Monday, December 19, 2005

The new Iraqi government looks like its going to look exactly like the old Iraqi government. The Sunnis will take some more seats, the Kurds a bit less. I fail to see how the Sunnis will be brought into the government, or how the pre-election promise of constitutional amendments will be carried through. So, 4 more years of a Shiite fundamentalist government.

On the bright side it does appear that the Iraqi security forces are becoming better, so they might be able to take over more responsibilites from the Americans. Additionally, the violence might be significantly lower in the coming weeks than it was before the elections. If the Sunnis were to be brought into the government violence would continue to be much lower. In the likely case that the Sunnis get left out in the cold again the violence will go right back up to pre-election levels.

The biggest real problems are distribution of future oil revenues and control over the army and police forces. The Shiites want much of the oil revenues to stay in the South so they are pushing for regional autonomy. This leaves the Sunnis with several collapsing and partially destroye cities and minimal prospects for growth. The more divisive element is the day-to-day operations of the Iraqi security forces. They are getting better trained, but they have very few Sunnis in positions of power and they seem to have been infiltrated by the Shiite militias. As such they seem to enjoy torturing Sunnis and murdering former Baath party members. Unless the Sunnis are given a way to control what the security forces in their areas are doing it becomes only natural that there will be strong Sunni resistance to the new Iraqi state.

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