I have no idea why even the Iraqis’ `agreement’ on a Constitution is supposed to mean anything vis-a-vis the American military goal – which as I understand it, is to: (1) quell insurgent (as opposed to ordinary domestic) violence in the country; and (b) train the Iraqi military to defend the country from foreigners and from domestic insurgency.
We have gone through this when: (1) we overthrew Saddam; (2) we gave Iraq `sovereignty’; (3) we caught Saddam; and (4) the Iraqis had elections. We keep thinking that the insurgents will lose popular support or moral fervor when something swell happens.
The insurgents want to run Iraq. Period. They don’t want an Iraq in which Shiites and Kurds have a material say in running the show. I haven’t a clue why they or their supporters will in the least be pacified, mollified or anything else by further efforts to create a constitutional `government’ for the place. This is approaching (well, quite frankly, it’s well past), the arena of utter fantasy.
ME: The theory is that if you draw Sunni “fence-sitters” into the political process, you draw energy from the Sunni insurgency at the margins. Also, if these big disagreements can’t be worked out in the constitution, you obviously are not going to have any national army to fight the insurgency. But there is some merit in the central point here. The insurgents have so far proven pretty impervious to the political process—including to the January election (which had seemed a key turning point)—and some of them are going to keep fighting because they simply hate the Shia and the Kurds, no matter what is happening politically.