Iraqi Articles of Confederation
Matthew Yglesias notes that Bush compares Iraq's current constitutional predicament to the constitutional predicament of the newborn United States in the 1780's, apparently to reassure us that things will work out in the end: "As Americans watch the constitutional process unfold, as we watch people work to achieve compromise and unity, we've got to remember our own history. We had trouble at our own conventions writing a constitution."
But Matt goes on to make the excellent point that American constitutional history isn't all peaches and cream after 1789:
But let's take this analogy seriously. Iraq is maybe going through something like its Articles of Confederation stage -- you've got your Whiskey Rebellion, your disorder, your confusion, etc. But in a few years, they sort things out and the elite members of the nation's dominant ethno-sectarian group will work out an agreement establishing order throughout the country. The Sunnis, naturally, will be held as chattel slaves. Kurdish land and natural resources will be slowly expropriated via a series of genocidal military campaigns.Reassured now?
Some decades down the road, the conflicts papered-over in the initial constitutional compromise will break out into the open leading to a horribly destructive Civil War.
The Sunnis emerge, no longer enslaved, but systematically denied basic civil, social, and economic equality. A couple decades after that, the Kurdish Wars draw to an end, with the small bands of survivors herded into undesirable bits of waste land. A hundred years or so after the conclusion of the Civil War, they begin to grant equal rights to the Sunni population and get serious about trying to address conditions on the Kurdish reservations. We can expect, in other words, that Iraq will emerge as a liberal democracy sometime around the year 2170.