Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mark Levine on the farce of the Iraq 'constitution': "Specifically, there are no references [in the Iraqi constitution] to three issues that are of primary concern to most Arab, and especially Sunni Iraqis: a prohibition on the long-term presence of foreign - read American - troops in the country; a firm statement emphasizing Iraqi control of production and distribution of the country's oil resources; and a commitment to rebuilding the social infrastructure that was devastated by the invasion and subsequent wholesale privatization of the country's economy under US auspices.

"For most every Arab Iraqi the withdrawal of all American and other foreign troops is the sine qua non for ending the insurgency. That the constitutional negotiators couldn't include any prohibition of foreign troops, or deal straightforwardly with the other two core issues, demonstrates the continuing and largely deleterious power of the US in the country's internal affairs."

But of course, without bases and troops, and control of the resources and economy of the country, the invasion is without purpose. The Bush Administration seems incapable of strategic withdrawal, in spite of the fact that the situation is such a disaster that that may be well advised, and so therefore only military defeat seems likely to resolve the problem.

"And so it appears that the constitutional process being celebrated in Iraq and Washington is setting up Iraq to repeat the mistakes of the Oslo peace process, where negotiations over the hard issues were continually postponed on the assumption the process would move forward with enough momentum to force compromises at the end stage."

This assumes that the process in either Washington or Oslo was ever intended to resolve the real issues. The messed up outcome is just fine by the real powers, provided the danged 'terrorists' just sit back and accept without question the rape and occupation of their country.

As Pepe Escobar points out, the terms of the Iraq constitution which allow regional governments to form practically guarantees the break up of the country, and a likely civil war. But perhaps this is the US plan, the best they can come up with. In the civil war the US will abandon the Sunni centre (they have already basically lost it), back the Kurds and the Shiites (who have all the oil), and in the process try to establish them as dependent client states.

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