Sunday, August 28, 2005


I ran across this yesterday at Juan Cole's site. Juan has consistently been ahead of the curve in understanding and reporting on Iraq, particularly Shia politics. You know, the kinda stuff you used to find in good newspapers.

Anyway, he quotes an Iraq-American reader on some of the dynamics of the upcoming vote in Iraq to ratify the "constitution":
Shiites are probably the majority even in Baghdad, or at minimum 50% of the Baghdad population (especially with sadr city's 2 million shiites, and other prominent shiite districts like Sha'ab, Shu'la, Khadhimiya). Almost certainly Baghdad would NOT be included in the shiite federation of the south as envisioned by Al-Hakim and others because then the concept of a federation really doesn't make much sense when you pretty much include all the major cities except for Anbar and provinces to the north. Shiites in Baghdad will not want to be left to being a minority in a "Sunni" federation, and Sunnis in Baghdad will not want to be part of a "shiite" federation. There is a strong possibility then that most shiites in Baghdad would vote AGAINST the constitution over the federalism issue. That would most certainly seal the constitution's fate when combined with votes from Anbar, Sallahudin, and Mosul.
It only takes (I believe) three provinces to vote against the constitution to cause the whole political process to go back to "GO". Remember, this means going back to having a provisional parliamentary election and starting a new constitutional "draft". Then again, thus far the Iraqi politicos haven't honored any sort of rule of law yet, so they may just ignore the letter of the law and implement the constitution anyway. I personally think it's all pretty much moot as long as the U.S. in in Iraq.

It seems to me that as long as the U.S. is in Iraq there will be no true ownership of country. The Shiites will never get respect as long as their power is supplied by American firepower. The Sunni's will continue to fight as long as the Shiites haven't proven they can stand on their own, enabling the Baathists to believe they can regain power. And this doesn't even take into account the radical fundamentalist elements. In short, as long as the country is dependent on the Americans, there's not reason for it to stand on it's own.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Counters
Site Counter
eXTReMe Tracker