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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Shia autonomy?

Posted by: Hammer / 2:46 PM

According to the Guardian, Iraq's Shia majority wants an autonomous southern state within Iraq:

Iraq's Shia Muslims should have their own autonomous region across the south of the country, a leading Shia spokesman said today.

Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCRI), made his demands at a rally in the Shia holy city of Najaf just four days before Iraq's leaders are due to present a draft constitution.

...But Mr Hakim's demands were dismissed by minority Sunni Muslims and secular opponents, as well as rival Shias, in the national coalition government.

There's a great quote toward the end of the piece:

"We hoped this day would never come," said Saleh al-Mutlak, a leading Sunni politician. "We believe that the Arabs, whether Sunni or Shia, are one. We totally reject any attempt to stir up sectarian issues to divide Iraq."

Political unity, Iraqi-style: we are all one! Except the Kurds!

I hope beyond all hope that this is grandstanding and brinkmanship ahead of Monday's draft Constitution. If this thing falls apart, it does nothing but fuel the insurgency and keep American troops in harm's way that much longer.


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