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October 31, 2007

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Adrian

"Federalism is our path to unity" - is that the title of the map? Or your own title? Regardless, it reminds me of 1984 nonsensical slogans. "Ignorance is our strength," "War is Peace", etc.

aardvark

Sorry, that wasn't clear, I'll change it: it is the slogan on the map itself. The Orwellian ring caught my eye too.

aardvark

... except that I screwed it up and that's not exactly what it said. Bummer, it was too perfect.

MSK

Dear AA,

I can't find Najaf on that map ... How WOULD Iranians write Najaf differently from Iraqis?

--MSK*

aardvark

I couldn't see Najaf on the map either, but then I couldn't even read "al-Wahid" with my weary old eyes, so there you go. According to the original story as published on the al-Haq site, Iraqis write Najaf as al-Najaf (with the alif and lam: النجف ), while Iranians write it as Najaf (without the definite article, نجف). Whether or not this is in fact genetically or nationally encoded, that's what they're offering as their evidence that the map was "made in Iran."

MSK

Dear AA-

Yes, "Al-Najaf" vs. "Najaf" does actually make sense. Of course, as the city (or, in this case, the governorate) doesn't actually appear on the map, there must be another one floating around.

I'll ask my Iraqi friends/colleagues about the various ways to write Najaf (and, while we're at it, Karbala as well).

--MSK*

Nur al-Cubicle

That's strange...the dark area looks like Mordor!

bb

Can you explain this map by provinces? It looks to me that Tamin (Kirkuk) is part of Kurdistan?

Also Babil - is that supposed to be part of Sunni or Shia?

The Sunni seems to comprise Anbar, al Saluddin, Diyala and Ninewah. These provinces are where the vast majority of Sunnis live, as demonstrated by the elections and the constitution vote. The Sunnis are about 20% of the population, as the Kurds, which is probably why their "states" look smaller in relation to the notional Shia state?

There is no particular reason why there should be one big monolithic Shia state. Many southern Shia would prefer their own "state" in the three southern provinces around Basra, as Reidar Visser has often reported.

btw there is nothing sinister or life threatening about federalised countries. I live in one, so do Americans. Seems to me there are huge advantages for the Sunnis to have "states rights" - since they are so heavily outnumbered?

tulanealum

Federalism is a problem in the south...when they would likely have control of oil revenues and form a federated area...that is leading to a more confederated state...and the Sunnis get left in the lands of no resources...don't kid yourself...this is old SCIRI's way to securing control in the south...what's interesting is that Sadr is against federalism period.

Yohan

If it were made in Iran, why would they include Qadisiyyah?

Adam

The Iranian regime doesn't see Qadisiyyah as an Arab victory, it sees it as a Muslim victory. The Iranians invoked Qadisiyyah during the Iran-Iraq war. Actually, so did the Iraqis.

Saeed Uri

This has to be Sunni propaganda...has it been verified yet?

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