Dangerous Loose Ends
: "Duelfer notes that some chemical and biological weapons technology was in the hands of the former Iraqi Intelligence Service and may be finding its way into the armories of the insurgents. One passage in Duelfer’s testimony is especially spooky. His group “has uncovered evidence of such links and undertook a sizable effort to track down and prevent any latch-ups between foreign terrorists or anti-Coalition forces and either existing CW [chemical-weapons] stocks or expertise from the former regime that could be used to produce such weapons.”
But the results were not really conclusive. “I believe we got ahead of this problem through a series of raids throughout the spring and summer,” Duelfer told the Senate. “I am convinced that we successfully contained a problem before it matured into a major threat. Nevertheless, it points to the problem that the dangerous expertise developed by the previous regime could be transferred to other hands. Certainly there are anti-Coalition and terrorist elements seeking such capabilities.”
In other words, terrorists may have a better chance now of acquiring chemical or biological weapons from Iraq, or the techniques for making them, than they ever did when Saddam was in power...
The interim Iraqi government has responded by saying everything’s under control. But, then, that’s what it always says. It has also suggested the IAEA come back for a firsthand look, which the United States generally has discouraged in the past. That would be a positive step, if it happens." 7:18:51 AM
"Iraq’s controversial national-security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, may have come up with a better idea: take the country apart, then put it back together. He calls this vision “democratic regionalism,” a loose federal system of four to six separate, powerful provinces. The Sunni heartland—“the Triangle”—would not be able to dominate the rest of the nation, but it could run its own affairs. “The Triangle would have its own regime, its own security forces, its own recruitment,” he says. If they want to become a Talibanized fundamentalist region, “good luck,” he says. But he thinks that can be avoided. “They will be surrounded,” says Al-Rubaie, and they will be largely dependent on oil revenues generated in other parts of the country, which would be allotted according to population.
To the north, the Kurds would have their own province with a very high degree of autonomy, but something less than full independence—which is pretty much what they have now anyway. To the south, there would be at least two Shiite provinces: one centered on the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, the other including the oil-rich regions around Basra and An Nasiriya. Baghdad would be a separate district as the seat of the federal government whose only responsibilities would be for inter-regional affairs, foreign policy, currency, banking and (nominally) national defense...
He insists his new plan simply faces facts. “Violence and terror have been the glue that kept Iraq a centralized state,” he says. The Americans took that away when they removed Saddam, and neither they nor the current Iraqi government can replace it by reinstating a new reign of terror." 7:16:10 AM