Monday, September 26, 2005

Unmaking Iraq

A new ICG report suggests that last January's election in Iraq solidified and legitimized politics along ethnic lines, pushing the country further down the path to civil war:

Iraq's rushed constitutional process has deepened ethnic and sectarian rifts and is likely to worsen the insurgency and hasten the country's violent break-up, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Monday.

"The constitution is likely to fuel rather than dampen insurgency," said Robert Malley, head of the think-tank's Middle East and North Africa program, introducing an ICG report.

"A compact based on compromise and broad consent could have been a first step in a healing process. Instead it is proving yet another step in a process of depressing decline."

Iraqis are to vote on October 15 in a constitutional referendum on what the ICG calls a weak document that lacks consensus.

... "The United States has repeatedly stated that it has a strategic interest in Iraq's territorial integrity, but today the situation appears to be heading toward de facto partition and full-scale civil war," the report says.
Many analysts have already noted this trend, but it would be nice to see some serious discussion of it in the American media.