7 More Days for Iraq's Constitution
And so, in the eleventh hour, a week deferral was granted for the Iraqi constitution writing committe to come up with an agreed draft. The major sticking points are a mix of the hereafter and the here & now: Islam, oil and political power.
The Kurdish side, which all along demonstrated better negotiations strategy , PR , and legal edge ( thanks perhaps to the likes of Peter Galbraith) has obviously little time or patience for discussing the first. Their strategy is focused instead on securing the oil-rich areas around
The folks in the Shiite Alliance –as expected- are preoccupied with ensuring a prominent role for Islam – and thus for the turbaned class- in political life. But the stunner was the proposal made by Al-Hakim calling for a Shiite autonomous region comprising 9 provinces, extending from the border with
But it is also a move that seems to enjoy far less unanimous support amongst the Shiites themselves. Is it, as it has been touted- the best defence against a return of a Saddam–style genocidal era? Or merely, the path of least resistance for politicians overly eager for power and wealth? Why bother to persuade, cajole and engage others in
More significantly, this is a move that signals a marked departure from the long-held Shiite world-view. Shiites do not traditionally look upon themselves as a school of thought running in parallel (or in competition with) the Sunni or other streams. Rather as an inner circle within the outer circle of other Muslims. So I feel some sympathy with the enlightened Laith Kubba (the spokesman for PM Al-Jaafari) when he was quick to point out that this move would run against strong national -and not solely Sunni- concerns.