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Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Iraqi's Move Right Along

While the politicians here debate the importance or lack thereof of the ISG recommendations, the NYT reports that the Iraqi's Near Deal on Distribution of Oil Revenues. So, despite all the doom and gloom our media outlets try to shove down our throats the Iraqi's are using a diplomatic "political" proccess and negotiating between themselves, and doing so in a democratic way.


This is not to say that there will be no squabbling and debating and compromise, much like our own political proccess, the point here is they are dealing with an issue that could bring more stability to their country.

Officials cautioned that this was only a draft agreement, and that it could still be undermined by the ethnic and sectarian squabbling that has jeopardized other political talks. The Iraqi Constitution, for example, was stalled for weeks over small wording conflicts, and its measures are often meaningless in the chaos and violence in Iraq today.

But a deal on the oil law could be reached within days, according to officials involved in the drafting. It would then go to the cabinet and Parliament for approval.

As Captain Ed points out:

Nonetheless, this is an important step to stabilization for the Iraqis. They need to iron out the rest of the related issues quickly and pass the law. If the government can successfully implement this and start delivering revenue to all Iraqis, they can quickly build confidence in their ability to properly govern the entire nation.

Don Surber also sees this as improvemnt, not a fix all, but steps in the right direction:

I get the feeling the Iraqis are closer to solving their problems than Americans see it. They have less than a month until Democrats take over Congress and the pursestrings of the U.S. government.

I think they get that part.

This is not easy. Oil is the global lottery winning ticket. For every Great Britain and Canada that can handle it, you have a Nigeria or Venezuela that cannot.

Having the Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'as live fairly autonomously under a central government funded by oil money makes sense. The main source for the NYT story seemed to be Barham Salih, a deputy prime minister and a Kurd.

“Revenue sharing is an accepted principle by all the constituent elements of the Iraqi government, including the Kurds, and that is the unifying element that we’re all hoping for in the oil law,” Mr. Salih said.

Barnett states:

So long as the sectarian violence flares, there will be a natural tendency for the three groups to pull apart, especially the two stable ones (Kurds, Shiia) from the one unstable one (Sunni triangle). But this law may just be enough to help give the central government just enough reason to remain relevant in the meantime that, as things settle down over time, Iraq can survive the inevitable bloodletting that comes after you take the dictator down who had held the nation together through institutionalized violence.

When all is said and done, the Iraqi's are working out their internal differences and they are making progress, it might not be as fast as everyone wants, but it is happening.

Good for them.

For more discussion on this issue visit memeorandum.