November 23, 2005
Iraq, a quick set of refs to return to
And finally with dwindling lucidity, another fine article from Mr. Ignatius in The Washington Post on the recent Iraqi parties conference.
In Cairo, Clarity on Iraq, which gives almost a glimmer of hope.
I also draw attention to the al Hayat article, مؤتمر القاهرة: مخرج لانسحاب اميركي وتوافق على «شرعية المقاومة» ونبذ «الارهاب»
القاهرة , طهران - مشرف عباس الحياة - 22/11/05 which is worthy of a read as well.
I may add commentary later, but the essentials here are there may be an outside chance at a core consensus, on the basis of the Americans promising to fuck off in the foreseeable but not immediate future. My opinion, whatever it takes, mates, whatever it goddamned takes.
I rather think this is a likely still birth, but not to be dismissed either.
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i didn't know you had any emotions ... maybe there IS a heart underneath that cynical shell ...
the article, like most by ignatius, is good. and i share his & your sentiment - that of HOPE.
on the other hand - most politicians and groups in iraq have, during the last 2 years, moved into very entrenched positions, including sunni arab ones like salih al-mutlaq. it is very hard to get them out of there.
the cairo conference did not only result in a common declaration to want the occupation troops to leave, it also saw the kurdish & shi'ite arab delegates walk out when an assyrian deliberately insulted them. both - the accord & the insult-cum-walkout - are part of contemporary iraq.
and then there are a good many explosive issues which the conference did not even address:
- kurdistan IS autonomous, will go its way, will continue the "re-kurdification" of places like kirkuk, and is already in the middle of a disengagement process from "the arabs" - arabic is the 3rd language in schools (after kurdish & english), cars with non-local license plates are not allowed in a number of kurdish towns, the kurdish militia (the famous "peshmerga") are not being integrated into the iraqi army, etc.pp.
- a number of southern provinces are on their way to form a federal region and the people behind this effort are increasingly talking the way the kurdish autonomists in the north do
- the central & provincial governments are not providing services to the citizens but are operating along patronage systems. civil rights are non-existent
- last, but certainly not least: whatever some conference in cairo says, al-zar'awi & friends don't care, and neither do the ba'thists. for the former, everyone not on their side is an enemy, and the latter seem to truly be bent on at least disrupting any political system that has them not ruling, and some might even dream of reconquering all of iraq or at least regaining authority over the "sunni heartland".
i remember how we were all laughing (albeit a bitter one) when journos, incl. juan cole, were saying that "the arab league's intervention is good, because the sunni arab resistance will listen to them". yeah ... RIGHT.
in the end, there is hope that the "situation" won't get worse. and the cairo conference did help. but i don't have any illusions, particularly not about the jihadists.
Posted by: raf* at November 24, 2005 06:24 AM
My dear Raf:
If I showed any untoward emotions, it must have been the drugs talking.
Interesting comments, will expand further later.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at November 24, 2005 07:45 AM