"The groups, which represented both Shiites and Sunnis, said the plan would hamper Iraq's future stability, and they suggested parliament draft a law permanently banning the splitting of Iraq along sectarian or ethnic lines.
"This proposal was based on the incorrect reading and unrealistic estimations of Iraq's past, present and future," according to the statement read by Izzat al-Shahbandar, a representative of the Iraqi National List, a secular political party." Yahoo News
There may be groups in Iraq that have not yet condemned last week's senate resolution encouraging the acceptance of the loosest sort of confederation for the country, but they can't be very numorous.
That may be a surprise for many who are witnesses to the inability of the various "sectarian or ethnic" groups to work out accommodations among them which would elevate the interests of the whole above then interests of particular groups.
It should not be a surprise. People often hold conflicting views. Most people are good at it. In the United States, people are perpetually displeased with the job performance of the United States Congress, thinking the members to be venal, ineffective blowhards. At the same time, the great majority of people in the country consistently vote to support their own Congressman. This is a prevalent phenomenon throughout the country. In this way, some of the most incredible losers imaginable are re-elected over and over again.
Iraqis and Arabs in general are not different. On the one hand they are conditioned by heritage, education and their own media to believe in unity in all things. "Party" (hizb) is a relatively new Western word imported into Arab thinking. The word itself still carries the burden of a slightly negative connotation. "Faction" (ta'ifa) is a much older expression for much the same thing and that word is altogether negative in Arab thinking.
Warring against this psychology is the anthropological reality in which the peoples are endlessly divided into factions, tribes, sects, localities etc. in an endless struggle for real or imagined survival in a region short of everything but oil. Even that is unevenly divided.
It is still the case that most of what I hear from Americans about Iraq and the Arab World is just nonsense and the worst kind of wishful thinking and "mirror imaging." Soldiers, politicians, policy wonks, journalists, they are all the same. Most americans seem afflicted with an inability to see past the cleverness and good manners that so often are a mask behind which Middle Easterners deal with us.
We have learned little in five years. pl