Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just Add Water

We now have the perfect recipe for disaster in Iraq.

The constitution passed, but by the narrowest margin. It failed -- massively -- in two Sunni provinces (Anbar and Salahedeen). If it had gone down by a 2/3 vote in just one other province, it would have failed, which would have meant back to the drawing board. It did in fact go down in a third province -- the mixed, but predominantly Sunni region Ninevah -- but with "only" 55% voting "no" instead of the necessary 66%. But for 11% percentage points in this one province, the constitution squeaks through -- apparently good news for those banking on this document to rescue the fiasco that is the Bush administration's handling of Iraq.

What this reveals, though, is that the Sunni opposition to this constitution is quite strong. So strong that in a system designed to make its passage all but assured, it nearly went down (and this is assuming that no vote-rigging took place -- a risky assumption for any significant vote in which the Bush crew is involved).

Now that it is clear that Sunnis overwhelmingly reject this thing, they likely will, at the very least, give a wide berth to the insurgents looking to wreck the system. In the worst-case scenario, significant numbers of passively opposed Sunnis will begin taking active roles in the insurgency. Either way, Iraq is about to get rocked.


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