Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Federal Iraq

Iraq's parliament has passed a law allowing the formation of Federal Regions in Iraq. Emphasis is mine.

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. ...

Sunni Arabs largely voted against the constitution passed in 2005 because it outlined the federal system. The law outlines a process for forming regions, requiring any province considering joining a region to hold a referendum, if a third of the provincial legislators request it.

Westhawk has comments. I've pointed out several times in the past that a Federal System for Iraq is not some new idea recently come to light as suggested by some newspaper reports. It is an organic part of the Iraqi constitution as ratified in 2005. Whether or not Federalism will be good for Iraq is a subject for debate. But I hope the recent passage of this law settles the factual question of whether Federalism was intended for Iraq under its Constitution.

Nothing follows

38 Comments:

Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .
Whether or not Federalism will be good for Iraq is a subject for debate.

The pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq SCIRI just carved out an autonomous Islamist region in Iraq. That is who sponsored this parliamentary bill and that is who just won big. What is there to debate of good or bad? It is terrible for a unified Iraq . . . let alone any remaining Bush fantasies of a democratic or liberal state! SCIRI has vowed three years ago that they will impose a strict Islamic order under their rule:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/06/iraq-030604-rfel-164005.htm

That is why the US State Dep't was opposed to this parliamentary option, the formation of autonomous regions seven months ago, a position which, interestingly enough, put them in the same boat as the Sunnis and Sadr. Kanan Makiya is his essay "Present at the Disintergation" was right, this secession means the end of Iraq.

But I hope the recent passage of this law settles the factual question of whether Federalism was intended for Iraq under its Constitution.

The consitution gave the option for this form of (con)federalism, but it did not "call" for it as Wretchard has previously written, nor is it "intended". In fact, the parliament passed this measure under some very strange, even perhaps illegal circumstances. The Sunni/Sadr elements boycotted this session, leaving only 141 members of the 275 member parliament to vote:
( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101100809.html)


141 out of 275 makes for a mighty strange quorum. Wretchard missed this fact, one that doesn't give much hope for parliamentary procedures or central authority. And what really is federalism without a viable central authority? Pajamas Media's own Iraq the Model certainly predicted otherwise earlier this week (Oct 9th), when Omar wrote:

Then there's the talk about the Iraq study group's possible recommendation to turn Iraq into three autonomous regions.

We talked about this some time ago and said that this would be very unlikely because supporters of federalism make up hardly a half of Iraq's parliament, so they have a rather poor chance at passing a legislation that gives too much power to the regional authorities at the expense of the central government.

I think also tough Sunni opposition for putting federalism into action and the strong rivalries among Shia parties, who are divided over this issue, will slow down if not kill the project.
However, a change in the political map in Iraq can change the equation in a way that allows federalism to be implemented, but that change would have to be dramatic, i.e. federalism in the form of three highly autonomous regions can only see the light under a parliament other than the one we have now.


I guess all it took to change "the political map" was a quorum of 51%!
And now the Ayatollah Hakim has his own caliphate to rule . . . with the help of his sponsor.

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . ."

10/12/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

United States of Iraq?

10/12/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

It would have been much more difficult for SCIRI to push federalism legislation if it weren't for the present sectarian violence. It was a touch-and-go affair, and it could have easily been thwarted if the Sunni-Secular-Sadrist coalition had found a few more Shi'ite legislators to stay home for that session. Given the fractiousness of the Shi'ite coaliton, it could have been done if the sectarian strife hadn't played into al-Hakim's hands.

The question of whether Baghdad will be a Shi'ite city or a Sunni city has turned into a bloody stalemate, which shouldn't be a surprise given how Baghdad has historically been both Sunni and Shi'ite. If there were a strong central government, Baghdad could be secure. However, the legitimacy of any Iraqi government depends partly on the United States handing over all Iraqi palaces (including the new American embassy!!) and the Green Zone over to the Iraqi government. Although the Occupation is over, Iraq is in the awkward position of having its government offices secured by foreign troops. I don't think American troops should be acting as the Iraqi government's praetorian guard forever.

Given the nature of southern Iraqi society for the past few centuries, the question was never whether the clerics of Najaf would be the principal guiding force, but under what circumstances a de facto theocracy would be established. I had hoped, and still hope, that southern Iraq would be more like Utah under the influence of the LDS Church, Chicago under the influence of the Catholic Church, or Alabama. De facto theocracies do exist within liberal democracies, and it is still a better alternative than the Iranian system. We should not forget that the United States has its own history of blue laws, prohibition, Comstockery, and enforcing dress codes onto women.

