Tuesday, August 16, 2005

After the constitution

By Bruce Fein
August 16, 2005
....Iraq's centrifugal forces are a thousand-fold greater than the fissures that earlier bedeviled the United States. Iraqi Kurds covet an independent state. They fight for a constitution that would acknowledge a right to secede and dominate oil-rich Kirkuk at the Turkmen and Arabs' expense. They deplore Islamic law. They have enjoyed 14 years of de facto independence. Power is never surrendered in the Middle East voluntarily. Arabs and Kurds have caused Turkmen to suffer terribly since Iraq's founding. Legal protections have been more honored in the breach than in the observance. Turkmen have been marginalized in drafting the constitutional and in the incumbent government. They are disinclined to accept second-class status in Kirkuk, where Turkmen have historically predominated. .....