WASHINGTON – In Iraq’s Kurdish north, the Iraqi flag no longer flies alongside the Kurdish banner on public buildings – the presi- dent of the largely autonomous Kurdish region has banned it. And in Baghdad, Shiite politicians last week introduced legislation defining how the sectarian-riven country could eventually be divided into autonomous regions – including a powerful and oil-rich Shiite region in the south. In the Monitor Five years after 9/11: a shifted view of the world Following recent fighting between Iraqi government forces and the militia of Shiite powerhouse Moqtada al-Sadr, the steps suggest a further spiraling toward at least a semiautonomous confederacy, if not a complete dissolution of the country. A small but apparently growing number of Iraq experts believe dissolution of the country is inevitable. Others say a united and nominally democratic Iraq may still be possible, but suggest other solutions – including a redrawn Iraq – would eventually make the Middle East more stable. Still others say the US should face reality and help create the new Iraq that is already splintering along sectarian and ethnic lines. But where many specialists agree is that the Bush administration is not planning […]

Read the Full Article