Besides, it will be easier to overthrow the Iranian government if its leadership understands that (1) it has a potential refuge in Najaf and (2) the Iranian opposition and its foreign allies merely seek to overthrow Iran's clerical tyranny and not massacre every Iranian cleric and his family in the process.

10/12/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Of the several political objectives in Iraq which might lead to a contradiction none stood so apparently in conflict as the idea of a unity Iraq and democracy. Marc Ruel Gerecht understood and warned from the beginning that a democracy in Iraq meant a Shi'ite government because it had a Shi'ite majority population. That therefore what was to emerge would, to one degree or another have a powerful Shi'ite clerical component to it. That was before the Constitution was adopted and before the transitional and permanent governments were constituted.

The Sunnis knew from the beginning that the constitution as adopted probably meant Federalism. They knew it before the adoption; after the adoption and they know it now. It is the consequence of the basic fact that the Kurds had their own homeland and the Shi'ia might want theirs.

Whatever the State Department wanted, the DOD at least knew from the beginning (see the Rumsfeld-Woodward interview) that American influence in Iraq would steadily decline and that at some moment they would have to choose their path.

One ought to distinguish between an Iraq in three warring pieces and an Iraq of three federal pieces. I am by no means persuaded that a federation is dead. And the main reason is oil. The Kurds need to ship their oil to markets and this will be difficult, if not impossible without coming to some sort of arrangement with the Sunnis and Shi'a. The Sunnis for their part need to get a share of revenue from the Shi'a and the Kurds. Without some federal government structure through which they can negotiate their differences, little can be achieved. So while I may be wrong, I'm not sure a Federal Iraq is dead.

It is tempting to argue that Iraq was in the first place cobbled together by the British from different nations and held together by force as part of their efforts to reproduce a little Raj (the efforts were actually led by a British Indian Army officer if I recall aright), and that they are reverting to a "natural" state. But I won't make that argument. I'll make the more minimal argument that none of the sectarian forces has enough power to impose its will over the others. Not even the Shi'a. And therefore Iraq may devolve into autonomous or even independent regions, but it is unlikely to invade another neighbor again in the near future. As it did Iran; as it did Kuwait; as it nearly did Saudi Arabia. Some readers may think a Federal Iraq is a bad thing. And they may be right. I'm content to say that I don't know.

10/12/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Terrific comeback, Wretchard.

"Don't mess with Wretchard"

10/13/2006 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard said . . .
'Whether or not Federalism will be good for Iraq is a subject for debate."

At this stage, they can kill each other if they like, or not talk to each other if they prefer. It is their business and 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

10/13/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

When asked about guarantees for the rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region, Secretary Rice said, "We have been friends with the Kurdish people for a very long time, and in fact prior to liberation, well prior to liberation, I think helped to provide stability and protection to the Kurdish people. We now are able to have a situation in which we will have a democratic Iraq, not just a democratic Kurdish region.

There are guarantees in the constitution of that unified Iraq. People understand the importance of autonomy here in the Kurdish regions."


Autonomy

10/13/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

I agree that Federalism is less menacing than a full-fledged Shia' democracy and the assumption of Iranian interests dominating via an unfolding Islamic Republic in Iraq may be founded on the premise that Iranian mullah dictatorship will endure. It won't. The Gulf Sunni Arabs and their oil will not be threatened by a nuclear, Shia' Iran. It's not going to happen and the Iranian dictatorship is I think locked into nuclear development and can't see a way out and they will be attacked. This could well precipitate the needed revolution there. That's my .02 worth for the day.

10/13/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

We wanted a democracy in Iraq, and this democracy is heading towards a tripartite solution, which would throw off the artificial unified "state" imposed by the Brits and Ottomans long ago. This may not be according to the script Bush and his team are hanging on to (and they can hang on to silly ideas for dear life, witness the Harriet Miers thing), but the facts on the ground and the will of the Iraqi Kurds and Shi'a are speaking louder. That's a good thing.

10/13/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

We recall the American confederation that obtained after the Peace of Paris in 1784 through to recognition that such an order was deleterious to all, about 1786. Mayhap Iraq will experience this tension... but cultural and social factors in that benighted hodgepodge are so different, that Iraqis may prefer to fractionate into virtually autonomous regions under a frayed but viable Constitutional umbrella.

So long as Iraq in general, and its complex of sectarian Warring States pose no threat to outsiders --except other Muslim theocracies averse to representative self-government-- America comes out ahead.

