We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, May 26. 2006
The following report is from this week's Stratfor Geopolitical Report at Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
If it holds.
If it holds, the rest is almost easy. If it doesn't hold, the rest is impossible. Therefore, the fate of this political arrangement will define the future of Iraq and, with that, the future of the region -- and in some ways, the future of the American position in the region. It is not hyperbole to say that everything depends on this deal.
The deal that has been shaped is about two things: power and money. First, it addresses the composition of power in Iraq -- defining the Shia as the dominant group, based on demographics, the Kurds next and the Sunnis as the smallest group. At the same time, it provides institutional and political guarantees to the Sunnis that their interests will not simply be ignored and that they will not be crushed by the Shia and Kurds. In terms of money, we are talking about oil. Iraq's oil fields are in the south, unquestionably in Shiite country, and in the north, in the borderland between Kurd and Sunni territory. One of the points of this arrangement is to assure that oil revenues will not be controlled on a simply regional basis, but will be at least partially controlled by the central government. Therefore, at least some of that money will go to the Sunnis, regardless of what arrangements are made on the ground with the Kurds.