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sufrensucatash

news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.

 

I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.

 

I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Iraqi Constitutional Vote:
   Does it matter that many Iraqis don't even want a unified country?

The Iraqis vote on their draft constitution in two days and the big questions are, will it pass and will the Sunni vote, or non-vote, sabotage approval. Much as also been said about the possibility of a Balkanization of Iraq and the subsequence consequence on Middle East power.

But the real question that is not being (seriously) asked is, do the Iraqis really want a unified country?

First, is there really a modern Iraqi identity? The tripartate ethnic, cultural and political divisions of the country has been much discussed, the Kurds in the north, the Shia in the south and the Sunni in the middle. But the Kurds want their own country and will set up shop at first blush. In fact, they already have a de facto country. The Shia, while excited about ruling a country previously dominated by their ethnic cousins, the Sunni, are at best lukewarm. Certainly ruling a whole country is better than a mere part of it, but even ruling a separate Shia state would be more than they have had in a long time.

Only the Sunni would be losers. Isolated politically and culturally from the North, East and Southeast, they also risk losing out on the tremendous wealth of the oil fields, mostly located in Shia and Kurdish dominated territory. But they are the holdouts, threatening chaos if the vote is Nay and their concerns aren't pacified. And Iran is, without a doubt, positioning for an ultimate breakup, regardless of the direction of the vote.

The vote on the draft in two days may say Yea, but don't hold your breath. It seems there is more support for unification outside of the Middle East, than within.

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