A View From The Handbasket

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
"We're bigger than U.S. Steel!"
Posted by neros_fiddle at 2:49 PM

Like Hyman Roth carving up a Cuba-shaped birthday cake, it looks like Iraq is determined to dismember itself:

The Shiite-dominated parliament Wednesday passed a law allowing the formation of federal regions in Iraq, despite opposition from Sunni lawmakers and some Shiites who say it will dismember the country and fuel sectarian violence.


The federalism law sets up a system for allowing provinces to join together into autonomous regions that would hold considerable self-rule powers, a right given to them under the constitution adopted last year in a national referendum.

Some Shiites want to create an autonomous zone in their heartland in the south, much like the self-ruling Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

But Sunni Arabs deeply oppose the federalism measures, fearing it will divide Iraq into sectarian mini-states, giving Shiite and Kurds control over oil riches in the south and north, and leaving Sunnis in an impoverished central zone without resources. Some Shiite parties - including the faction of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr - also oppose the measures for nationalist reasons.

At this point, it would seem appropriate to ask, "Is this what we had in mind?" However, I'm not at all sure what exactly we did have in mind, aside from deposing Saddam. And neither was anyone in the government apparently.

So now we'll have a Kurdish "state" in the north ready to mix it up with Turkey, a steadfast Shiite ally of Iran down on the border with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and a bunch of embittered, militant Sunnis in the leftovers, ripe for recruitment by al Qaeda.

Sounds like a win for somebody, if not us.

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