While Iraq burns…

George W. Bush is taking a bicycle ride with Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong. The president instructed journalists to stay behind him at all times.

It’s good to see his priorities are in order. After all, George is on holiday at his Texas ranch and that’s far more important than actually telling the American people the Iraq conflict has made the world a more dangerous place. But then, the American people already think that, according to recent polls.

Leading American politicians are now calling for withdrawal. December 31, 2006 has been suggested by Democrat senator Russ Feingold. It’s a start though much later than necessary.

Sabah al-Mukhtar, President of the London-based Arab Lawyers’ Association, spoke to ABC Lateline earlier in the week. His prognosis for Iraq and its constitution was almost definite failure. Host Tony Jones wasn’t really up to the task and failed to understand the job at hand. His introduction to a related story offered this: “And there are fears Iraq’s road to democracy is under threat.” Road to democracy under threat? Despite all that has gone wrong, journalists still actually believe that America and its allies want democracy in Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sabah al-Mukhtar explains:

“But even when you talk about a federal state, like the US of America or whatever, then you’d still have the oil, the national interest, the defence, the foreign affairs, the military in the hands of the central Government. What is being proposed, at least in one of the versions, is somebody said that we will follow the so-called Swiss example, ie any state can enter into a treaty with a foreign nation. So you can imagine what’s going to happen. The south will team up with Iran. The north is going to be under the pressure of the Turks because they don’t like the idea because they’ve an even bigger Kurdish community in Turkey.

“That’s the problem which is going to be, what is going to happen is probably foreign powers will tear Iraq to pieces, either having a continuing war or occupying Iraq or parts of that in that this is the problem we have. You cannot create this kind of a federation, especially that one of the main leaders of the Shiites have already said that they would like to have a federation which covers nine Governments, more than half of Iraq, and the Kurdish leadership have already sent their people out in the street to say, “We would like to have a secession. We would like to have independence.” This is tearing this country to bits. Maybe people don’t mind, but what I’m suggesting is that this is not in the interests of Iraq and not the interests of the neighbouring countries and certainly not in the interests of the major powers, including the USA and Australia.”

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