A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, October 13, 2006 :::
Buried on page 21 of yesterday's Washington Post was an important article. It surely deserved to be on Page One, even though, as the Post accurately pointed out, it was hardly surprising.

The Shi'a majority in the Iraqi parliament voted to give the 9 Shi'a-dominated provinces of Iraq the right to form their own autonomous region in the South, just as the Kurds in the North have enjoyed their own autonomous region for quite some time. This region could not be formed until 2008, but one can be excused for harboring serious doubts that a parliament that has been unable to form a working government over these many months (or is it years?) will really be able to intervene if the provinces just go ahead and do it.

The Shi'a provinces are dominated by two parties, one of which calls itself the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose website can be found here, and the other of which calls itself the Dawa'a Party. "Dawa'a" roughly translates to "Teaching Others the Path of Islam." Or at least that's what more learned writers have said.

The head of SCIRI, Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, was a major supporter of the US invasion, and of the election. A Mind That Suits has never understood why conservative supporters of the war thought this was a good thing, from an American point of view. Didn't it enter anyone's mind that Mr. al-Hakim merely wanted us to do the heavy lifting and then go home? That is certainly how he has acted since we got there.

The Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani did not want us to come at all, but once we were there, he wanted us to guarantee an election which was surely going to bring his people to power.

Which it did.

That does not mean, nor has Mr. al-Sistani ever said, that he ever supported the establishment of a liberal democracy. He does, however, abjure gratuitous violence and persecution of religious minorities. He is also seriously ill, and others who do not abjure such violence and persecution are already vying to assume his mantle.

It is worth noting that, according to what few reports have come out, once the Shi'a parties gained power in their 9 provinces, they began forming intimate relations with the government of Iran, with which we have rather pressing business.

And it is worth noting that the only members of Parliament who voted to give those 9 provinces their autonomy were Shi'a, judging by the numbers. All of the Sunni, and surely all of the Kurds, walked out.

There is the added consideration that some of the Members of Parliament most assuredly represented the province of Anbar, far to the west of Baghdad and cheek by jowl with Syria. It is there that, according to our own Defense Department, the US has no influence whatsoever.

Anyone who can seriously claim to be a conservative knows that "nature abhors a vacuum."

Just who will fill that vacuum??

Just what military power in the region needs to save face bacause it was driven from Lebanon?

Oh, let us think.

Did "this government,"perhaps, provide significant support to the Shi'ite (Hezbollah) war against Israel a few months ago, even though "this government" is neither Sunni nor Shi'ite?

Oh, perhaps they did.

And perhaps they are about to chomp off one huge chunk of the political entity known as Iraq.

Just as the government of Turkey is talking openly about chomping off the huge chunk of the political entity known as Iraq, a huge chunk controlled by the Kurds.

Just as the Shi'ite-dominated Parliament of the political entity known as Iraq just voted to give the Shi'a-dominated huge chunk of the political entity known as Iraq the right to form alliances with a Shi'a government not known for its fondness of the United States of America.

And none of all this would lead anyone to think that democracy is about to break out all over the region.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:58 PM



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