Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

May 23, 2006

The Real Iraq

As Tony Blair tries to clap louder, Patrick Cockburn describes the real Iraq:

As usual, Mr Blair arrived by helicopter. Anybody entering the zone on foot has to negotiate eight checkpoints defended by heavily armed troops and guards surrounded by sandbags, razor wire, sniffer dogs and X-ray machines.

Mr Blair said "we have a government of national unity that crosses all boundaries". Unfortunately that is exactly what we do not have. The five months it has taken to form a government since the election for the Iraqi parliament on 15 December shows the depth of existing divisions. This government has a Minister of Tourism but, as yet, no Minister of the Interior or Defence, the two crucial jobs in a country torn apart by war.

In the two parliamentary elections and a referendum on the constitution in 2005, Iraqis voted along strictly sectarian or ethnic lines. The Shia and Sunni religious parties and the Kurdish coalition triumphed; secular and nationalist candidates performed dismally. The new constitution shifting power to Kurdish and Shia super-regions with control over new oil discoveries means that, in future, Iraq will be largely a geographical expression.

[...]

The problem for the US and Britain in Iraq is at one level quite simple. " If you have democracy in Iraq it will be in the interests of Iran, religious organisations and the Shia," said Sami Shoresh, a commentator on Iraqi affairs.

It is easy to see why there is sectarian violence in Iraq. The majority Kurds and Shiites, bolstered by death squads and private militas like the Badr and Mehdi armies, are essentially slicing up the country into their own little kingdoms. The once powerful but minority Sunnis see this as the road to their own destruction and will continue to resist the rise of the other two sects through insurgent activities .

That Bush and Blair continue to ignore this and insist on looking at Iraq with rose-colored glasses is further evidence that they have absolutely no clue what to do about it.

Image: Reuters/Faleh Kheiber.

posted at 1:13 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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