The country of Iraq is, for all intents and purposes, dead and has been replaced by three successor states, former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden [a retired four star Air Force general] told Newsmax TV ...
"The state of Iraq as we know it is gone, and it's not going to be reconstituted ...It's certainly not going to be reconstituted by [Prime Minister] Nouri al-Maliki.''...
"We've got three successor states there now ...As much as we might look for opportunities to keep Iraq together, we need to be prepared for the reality that it's not going to stay together."
"We should snuggle up comfortable with the Kurds in Kurdistan, who have always been pro-American and actually have a functioning society and state right now. We should give help to the Maliki government, sufficient to settle the current conflict so it just doesn't turn into a humanitarian disaster..."
"For example, there's fighting around Beiji right now, the oil refinery north of Baghdad. Baghdad needs that for that part of the country to survive, and so we've got to settle the lines of this conflict in a way that Nouri al-Maliki's surviving state, which I'll call Shiastan, has Beiji within it."
"Then we've got Sunnistan, and that's the state under the control of ISIS right now, and frankly, we've got to treat that as if it were a safe haven for terrorists and begin to think about it the way we had thought about Waziristan for the last decade-plus. That's a tough message, and I'm afraid that's where we are."
...Hayden said "Sunnistan" consists of western Iraq and eastern Syria. "There is no border now..."
[But given that "Shiastan" will probably be an ally of Iran, and "Sunnistan" a counterweight to that (and probably an ally of Saudi Arabia): where exactly is the optimal, ultimate balance between those two forces, each of which is a threat to freedom, democracy and the West?? Why assume that a viable Shiastan must emerge from this crisis? Does the West want to support giving Iran that extension of its hegemony? Exactly why assume that we have "got to settle the lines of this conflict in a way that Nouri al-Maliki's surviving state, which I'll call Shiastan, has Beiji within it", as Gen. Michael Hayden suggests? - SL]