August 29, 2005

The Nature of Iraq

it seems that a federalist Constitution has passed out of the Iraqi parliament on the exact day that the leading cleric in Iraq came out against federalism. This provides a great opportunity for observers of Iraq to see the influence of Sistani, of religion in general among the Shia, of the impulse to national solidarity versus sectarian centrifugal forces.

If this constitution fails because the Sunnis vote in large numbers against the constitution and the Shia split with secularists voting for it and religiously influenced Shia joining the Sunnis to tank the thing, the neat scenarios of Iraq will all come undone on every side. This is as it should be if Iraq is going to ever survive over the long haul. Coalitions must shift, no one man will ever be guaranteed to be in a persistent majority. So when you find yourself in a majority, you will be conciliatory and moderate, knowing tomorrow it will be you in the minority position. This is a recipe for a mess. It's also a recipe for a civilized, democratic, Iraqi republic.

Posted by TMLutas at August 29, 2005 07:23 PM