Posted by lex, on December 9, 2006
Oh, God I hope this works out:
Iraqi officials are near agreement on a national oil law that would give the central government the power to distribute current and future oil revenues to the provinces or regions, based on their population, Iraqi and American officials say.
If enacted, the measure, drafted by a committee of politicians and ministers, could help resolve a highly divisive issue that has consistently blocked efforts to reconcile the country’s feuding ethnic and sectarian factions. Sunni Arabs, who lead the insurgency, have opposed the idea of regional autonomy for fear that they would be deprived of a fair share of the country’s oil wealth, which is concentrated in the Shiite south and Kurdish north.
There are a lot of reasons for the on-going insurgency in Iraq, but I’m convinced that chief among them is concern by the disenfranchised and resource-poor Sunni minority that they will be left to wither and die in a federalized Iraq. If they can be weaned off of violence as a negotiating tactic to gain access to the country’s natural resources, the retributive rationale for the murderous rampages of the Shia death squads evaporates.
This was too long coming. Hopefully it is not also too late.