How's that 'national greatness' bit going these days, David?

Earlier this month, you might remember, I made fun of Brent Scowcroft for his easy-as-pie Iraq solution (step one: bring about a peaceful settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians). I made a big deal out of it because you don't expect someone like Scowcroft, who is by all accounts a genuinely smart person, to paper over the reality of the situation like that.

With David Brooks, on the other hand, that's exactly what you expect him to do, and I'm going to make a big deal out of it because I think it's funny that David Brooks is such a fathead. (The piece is behind the Times's stupid subscription wall, unfortunately.) This week he's become an advocate for a Bidenesque partitioning of Iraq into three regions -- everybody gets one! "Sooner or later," he writes, "everyone will settle on this sensible policy, having exhausted all the alternatives." (Perhaps the most annoying thing about Brooks -- I know, tough call -- is his habit of acting as though whatever he's saying today is exactly what he's always said, while other people were proposing whatever stupid ideas have failed already.)

So how does sensible, Brooksian partitioning work? Let's take a look:

Step one: rewrite the Iraqi constitution to allow the Sunnis a share of oil revenues.
Brooks doesn't mention that only the Iraqis can do that, or that the Shiites and Kurds were less than enthusiastic about the idea back when (a) U.S. influence amounted to something; (b) the Iraqi government wasn't overrun by well-organized Shiite militias; and (c) sectarianism was barely a shadow of what it is today. Other than that, though, no problem.

Step two: get all three sects to agree to a federalist system. Wasn't this proposed during the original constitutional negotiations in 2005? Why yes, it was. And didn't it prompt the Sunnis to walk out? Why yes, it did. But hey, this time it's bound to work.

Step three: relocate everybody in the country who doesn't live in their designated regional sector, i.e. reverse Saddam's massive, multi-year "Arabization" project in Kurdistan and uproot huge regions of Baghdad and other cities -- all with the same delicate touch and careful regard for local conditions that have characterized the U.S. effort so far.

Step four: get buy-in from Iraq's neighbors. I particularly like "The Turks would have to be reassured that this plan means no independent Kurdistan would ever come into being." A diplomatic mission so simple that even a total fathead could do it! I nominate David Brooks.