Sunday, August 28, 2005

Iraq Clusterfuck: Kicking the Constitutional Can Down The Road 

More light at the end of the tunnel. Not.

But whatever euphoria officials may have hoped would accompany Sunday's presentation was dampened by the Sunni refusal to back the charter. Even several last-minute amendments were not enough to unify the committee.

Sunnis account for only 20 percent of Iraq's estimated 27 million people, but they are in a strong position to derail the constitution. If two-thirds of voters in any three provinces reject the charter in the referendum, the constitution will be defeated. Sunnis have the majority in at least four provinces.

Iraqi Civil War? We have ignition... [Though in deference The Base, perhaps we should say the Iraqi "War Between the States"...]

After two months of talks, negotiators for the Shiite-Kurd bloc and the Sunnis remain divided over fundamental issues that include:

- Whether Iraq should be turned into a federal state or decentralized by granting more power to provincial authorities;

- How the country's oil wealth will be divided;

- Whether Baath Party members should be purged from government; and

- Whether Iraq will be considered an Arab or Islamic nation.

The deadlock came despite frantic U.S. efforts to secure a political consensus that hopefully would deliver a massive vote for the charter - taking the steam out of the Sunni-led insurgency and enabling a withdrawal of U.S. troops to start next year
(via AP)

So, what's the issue here, anyhow? Why are people so pessimistic?

After all, the only issues that aren't decided are who has the power and who gets the oil money!

I'm sure everything will work out just fine.

NOTE Of course, the only schedule that really matters to Bush is the 2006 midterms.

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