for a period with the child, the other parent will be negative to the child as well, as long as he/she has still a positive with the other parent. If on the other hand one parent goes negative on the other, it usually means that the child goes negative on one of the parents too. The idea here is to have all three people positive (+) signs with each other. If that is not possible, then 2 negatives and one positive is also a balanced triangle. (Remember your algebra that 2 negatives make a positive when multiplied together. This provides for stability and the relationship to continue this way indefinitely or until imbalance is created again.)

Taking this to the Iraq situation we have the most unstable of all possible situations:
1) The Sunni's are negative to the Shiites and vice versa.
2) The Iraqi people by a 75% majority, do not want the U.S, to stay and that includes Shiite and Sunni Iraqi's

By any account you have 3 negatives going on here and stability cannot happen unless something changes. What could change to alter the situation? Here are some possibilities and the outcomes that would ensue:

1.) We add significantly more troops in the order of 30,000-50,000. What would happen is that it is possible BOTH Shiite and Sunni find our presence and control more alarming than their own struggle and they unite against us and also join forces with Al Qaeda. That creates Sunnis and Shiites more positive with each other but significantly negative towards us. Eventually we leave Iraq and they continue the fight with each other as it has been for over 1000 years.

2.) We leave and let them fight each other until a leader emerges on each side that could negotiate a settlement while we stay positive to each faction and continue our limited relationship and dialogue.

3.) We and the EU, bring into talks Syria, Iran along with Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the relationships more formally alienate each other and the entire region becomes a flash point for a much larger conflict. Or they decide temporarily how to divide the "spoils".

Oh I'm sure there are more options and possibilities but these are the ones being contemplated as I write. The best of all of these is #2 in my humble opinion. What's yours?


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