For Biden, Iraq crisis offers timely vindication

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Iraq edges toward chaos, Vice President Joe Biden is having a quiet I-told-you-so moment.

As a senator in 2006, Biden proposed that Iraq be divided into three semi-independent regions for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. He said his plan would allow U.S. troops to be out by early 2008.

Otherwise, he warned, Iraq could fall into sectarian conflict that could destabilize the region.

The Bush administration ignored his advice.

Eight years later, Biden's doom-and-gloom prediction seems more than a little prescient. Old sectarian tensions have erupted as Sunni militants seize entire cities. The U.S. faults the Shiite prime minister for shunning Iraq's minorities.

Although the White House isn't actively considering Biden's old plan, Mideast experts are questioning whether Iraq is marching violently toward an inevitable breakup along ethnic lines.

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