War News for Sunday, 18 September, 2005
Bring 'em on: Gunmen kill Kurdish MP, his brother and driver, in an ambush in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: US supply convoy attacked in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi soldiers killed by gunmen in western Baghdad
Bring 'em on: One Iraqi killed and fifteen injured by car bomb in Baquba
Bring 'em on: US soldier killed by IED near Al Asad
Bring 'em on: Five neighbourhoods in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents; they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura
Bring 'em on: Madhi army barricade streets of Basra
Bring 'em on: Death toll from Wednesday's bombings now stands at one hundred and sixty seven
Bring 'em on: Train carrying oil for Dora refinery attacked in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: US convoy attacked in Ramadi
Bring 'em on: Handcuffed bodies of four executed men found in Baghdad
Bring 'em on: Four Iraqi soldiers killed and three wounded by IED in Kirkuk
Bring 'em on: Mortar attack on the Green Zone
Bring 'em on: Thirty Shia killed by car bomb in Baghdad
: Hundreds of Saudi fighters who joined the insurgency in Iraq showed few signs of militancy before the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, according to a detailed study based on Saudi intelligence reports.
: Prisoners on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay.
Opinion and Commentary
In the autumn of 2004 the RAND Corporation, an American research company, published a research brief for the United States Navy arguing "cleavages within the Muslim world pose challenges and opportunities ... for US interests and strategy".
The RAND study highlights current divisions in the Muslim world between the Sunni and Shia, as well as between Arabs and non-Arabs as crucial to US interests.
The ethnic and sectarian federalism that has been proposed in Iraq fits well into this divisive framework. This insight into the strategic thinking of US thinktanks provides a contextual background to any assessment of US involvement in the Arab and Muslim world.
First let us consider the elections of January that set up the National Assembly. Many claim the elections evince the will of the Iraqi people; as such, whatever debates that take place within the parliament reflect the concerns of everyday Iraqis, including federalism.
It must be stated from the onset that the January elections cannot be seen as a barometre of the will of the Iraqi people. Seymour Hersh has recently exposed American tampering with the elections; he accused the administration of channelling funds towards particular campaigns to offset other more popular parties.
The Bush administration invaded Iraq according to an ideology of sectarianism, the schematics of which are revealed in the RAND study. Since the signing of the constitution this past week, the US has already laboured hard in persuading the world that it is a sound document. The question is, why?
It would seem more appropriate that the US remain silent and allow the electoral process to unfold as it will. The answer lies within the ideology of the occupation itself, which relies on sectarian conflict in Iraq.
The US is heavily invested in solidifying a federal Iraq and making this National Assembly permanent. The failure of the constitution to pass the referendum vote means the dissolution of the National Assembly itself and requires a new election in December.
News Update 1940hrs GMT
CBS News/New York Times Poll. Sept. 9-13, 2005. N=1,167 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). RV = registered voters
"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?"