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 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iraqi Election Outcome: Civil War and an Islamic State of Iraq

  Read here full article by Ivan Eland


Ivan Eland

The elections in Iraq later this week are likely to dig the Iraqi hole a little deeper for the Bush administration.

The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has indirectly ordered fellow Shi’a to cast their ballots for representatives of the Shi’ite religious parties.

A permanent Shi’ite-Kurdish government may prove even more intransigent than the interim government in addressing Sunni concerns about being cut out of Iraq’s oil revenues—thus accelerating the incipient civil war in that nation.

The ever over-confident Bush administration has never really bothered to understand important characteristics of nations it invades.

In its lust for the rhetoric of “spreading democracy,” the Bush administration has failed to notice that the term means something different in countries with little democratic experience, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, than it does in the United States.

In Afghan elections, people voted as their tribal leaders or warlords directed.

In Iraq, voters cast their ballots as prominent leaders desire. Most of the majority Shi’a population (60 percent of Iraqis) will reliably vote the way al-Sistani wants.

The Shi’ite religious parties in Iraq will most likely be victorious. They are heavily influenced and funded by the oppressive theocratic government in Iran.

The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, originally consisted of Iraqi defectors, exiles and refugees who spent two decades in Iran during Saddam Hussein’s rule and fought on the Iranian side in the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980s.

The party’s militia, the ruthless Badr organization, has been accused of assassinations and other violence against Sunnis and secular Shi’a.

Shi’ite militias have infiltrated Iraq’s security forces and Interior Ministry, which has recently been implicated in the torture of Sunnis in two prisons.

In short, the now desperate Bush administration’s attempt to achieve “victory in Iraq” and pledge to take the Iraqi democratic experiment on the road to other autocratic Arab countries, really amount to letting U.S. soldiers die to make the world safe for theocracy.

Such future theocracies in Iraq and elsewhere would likely be very unfriendly to the United States and might even sponsor terrorist attacks against U.S. targets.

The constitution gives the Kurds and Shi’a a greater proportion of oil revenues than the Sunnis because most of the petroleum lies in Kurdish northern and Shi’ite southern Iraq, respectively.

The Sunni insurgents are fighting because they fear being left in a resource-poor rump area.

The Constitution only passed because the interim government agreed to renegotiate portions of it after the vote.

Now that the Constitution has been approved, a newly elected permanent Shi’ite-Kurdish government will have little incentive to re-negotiate.

So the feud over oil revenues will likely fuel the embryonic civil war.

To reduce the chances of such a conflagration, the constitution should be amended to partition Iraq into Shi’ite, Kurdish, and Sunni areas and to proportionally share petroleum revenues or even oilfields with the Sunnis.

To give the Shi’a and Kurds an incentive to reach an agreement to share oil, the United States would inform them that the U.S. military, which is the only thing propping up the Iraqi government, will be exiting quickly.

The Bush Administration has dug itself so deeply into the Iraqi hole that NO perfect solution exists to avoid the impending civil war.

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