Archive for February, 2005
NYTimes ArticleÂ (free reg etc)
The list of â€œdemandsâ€:
- They want the ownership of any natural resources, including oilfields, and the power to determine how the revenues are split with the central government.
- They want authority over the formidable militia called the pesh merga, estimated at up to 100,000 members, in defiance of the American goal of dismantling ethnic and sectarian armies. The pesh merga would be under nominal national oversight, but actual control would remain with regional commanders. No other armed forces would be allowed to enter Kurdistan without permission from Kurdish officials.
- They want power to appoint officials to work in and operate ministries in Kurdistan, which would parallel those in Baghdad. These would include the ministries that oversee security and the economy.
- They want authority over fiscal policy, including oversight of taxes and the power to decide how much tax revenue goes to Baghdad. The national government would make monetary policy but would not be able to raise revenue from Kurdistan without the agreement of Kurdish officials.
- The â€œgreen lineâ€ that defines the boundary between the Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq would be officially pushed south, to take in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, the city of Khanaqin and the area of Sinjar. Kurdish leaders argue that this would just reestablish historic borders where Mr. Hussein had drastically altered the demographics by displacing Kurds with Arab settlers.
Interesting list.Â Effectively seceding in all but name.
Definitely an interesting read. What I take away from it is:
- Iran has significant influence over the new Iraqi government (Sistani was in Iran for a long time and Chalabi was selling US secrets to Iran). Links to Syria also seem to exist.
- The new government is not beneath using religious fear to get people voted in (telling people their wives would divorce them and theyâ€™d burn in hell if they voted for Allawi).
- The new government ran on a religious platform, not on any specific promises.
- The new government wants to return to the original de-Baathification plan and eliminate anyone who was associated with the Baâ€™ath party.
- The new government wants to take the fight even more strongly to the insurgency.
- Shiâ€™ites control around 66% of the seats, Kurds about 30% and Sunni around 4%.
- This new government is the one writing the constitution for Iraqis to live by and the Shiâ€™ite religious party has an absolute majority to push through whatever they want.
- Allawi thinks Iraq is screwed up enough that, once again, heâ€™s leaving.
It may be just me, but unless things are played very carefully in the next 6-12 months the US may have achieved exactly what they fought so long to avoid and handed Iraq to Iran.
From the white house press briefing this morning:
â€œweâ€™re spending billions on clean coal technology, where we could â€” you know, itâ€™s conceivable and hopeful weâ€™ll have a zero-emissions coal plantâ€ â€“ GWB
I need some of that technology, but I do have to ask if the coal plants arenâ€™t emitting anything then what are they actually burning?