Friday, May 05, 2006

"Unity Through Autonomy"

In a New York Times op/ed, Joe Biden and Leslie Gelb present a thoughtful proposal for our handling of the situation in Iraq.

Biden and Gelb advocate a new course of action modeled on the Dayton peace process that restored a degree of peace and humanity to the former Yugoslavia. By creating a "federa;ized" Iraq, with greater autonomy placed in the hands of regional governments, Biden and Gelb hope to create a "release valve" for the ethnic, religious and factional tension that has contributed to the ongoing strife.

Biden and Gelb also call for the convening of a regional conference on Iraq (echoing a theme raised by Wes Clark last winter) and for the military to develop a feasible redeployment plan.

The Iraq debate must move beyond the "bring them home now" and "stay the course" polarities. Biden and Gelb have performed a much-needed service by offering a thoughtful alternative.

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