CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Republican Phil Heimlich has moved to separate himself from President Bush on Iraq and says the the creation of "a united, stable Iraq may simply be impossible." Heimlich says he favors a plan to partition Iraq into Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite states to end ethnic and sectarian violence. The Ohio 2nd District congressional candidate has posted his views on his campaign Website, which appear when scrolling down the page. Heimlich is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt in the March primary.
His statement says:
"The President should immediately begin working with our allies and the Iraqi leaders to develop an approach to partition that has the maximum chance of success. That is the only way we can fulfill both our moral and military obligations brought about by this war.
"This will not be an easy task. Difficult issues need to be resolved. What level of central government needs to be maintained and how will this be done? How do we protect the Kurds from potential attack from the Turks? And how do we avoid having Iran become the dominating influence in the oil-rich Shiite area? these are serious questions that will require our best minds and our most dedicated diplomatic efforts to resolve. These are challenging tasks, but the alternatives require that we dedicate ourselves to their achievement."
President Bush has opposed efforts to discuss partition. On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a public statement saying the administration opposes partition. It responded to a Sept. 27 non-binding resolution passed by the U.S. Senate and supported by Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate. The Embassy warned that partition would lead to more bloodshed.