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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Iraq II

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has said he is confident that the country's politicians will reach an agreement on a new constitution.

-BBC website

Yup, the Alchemist is confident too. Specifically I am confident every man jack of ‘em will agree it is worthless. You will recall my making one post intermissio reference to the Iraqi Constitution last month (Alchemy Passim). I predicted that the three main groups would all bitch about it and I have been proved right, haven’t I just?

The damned document hasn’t even been finalised and the Iraqi powers that be are already falling into the patterns of dispute which I assigned to them. Hell but I wish I could be wrong from time to time.

Humam Hammoudi, the johny in charge of drafting the constitution has said the three-day extension just granted will not be enough. If he gets his extra time, and let’s face it, there is not a real alternative, then the arguments will, I suppose, expand to fill the time allowed, this being the nature of politics, especially Arab politics. I said that a September referendum was unlikely, and it grows more unlikely still as the date approaches.

The Sunnis are digging their heels in because the constitution threatens their already precarious position in the incestuous and rickety oil-ministry. Since the allied Shi’ahs/Kurds outnumber the Sunnis the Constitution could be forced through against Sunni wishes, however if this were to occur one can envision the Sunnis picking up their ball and going home, which in political terms spells instability on an Arabic scale.

If’ee were to ask the Alchemist (why thank you) I’d have to side with the Sunnis. Not that I care for their precious oil, but simply because I cannot see a federal Iraq as a good thing. God knows there is enough potential violence in that land to be getting on with – the idea of splitting it into separate battlin’ cantons seems lunacy. A ready made civil war waiting to happen, and I’ll give you three guesses as to who will have to clear up that mess, but the second two don’t count.

Incidentaly although it will fall to us to sort out this putative civil war, it will be the Sunnis who come of worse. Y’see the Kurds want to keep their little patch of the country to the north, and the Shi’ahs want to set up their own canton in the south part of the country so the Sunnis will end up between them, and although the Kurds and Shi’ahs are friends now (sort of) there’s certainly no love lost and it hasn’t been so many years since they were shooting the hell out of each other now has it?

Naturally al-Jaafari is in favour of federalism since the only thing that appeals to a Shi’ah more than carving out their own patch of Iraq is getting one over on the godamn heretic Sunnis.
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