Arabian Business Weekly Update October 2, 2005

With a month to go to the Iraqi polls, is partition the only realistic option left? THE PROPOSED Iraqi constitution roughly recognises that the country will be split into three, a negotiated partition to appease the interests of the Shias, Kurds and Sunnis. But with the referendum weeks away, the Sunnis’ expected boycott could wreck any hope of a lasting settlement.

  • E-Mail
By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  October 2, 2005

Is partition the only way forward?|~||~||~|With a month to go to the Iraqi polls, is partition the only realistic option left? THE PROPOSED Iraqi constitution roughly recognises that the country will be split into three, a negotiated partition to appease the interests of the Shias, Kurds and Sunnis. But with the referendum weeks away, the Sunnis’ expected boycott could wreck any hope of a lasting settlement. The propsed framework, which includes a Kurdistan and provinces grouped into regions for Shias and Sunnis, would be self-governing except for foreign affairs, money and external defence. Internal security, taxes and legal systems are for the regions. There is no protection for women. A mind-boggling system will distribute current oil revenue across the land, but leaves future reserves to individual regions. But with the security forces in disarray and an unimaginable death toll each day, it is becoming clear that a full partition is the only way the nation of Iraq might realistically survive. Coalition forces have failed in their mission to secure the country, making all other progress and reconstruction meaningless. The presence of foreign troops is not enough to prevent civil war. Yet their presence is enough to deny other sources of authority space to emerge. Iraq is sliding not into civil war, but into anarchy. In the absence of proper authority, people look to family, neighbourhood and clan for security. The best the occupying forces can do is to show respect for the traditional structure of the country. Give authority to those who appear most able to sustain it, and leave. It might even persuade enough of the population to see that the new constitution is their last hope of a just-united Iraq. If this does not happen and the constitution fails, Iraq may fall apart. But that, at least, would have been Iraq’s decision. ||**||Stock chaos|~||~||~|LAST week’s long-awaited opening of the DIFX was staged with sleek efficiency and the minimum of fuss. However, counter that with the chaotic scenes of 35,000 Saudis charging across the UAE border in a Klondike-style stampede to snatch-up shares and it is not hard to picture how far the region’s investment infrastructure has to go to before it can start to be taken as seriously as the exchanges of Frankfurt, Hong Kong or even London. Apparently a simple web glitch prevented tens of thousands of Saudis from subscribing to the IPO of Dana Gas triggering a mass-reach for the Land Cruiser keys. It is fairly evident that for the likes of DIFX and Bahrain Financial Harbour to succeed and be taken seriously around the world, the basic fundamentals must really be put in place. And that should start with the ability to download a simple subscription form. ||**||Supermodel shock|~||~||~|WHAT’S so shocking about the revelation that supermodel Kate Moss took a suspicious looking substance at a celebrity party is the fact the Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, personally intervened to launch a criminal investigation. You might think Britain’s number one police officer would have something better to do with his time, in these days of international terrorism, than investigating Moss for doing something that seems to come naturally to a so-called A-List celebrity. Last week, it emerged that the average London policeman solves 11.49 crimes in the course of an entire year, which works out at less than one crime a month. Perhaps Sir Ian thinks that when he has prosecuted Kate Moss, he can put his feet up and assume that his work has been done for the month. ||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code