Chuck Spinney Comments & AP Story Below the Line
The below AP report says the cabinet of the Shi’a led government in Iraq is setting up 3 new provinces with the aim of containing the Kurdish Statelet in the northeast and addressing Sunni grievances. The government said nothing about the boundaries of these new provinces. No doubt, there are hidden agendas in the strange move, with unknown ramifications — but Maliki is up to something.
Attached below is an ethnographic map of Iraq — I have outlined the regions encompassing the areas where most of the Christians and Turkomens live (outside of Baghdad). Bear in mind, these are small minorities in both regions, the majority being Sunni Arabs or Kurds. The enclosed areas are intended to give the reader a general feel for where the boundaries of the new provinceI may lie, but the idea of containing the expansion of the Kurdish statelet westward is clear. No doubt the decision is a gambit of the central government aimed at gaining more control of the oil wealth in the north around Mosel and Kirkuk.
The game behind the new province centered on Fallujah is even murkier, perhaps reflecting some kind of tribal or clan based divide and conquer strategy — it makes no sense geographically; Fallujah is close to Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and is in the heart of the Sunni insurgency.