August 24, 2005

Oh Boy

So in Iraq it appears that the give and take between groups over the Constitution is now being conducted with guns.

If you actually take a look at the political forces at work in Iraq it is not encouraging:

This is a country whose secular minority largely overlaps with the ethnically distinct and geographically concentrated Kurds. Kurdish political leaders feel that it's worth making a great deal of compromises about how Iraq should be governed in exchange for the right to govern themselves as they see fit. Consequently, outside of Kurdistan, public opinion seems to be strongly Islamist. Indeed, the single most important political leader in the country is the country's chief Shiite cleric. There are various good things you can say about the Grand Ayatollah, but as you'll see here he clearly has retrograde views on a variety of key social issues. The political party of the prime minister (al-Dawa) is a socially conservative Islamist party. Its main coalition partner, SCIRI, is a more socially conservative, more Islamist party. The most powerful opposition movements in the country are a super-violent Islamism-inflected Sunni insurgency and the frankly anti-democratic, Khomeinist movement of Muqtada al-Sadr.

Keep in mind that these are the guys who are working on the Constitution, These are not the insurgents. These are the guys that our guys are protecting. That our guys are fighting and bleeding for. Oh Boy.

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