Sunday, January 29, 2006

Iraq is still waiting...

As events in Palestine grab center stage, Iraq is still there...stage right.

So we have a perfect mess. Iraq barely has the money to keep an already poor electricity supply in operation yet needs that electricity in order to improve security and generate more money. America is showing little inclination to help.At times like you need to have strong leadership and effective (sometimes unpopular) decision-making. Maybe the Iraqi government can do something about it? I dont think so. Even if the new Iraqi parliament is able get its act together quickly and appoint a government there will still be several major obstacles that will not be easily overcome:

1. Iraq is effectively bankrupt.

2. The elected parties are mostly sectarian - there is little to unite them and much to encourage any dissenting sect to start its own insurgency.

3. All new oil discoveries have already been franchised out to the regions by agreement in the constitution. There is no source of new oil money coming to the government.

4. ... the constitution all but guarantees a stalemate in government.

The solution must be Iraqi...Iraq needs a new government of reconstruction one that will nationalise the oil wealth and use it to rebuild the country. One that can build a police force free of the sectarian militias and an army that is only loyal to the country not to foriegn troops. This goes against the bottom line of the Americans but it will be popular within Iraq and this is the only way to create a stabile country and prevent the situation spiralling into an international war.

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