Friday, August 26, 2005

It’s Still A Long, Long Way For Iraq

Early Wednesday morning, while doing their tasks for an American electronics company, three of our compatriots were caught in a crossfire somewhere in Kirkuk, Iraq’s most volatile northern region, and one of them just lost his life. Federico Samson once more typifies the sacrifices some of our countrymen make just in order to keep afloat amongst the ocean of poverty happening now in our country. When will it ever end? This violence…these killings…

The casualties kept rising and the reports of explosions over the streets and avenues of Iraq are mounting by the day and now we heard, the National Assembly is far from ready from finally putting up a draft constitution for the planned October 15 plebiscite, where the Iraqi will go to the polls once again in order to institute their most fundamental legal framework. But even that may not happen as scheduled when days past its supposed deadline, no proposed constitution was agreed upon by the three major sects---the Shiites, the Kurds and the minority Sunnis.

Apparently, the main conflict among Iraqi lawmakers lies not in any political or religious matters but revolves around the economic control of oil. Sunnis have complained that the present draft constitution could allow the Shiite to form an autonomous region in the oil-rich southern region, as a due course to the federal nature of the planned Iraqi government when the constitution is finally approved. The Sunnis are wary that Shiites may use this autonomy to shun them out of resources coming from oil. The Kurds are not unusually silent about the present draft since federalism would also allow them control of the oil-rich Kirkuk region. Meaning to say, their silence is a silent abeyance.

Aside from being the minority, the Sunnis populate areas that are not known for any oil deposit and a looser form of federalism may leave them mostly on the losing end. Once mighty as a ruling sect---where they controlled the Iraqi government under the regime of Saddam Hussein---the Sunnis could not seem to adapt to a newer environment where majority should rule.

The only way to solve this present stalemate is to reformulate the proposed Iraqi constitution where federalism may thrive while at the same time the resources of the entire Iraqi economy could be apportioned fairly among all regions, including those where oil are not drilled. Otherwise, these delays would only prolong the harsh days and nights where life and limbs are lost in the streets of Baghdad, like almost there is no end to it.



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