We think a generations-long process must be worked out, chivvied and hustled into place as Iraqi norms evolve. The point is to foster Peace and Prosperity without terrorist Mullahs' constant, bloody sabotage of civilized ideals.

Yes, this will take time. Indeed, there will be setbacks. But again-- as Iraq and the Iraqi people gradually mature, fitful as the case may be, can anyone other than Ramsey Clark, George Galloway and their enablers pretend that a sadistic murderer should rule anyone at any time at all?

10/13/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes, Pyrthroes, but we accomplished that 32 months ago.

Why did we hang out and spend so much blood & treasure on a job well done so long ago

10/13/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Thrippthwaite Blutscheiss III said...

Wretchardkadrezzar writened:

"It is tempting to argue that Iraq was in the first place cobbled together by the British from different nations and held together by force as part of their efforts to reproduce a little Raj (the efforts were actually led by a British Indian Army officer if I recall aright)...."

You recall awrong.

10/13/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Begining of the End of Harry Reid
AJ Strata and commenters come through.
CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS!
Rush Link this morning.

10/13/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

So when the Islamists gain sufficient numbers in this country to begin a replay of the greiviences outlined in the Declaration of Independence and begin altering our laws to reflect sharia what do we do?
Do we wait for their population to increase to the point of Europes? The popular thinking is that it is too late for the European countries to avoid an Islamic takeover. Dhimmitude or death will of course follow for all none believers.
But what if we started deporting all Muslims from the US now?. What if Europe did the same?
Civil war? Well you can have your civil war now or you can have it at a later date in a weaker position.
We can aid Europe now or allow it to go Islamic, thus rendering NATO the hollow shell it has initiated. By aiding Europe we must kill or deport the masses of an antithetical philosophy to Western thought and values. Killing is preferential, since they will simply continue to mutiple, gain a sufficient number of nuclear boms and ICBM's to deliver them, and hold hostage at a distance what they cannot within the host.
This clash of civilizations is not going to stop in our lifetime or our childrens lifetime unless we kill half to three quarters of all Islamists. If you believe otherwise then bring on the fairy dust to cleanse the problem.
And when men with 7th century ideas are running our industries how dark do you think the work will be, morally,scientifically , and phiosophically?
It is time to kill a quasi-civilization, as you would a spreading pandemic disease.

10/13/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

So You Still Think Democrats Are American?

Read this from the Communist Party of the USA and then you tell me? I tried pointing this out last week but few bother to take any notice of the similarities. Read on fellow, knowledgeables.
Commie or Democrat
Commie or Democrat

10/13/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This clash of civilizations is not going to stop in our lifetime or our childrens lifetime unless we kill half to three quarters of all Islamists.

"Regarding the Muslim Question, the Führer is determined to clear the table. He warned the Muslims that if they were to cause another world war, it would lead to their own destruction. Those were not empty words. Now the world war has come. The destruction of the Muslims must be its necessary consequence. We cannot be sentimental about it. It is not for us to feel sympathy for the Muslims. We should have sympathy rather with our own American people. If the America people have to sacrifice 3,000 victims in yet another 9-11, then those responsible for this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their lives." (paraphrase)

10/13/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .

Of the several political objectives in Iraq which might lead to a contradiction none stood so apparently in conflict as the idea of a unity Iraq and democracy.

But of course! This is precisely what anti-war conservatives were screaming back in ’02, and for our apostasy we were labeled “racists”, “paleocons” and “unpatriotic conservatives” (by the loathsome Canadian David Frum). Now that so many of our concerns have proven tragically prescient it is worth revisiting the arguments for this fiasco: WMD? None found; Operative connections to al-Qaeda? None established; democracy in Iraq? A civil war with the recent establishment of a Shiite Islamist state in the South. This repudiation of the pro-war arguments has led to all manner of queasy declensions, from post hoc justifications to desperate strategies to belated discoveries of established truths. (“You know, a democratic Iraq might fly all to pieces to the benefit of Islamists!”).

The administration’s intended goal of a peaceful, prosperous, secular, multiethnic, pro-American and pro-Israel Iraq, one that would be a shining “exemplar” to the region, is being quietly eased down the memory hole. Wretchard, you have been a strident advocate of democracy as the solution for Iraq’s ills for years now, at what point did you become aware of this little “contradiction”?

Marc Ruel Gerecht understood and warned from the beginning that a democracy in Iraq meant a Shi'ite government because it had a Shi'ite majority population. That therefore what was to emerge would, to one degree or another have a powerful Shi'ite clerical component to it.

