So, this can get worse?
Officials Fear Chaos if Iraqis Vote Down the Constitution
by JOEL BRINKLEY and THOM SHANKER
Published: September 30, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - Senior American officials say they are confident that Iraq's draft constitution will be approved in the referendum to be held Oct. 15, even though Sunni Arabs in Iraq are mobilizing in large numbers to defeat it.
In testimony before Congress on Thursday, the senior American military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. of the Army, said the most recent analysis of intelligence from across the country supported the Bush administration's optimistic predictions that the referendum would pass.
But if the constitution is defeated, several officials said they feared that Iraq would descend into anarchy.
Approval "is critically important," a senior administration official said, "to maintain political momentum. That is the critical thing for holding this whole thing together."
Private organizations in Iraq, many working with government financing, say their own analyses, based on discussions with hundreds of Iraqis, polling data and other information, have also led many of them to believe that the constitution would be approved.
Their calculations are complicated, because by law the constitution will fail if it is rejected by two-thirds of the voters in any three of Iraq's 18 provinces, even if a majority of voters nationwide approve it.
In regions dominated by Sunni Arabs, opinion polls have shown sentiment running just about two to one against it. It is unclear, in those provinces, how get-out-the-vote campaigns by the opposing factions may tilt the balance, or how much the turnout on either side may be suppressed by the continuing violence.
But no matter how the vote goes, several officials said in interviews, the violence in Iraq is likely to increase significantly.
Tom Friedman suggested that if the Sunnis didn't play ball, we arm the Kurds and Shia.
He is an especially stupid man.
The Sunnis are only a minority in Iraq and Iran. They are the majority of Muslims in the world. You turn them into vicitms, you'll have Lebanon 2.
The fact is that there is no good solution for the US in Iraq. At the end of the day, Moqtada Sadr is looking better and better as Saddam's real successor. This is amazing. Just amazing.
posted by Steve @ 5:23:00 AM