The message from Iraq appears to be almost unanimous (with the notable exception of the Kurds):
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday rejected a Senate proposal calling for the decentralization of Iraq's government and giving more control to the country's ethnically divided regions, calling it a "catastrophe."Maliki, the Sadrists, Sunni leaders and Sistani, as well as the Arab League, have now told Biden to butt out and let Iraqis decide.
The measure, whose primary sponsors included presidential hopeful Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., calls for Iraq to be divided into federal regions for the country's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities in a power-sharing agreement similar to Bosnia in the 1990s.
In his first comments since the measure passed Wednesday, al-Maliki strongly rejected the idea, echoing the earlier sentiments of his vice president. [the Sunni one - C]
"It is an Iraqi affair dealing with Iraqis," he told The Associated Press while on a return flight to Baghdad after appearing at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. "Iraqis are eager for Iraq's unity. ... Dividing Iraq is a problem and a decision like that would be a catastrophe."
...On Thursday, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi said decisions about Iraq must remain in the hands of its citizens and the spokesman for the supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed.
"We demand the Iraqi government to stand against such project and to condemn it officially," Liwa Semeism told the AP. "Such a decision does not represent the aspirations of all Iraqi people and it is considered an interference in Iraq's internal affairs."
A spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Shiite spiritual leader, dismissed the proposal during Friday prayers in Karbala.
"The division plan is against Iraqi's interests and against peaceful living in one united Iraq," Sheik Abdul Mahdi al Karbalaei told worshippers. "Any neighboring country supporting this project will pay the price of instability in the region."
Can this please be the end of this particular Democratic Party manifestation of the Divine Right To Rule crap that got America into Iraq in the first place?
Update Marc Lynch is bang on.