The Iraq Constitution Editorial Board, reinstated by the occupation forces, has not managed to adopt a single consensual text as required by its direction. Instead, it has refused to break up and has taken on a project by a large majority that is little welcomed by world commentators who highlight the rejection of the text by those who are still called “Sunnites”, according to a communitarian reading of the conflict. Although Chi’ite leader Moktada Sadr also rejected the text saying that it would open the door to the dismantling of the country, most “experts” continue to spread the vision of an Iraq broken into rival communities and under a “civil war” situation. This presentation of the issue also prepares, in a better way, the public opinion for the division of the country in three regions.

Iranian Anglophone daily Tehran Times leader writer Hassan Hanizadeh took this communitarian standpoint in his denunciation of the Iraqi insurrection. According to him, this is composed of wahhabites and salafists, that is, extremist Sunnites who want to deflect the process of building a “religious democracy” in Iraq led by Chi’ites. This editorial adopts a point of view markedly closed to that of Washington regarding the presentation of the Iraqi resistance and illustrates the positioning of Teheran in Iraq. Where it could have supported Washington in attacking Iran, Iraq holds back today the Bush administration’s belligerent will. In fact, Iran has managed to have a great influence within the new Iraqi power due to Chi’ite political parties and even on the constitution drafting. Today, Teheran lashes the forces that undermine such efforts in Iraq and especially some elements of the Iraqi resistance. The development of the present Iraqi power favors the regional Iranian influence and threats the United States from behind in case of an attack against the Islamic Republic.

Such situation is of concern for pro-Kurdish lobbyist ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, who would in other times organize the dismantling of Yugoslavia. In a long-lasting forum published by the New York Review of Books and taken again by the Lebanese Anglophone paper Daily Star, just before the appearance of the text written by the Iraq Constitution Commission, the author went on his campaign supporting the creation of an independent Kurdistan. So far, he said that the committee assigned by the occupation forces to draft a constitution would fail. For him, discussions would lead nowhere as Chi’ites wanted an Iranian-style regime and a rapprochement to Iran, which Kurds who aim at independence would never accept. This time, he affirmed, it is Iran’s influence which should lead to the creation of a Kurd state. Chi’ite domination poses a greater threat for Washington than the insurrection, which in the author’s opinion is an issue of the Sunnites only – a minority anyway. Galbraith therefore urged the United States to support the beginning of a federation with a minimum central State: the prelude of the Kurdistan independence.
Such presentation of an Iraqi constitution leading to division is especially spread on the international press. CIA-close Israeli analyst Shlomo Avineri – another supporter of the Kurdish independence – pretended to complain in the Jerusalem Post for the proposed text. For the author, the internal contradictions of the document and the strengthening of the regional authorities to the detriment of a central state will speed up the disintegration of Iraq, already started, according to him, by the insurrection. There is no chance for Iraq to recover the unity gained in 1920. former Bush administration legal adviser John Yoo shows no great sorrow in the face of Iraq’s dismemberment, which he considers to be inevitable. He even asserted in Los Angeles Times that Iraq’s division in three entities is entering a global process not typical of Iraq but of the world’s evolution. In Yoo’s view, breaking into smallest states is a natural process following democratization, and he thinks that when the risk of a war decreases, the importance of relying on a great territory also lessens, so it is more interesting to create small states. Iraq must be fragmented and that’s exactly what the problems faced for drafting the constitution prove. On the other hand, he deplores that the United States does not support enough the dismantling of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Former Iraq’s coalition legal adviser Noah Feldman is the only one in the New York Times praising Iraq’s constitutional text. He regards it as a balanced text between federalism and centralization; Islam and democracy. However, this constitutionalist reached the same conclusion than the rest: Iraq will fall apart. If the text is good, the method used by the administration was not. The Sunnites were left isolated upon integrating them into the Editorial Board without giving the different sides time enough to negotiate and reach an agreement between them. Wasn’t that the purpose, anyhow?

The editor in chief of the Palestine daily Al Quds Al Arabi, Abdel Bari Atouan, considered in the August 8, 2005 issue that the Bush administration would try to divide Iraq on the grounds of Iraq’s constitution. According to Atouan, the division should permit Iraq’s withdrawal before the November 2006 elections in the U.S. Congress. As a classic scheme has it, the United States hope to beat the resistance by dividing the country.
The author, like all other analysts, eluded another Washington’s potential objective with the division of Iraq. Let us recall that in 1996, Douglas Feith – Donald Rumsfeld’s and Richard Perle’s present partner and former adviser of the Secretary of Defence – had written a report advising Benjamin Netanyahu – then Prime Minister of Israel – to recover the Palestinian territories and remove the population living there. Both authors would witness a longed-for dream: Iraq, once and for all divided into ethnic and confessional entities.