And contesting Gerecht’s view were the Iraqi exiles close to the administration: the convicted con-man Chalabi and the tragic egghead Makiya. These men, who hadn’t been back to Iraq since ’68, argued that a large, liberal, secular middle class would be the basis of new Iraq. Guess which side the administration listened to? (Though a neocon, Reuel was tarred by his past employment by CIA, a victim of the OVP/DoD vs. State/CIA schism.)

One ought to distinguish between an Iraq in three warring pieces and an Iraq of three federal pieces.

Here’s another distinction: three warring federal pieces. And why not? Even neocon Charles Krauthammer has called this conflict a civil war.

Without some federal government structure through which they can negotiate their differences, little can be achieved. So while I may be wrong, I'm not sure a Federal Iraq is dead.

Are they negotiating their differences through the federal structure now? Look at how the federal bill was just passed, with parliamentary trickery in the midst of massive sectarian violence.

I'll make the more minimal argument that none of the sectarian forces has enough power to impose its will over the others.

The only argument remaining is the one started between some retired hands of DIA and CIA, one heard often enough in certain bars in Maryland in early ’03. Is this the greatest American foreign debacle since Vietnam or the greatest debacle ever? The minimalist argument says “Vietnam”.

Some readers may think a Federal Iraq is a bad thing. And they may be right. I'm content to say that I don't know.

Contentedness with ignorance doesn’t cut it at this stage of the game. It has got our President and our country to where we are now. We know the true nature and the agenda of the Shiite Islamist parties that make up the legitimated bulk of the Iraqi government. We can not hide from the facts on the ground for much longer. Is it in our interests to prop up a pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian, Islamist movement? That is what “stay-the-course” means.

10/13/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

It seems to me that reocon relies on an assumption that arab on arab violence will have no end.

As I see it we our only shortage in Iraq right now is time. We in America are placing enormous time pressure on ourselves for reasons I can't buy.

The first glimpses of this time pressure seemed to eminate from the Anti victory crowd. "We'll be there for years!" Gosh, I sure hope so was my patient reply.

Then we heard "this is taking longer than WW2" It's an insurgency stupid was the response at the time.

but the anti victory folks have apparently achieved their purpose, which was to weaken our resolve.

Reocon makes many good points but again, he seems to believe that the civil violence will continue unabated. I don't believe that it will, further I believe that a significant middle class and an Iraq that is moving toward reconciliation with the modern world are both probable.

Mario Loyola pointed out that the violence in Algiers tapered off simply because violence for the sake of violence cannot, ultimately sustain itself. so it will be in Iraq.

Will the Shia create an Iranian client state? I don't think so, the mullahs will not be able to offset the pride of place that Najaf offers.

it is easy to be gloomy after so much sorrow but it is not mandatory. Ignoring the endlessly complaining greek chorus that is America's anti war crowd is actually quite easy.

The Iraqis will survive and prosper with a government cobbled together, just as we muddle along with our cobbled together government.

10/13/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Graytooth said...

"it will fuel sectarian violence"

lol.

10/13/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

habu 1, I do not think the American people will spend blood and treasure again to rescue Europe. Their best hope of a non-Islamic future is now probably a Russian takeover. Putin is moving to a position to do this without significant military expenditure.

I predict the US troops will be gone from Germany and the consequent end of NATO by 2010.

They want socialism, I think they will be treated to the Russian variety.

10/13/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

Scrolling through the comments, I am amazed at what seems to pass as thoughtful discussion. Let us consider a quick glance from recent history (past 300 years). What is the record of countries or areas being reformed, through either revolution/cival war or widespread conquering and occupation.

Now let's be honest, what are the usual results? Now bring in the complications of differing races, cultures, religions and just plain & simple jealousy with a given new country.

Now consider Iraq...
The various areas really need each other for commerce. Only the south portion could 'stand alone' and the trade for the rest of the country would tend to go through the south.

A significant amount of culture (to include religion), much of which is ancient, is based throughout the rest of the country, at least where there is water.

Now for the next part of the exercise....
Please CAREFULLY consider the population and conditions following the American Revolution and up to about 1800. Remember the outside pressures, British, French, Spanish, Indian and other minor players. Remember the population was broken into many religious factions & peoples (Germain, Dutch, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Indians, etc.) most of whom tended to tolerate the others but would just as soon stay in their own community. The ones on the frontiers REALLY did not get along well. In general terms, how is the Iraqi experience substantially different?

