Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

August 12, 2005

Bush vs. Reality

Bush:

Bush reiterated that the United States sees no reason that an Iraqi committee working to draft a new national constitution cannot finish its work by a Monday deadline.

Reality:

One of Iraq's most powerful Shiite politicians called today for the formation of a semi-independent region in the oil-rich south, throwing the drafting of the new constitution into further turmoil and endangering a crucial deadline looming just four days away.

The politician, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a devout Shiite with close ties to Iran, said before a large gathering of followers in the holy city of Najaf that it was "necessary" to secure broad governing powers for the south, which is dominated by Shiite Arabs and was long oppressed under the rule of Saddam Hussein.

The issue of autonomous regions is the biggest sticking point in talks over the constitution. Kurdish leaders, intent on preserving the broad powers of Iraqi Kurdistan in the north, have been the biggest proponents of regional autonomy. The former ruling Sunni Arabs, fearing an unfair division of oil resources, have adamantly rejected the idea.

Sunni Arab leaders immediately denounced Mr. Hakim's remarks today and said it would now be almost impossible to finish the constitution on time.

"I don't think we will reach an agreement in four days," said Fakri al-Qaisi, a Sunni Arab member of the 71-seat constitutional committee. "There's no agreement between any of the groups. All the doors have closed. The Kurds have insisted on their demands. The Shia insist on their demands."


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posted at 9:26 AM by Wonky Muse

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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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