IRAQ’S puppet leaders are unable to agree on a constitution for the country despite all of the urgings from the US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, to ‘get on with it’.
The very fact that Rumsfeld can address Iraqi ‘leaders’ in this way proves the master-servant relationship that exists between the occupiers and their agents.
Rumsfeld says that agreement on a constitution, its adoption in an October referendum and then a new general election in December, both to be held under the guns of the US military, is the key to lowering support for the Iraqi insurgency, and to preparing the way for a major withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
He says that currently, if US troops are reinforced, the insurgents will gain support and be able to say that the occupation of the country is being intensified.
However, says Rumsfeld, if the US just withdraws some of its troops, before there is a new constitution and government, the insurgents will defeat the puppet forces and prevent a stable government ever emerging.
As far as Rumsfeld is concerned, only a new constitution accepted in an October referendum and then a new government elected in a December general election, will supply the stable government that will erode the support of the insurgency and prepare the way for the US to withdraw a sizeable part of its armed forces.
This new US approach is the direct result of their experience at the hands of the insurgency and their historic admission that they cannot militarily defeat it.
However, the same US argument was heard before the last general election in January 31. It was said then that if the election was held, and a government elected, it would be the beginning of the end for the insurgency.
Since then the insurgency has got much bigger and the US has suffered hundreds more dead and wounded.
The position of the insurgents remains that while there is a single US soldier in Iraq they will not stop fighting, and they will not accept an election held, or a constitution approved, under the military occupation of the US and the UK.
Meanwhile the different factions, Shia, Kurd and the small Sunni delegation that is taking part in the constitutional conference, have not been able to agree on a draft constitution.
The Shia want an Islamic state, with Islam as the state religion and issues such as women’s rights dealt with in an Islamic fashion.
The Kurds have declared, through President Talabani, that they want autonomy with Kirkuk and its oil wealth becoming part of their autonomous area, and that they will not accept an Islamic state or an Arab state, and that they require Kurdish to be recognised as an official language of Iraq, along with Arabic.
The other Kurdish leader, Barzani, the President of the Kurdish autonomous area has said that if there is no agreement on the constitution, the right of the Kurdish people to secede must be recognised.
The small Sunni delegation is opposed to a federal constitution and want the matter left until after the December general election.
Iraqi Kurdistan is already being described as a Kurdish state in waiting, with Turkey declaring that it will take military action against such a state, while Syria and Iran, two other states with Kurdish minorities, have expressed their disquiet at the idea.
The only way forward for the Iraqi people is to further develop their insurgency to drive all the occupation armies out of the country.
Then real elections can be held and a constitution drawn up in a free Iraq, without any US pressure or intimidation.