A Federal USA was the first choice. In my opinion, the best choice for personal freedom. However the factions resulted in our present republic (please note my non use of democracy) an here we are.

Regardless of where we think the Iraqis need to be be, they will go through a process. I pray the process avoids another trip into darkness. They are being given a chance. We are providing, while not necessarily a square deal, something much more rectangular than much of the rest of the world would offer them. Let's play this out and see if this can be a rare success rather than the usual failure. I think the British and Americans tend to have a better rate of success than others.

10/13/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Ed onWestSlope said...
Please CAREFULLY consider the population and conditions following the American Revolution and up to about 1800. . . .In general terms, how is the Iraqi experience substantially different?

1. Christianity. Specifically a post-Reformation, predominantly Protestant Christianity with a burgeoning history of tolerance and pluralism for forms that it recognized as within its Enlightened norms.

2. The destruction of the indigenous peoples, which paved the way for new cultural forms. You cite the "Indians and other minor players". This ain't the Cherokee nation and there's a good reason for that. Before we established our Republic from coast to coast, we had to wittle down some incompatible "multiculturalism".

3. The Enlightenment. It's Western European roots built on the Reformation and Renaissance. See point 1, then read Bernard Lewis's What Went Wrong for an analysis of how much of the Enlightenment skipped the Islamic world. Then (re)read the Federalist Papers to see an internalized Enlightenment thinking applied to government.

4. Post-authoritarian environment. Iraqi culture appears to have been traumatized into its constitutive parts under Saddam. The American founding did not follow after the Scottish colonists wiped out 500,000 German/French/Irish colonists in sectarian powerplays. Why should millions of Iraqi Shias live with millions of unapologetic Sunnis who still want to dominate them?

5. The remnants of the past-regime haven't been defeated, in fact, to do so will require total war and will no longer be considered a war of liberation. The Sunni insurgency is still fighting and has elected representatives in Parliament. After the American Revolution the pro-British Tories fled to Canada.

6. Leadership. America:
George Washigton, Hamilton, Jay, Madison, Adams, Jefferson, etc.
Iraq: Sadr, Jaafari, Maliki, Hakim, Mutlak, Chalabi, etc.

7. I could go on for another 300 points or so but I think you get the drift.

skipsailing said...
It seems to me that reocon relies on an assumption that arab on arab violence will have no end.

I'd say that based on history, that's a good bet. Hell, I'd put money on it. Big money. Any takers?

As I see it we our only shortage in Iraq right now is time. We in America are placing enormous time pressure on ourselves for reasons I can't buy.

The time constraint is placed upon the bet the Shiite Islamists will evolve into liberal secularists within the next ten years while the Sunnis learn to be moderate Republicans at the same time. You can't buy it? Are you willing to pay more taxes or restart a draft to apply multicultural liberalism to the tribal stew of squabbling Arab cultures? Do you believe in big government social re-engineering of foreign cultures? Of course Americans are impatient because they're beginning to grasp just what a ludicrously utopian liberal fantasy this whole misadventure was in the first place.

Reocon makes many good points but again, he seems to believe that the civil violence will continue unabated. I don't believe that it will, further I believe that a significant middle class and an Iraq that is moving toward reconciliation with the modern world are both probable.

The fabled Iraqi middle class was vaporized by Saddam during the stagnation that followed the first Gulf War. You need economic prosperity and a vibrant bourgeois culture (work ethic) to create a middle class, not a bloody civil war within a ruptured state. The middle class is fleeing Iraq or being annihilated.

10/13/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

I predict the US troops will be gone from Germany and the consequent end of NATO by 2010.

That's not so hard to predict when they are talking about keeping the US troops at the same op tempo in Iraq until 2010.

They want socialism, I think they will be treated to the Russian variety.

Good, that means we can just concentrate on competing economically with China and India.

10/13/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

This is neither appocolyptic nor a major problem. Let us all allow the process to proceed. The regions seems to me to be the greatest sucess to the Kurds, who are the best example to to all and kndred souls. As to the shiias I am not quite sure as to who is what" Sistani, al Sadr, or the Wahabi guys.
Seems to me that al Maliki is making them to choose sides.

10/13/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Perhaps we are seeing a big states versus small states arguement forming here. The Sistani state or the Mookie state regarding the Shia while we also see other sub sects of the Shia.
Let them federalise. Bless them in this process they are the boots on the ground.
Really, the truth to the pudding is can Iraq keep the Kurds. The Kurds cannot exist without the Iraqi, but can the Iraqiis exists wiht the Kurds?

