Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dangereous Constitution?

Constitution Sparks Debate on Viability

Opinions are distinctly mixed on the draft for a new constitution for Iraq that seems to be emerging.

Apart from the issue of the role of Islam in Iraq - where the constitution seems to be along the lines that we previously saw emerging in Afghanistan - it is the division of powers between the centre and the different parts of the country in the emerging federal structure that leads to debate.

Anthony Cordesmann, who has been following Middle East issues closely for decades, says that "rather than an inclusive document, it is more a recipe for separation based on Shiite and Kurdish privilege."

If that is the case, there are clearly dangers ahead. A Sunni-based insurgency might accelerate rather than gradually die down. And any such insurgency risks triggering moves by the Shiites and Kurds that further endanger the unity of the country and brings it closer to a bloody civil war of disintegration and chaos.

The only long-term winners in such a situation would be Iran as well as the Islamic terrorists.