That’s what Lawrence said of the Arabs. Kurds aren’t Arabs but… They couldn’t even make it to the referendum…
It was predictable that the Shia Arabs, having achieved power in the supposed government (and backed by their Iranian friends) would decide on some collective basis that they did not want to see a Kurdistan that even remotely resembled a sovereign entity.
As I have written before, there are very few examples of federal states being attempted in the Islamic World and even fewer of such projects succeeding. The culture just does not run in that direction. Federalism is thought of as weakness, division, indirection. "Ta’ifa" is a bad word in Arabic. It means "faction" and is inherently negative.
The state, like everything else, should take its model from religion. God is one…
When this is combined with the interests of regions and ethnic group, then the ability to resolve basic issues, like "who gets Kirkuk?" are made much more difficult.
The Bush Administration like to talk about Zarqawi’s "AQ in Iraq." AQ doesn’t have the problem of dealing with things like federalism . AQ is an absolutely monotheistic movement which aims to create a new Caliphate to rule over the Umma, the UNIFIED world of the believers. Of course they believe that we shaould ALL be "believers."
We have start dealing with the Islamic people within the reality that is their world view. So long as we continue to deal with them on the basis of our world view we will have disapppointments like this.