10/13/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Really, the truth to the pudding is can Iraq keep the Kurds. The Kurds cannot exist without the Iraqi, but can the Iraqiis exists wiht the Kurds?

On the contrary, the Kurds are existing without the rest of the Iraqis, as a sovereign autonomous region with only the surface appearance of unity with the government in Baghdad. They've got the oil around Kirkuk, and now the Shi'a want to have their own autonomous region around the oil wells in the vicinity of Basra. This will leave the Sunnis in the western desert near Jordan as the official "Iraq" with nothing but a bunch of dry holes.

10/14/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dry holes and Kurdy Pudding.
Yuck.
But the real problem the Bakerites et al fail to address is minor places like Baghdad, that have Sunni and Shia livin in peaceful harmony:
What effect would Federalism have on THEM?

10/14/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Can somebody fill me in on this question? What kind of Islam do the Kurds practice? I thought they were put down because they were Kurds not a religioud reason at all. This must have been so with Saddam, he was about as religious as one of my Dachshunds, the Turks don't like them because they want what the Turks consider to be their Real Estate, Iran does not care for them for presumabley the same reason as the Turks, I suppose they are sort of a minority wherever they go in 5 or 6 nations, but do they have these idiotic notions that are prevalent Sunni/Shia Islam?

I wonder if they take te religion as seriously as surrounding countries seem to do. If not, they are probably a far better soil to establish a *democracy* in.

Any *Islamic Democracy* is an oxymoron.

10/14/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Dave H. The Kurds are predominantly Sunni. Wahabbi are Sunni and Sistani and al Sadr are from differing schools of Shia thought. Sistani believes in separation of church and state al Sadr doesn't.

10/14/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Ms T,

Are you saying it depends on which whey kurds go or kurds and whey they go?

10/14/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

reocon - Nice post on 10/13. I was favorable towards going into Iraq - but was pretty shocked when it became clear there was no postwar plan. I was OK with the attempt to try democracy because, not being an expert on Iraqi society, I bought into the case Bush made that Arabs are people that want freedom just like us.

Then found out Bush disregarded all the experts on that.

And democracy and all the rest seems to have failed in a land where hatred and tribal honor trump any lure of modernity and a lawful society.

As Reocon said about the neocons who seduced Bush into the "just folks like us that need a little help to shed their burquas and bloodfeuds: Are you willing to pay more taxes or restart a draft to apply multicultural liberalism to the tribal stew of squabbling Arab cultures? Do you believe in big government social re-engineering of foreign cultures? Of course Americans are impatient because they're beginning to grasp just what a ludicrously utopian liberal fantasy this whole misadventure was in the first place.

10/14/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Under one set of names, 'Federalism', 'self determination' etc., we can all be for it. Under a different name, 'ethnic cleansing', we're all firmly against it.

The reality on the ground is the same.

We went through all this before, with our eyes firmly closed to the same contradiction, in the Balkans.

10/14/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

C4, of course we are not "willing" to pay taxes or instuitute a draft, it's just that possibly we may have to. Money can be raised by confiscatory taxes ala WW II but that is a very temporary solution, for the population to stand for it there would probably have to be a total committment to the destruction of Islam---permanently. The would have to commitsomethinng like nuking several American cities, then even a Kerry or someone of Howard Dean's stripe (large white,up the back) will be forced to do the deed or be strung up to lamposts. I think the Left would actually come down harder, they would be playing catch-up. Islam is a fake, it is no more a religion than Nazi-izm or Bolshevism was. The pathetic left in America are in many cases just left over reds.

C4, most of your recent post contain valid criticisms, but they are colored by hindsight and you offer nothing to replace the present "failed" policies.

10/14/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"Wherefore Art Thou, Wretchard?"

your last words were "nothing follows"

surely you jest.

10/15/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

...a Shi’ite state is likely to emerge in the south, similar to the autonomous region of the Kurds in the north. It will be able to levy taxes and post armed guards on its borders.

The law has been bitterly opposed by Sunnis, who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein but form only a fifth of the population. They fear that the Shi’ite south will become a satellite of Iran and that they will be left with a central area with little oil.


Iraq

10/15/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good Ideas:
UAE Community Blog
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Found it in Tim Newman's Profile Found it in Tim Newman's Profile

10/16/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mark Steyn on Medved:

http://www2.krla870.com/listen/

10/16/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

By the way, doug; do you have any windows left in your hut?

10/16/2006 04:05:00 PM  

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