Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
Many commentators are now calling for faster elections in Iraq. I'd prefer to go for ''asymmetrical federalism,'' which is a Canadian term, but don't let that put you off. What it means is that the province of Quebec has certain powers -- its own immigration policy, for example -- that the province of Ontario doesn't.At the same time that we proceed along the political track, we need bolder thinking along the military/security track. Those in Iraq that do not go along with the program need to be shocked back into compliance.
That policy of ad hoc, incremental, rolling devolution needs to be accelerated. Towns and provinces should have as much sovereignty as they can handle, on the obvious principle that the constituent parts of ramshackle federations rarely progress at the same pace. In the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is now an advanced Western economy, Kosovo is a U.N. slum housing project. If one were to cast the situation in rough British terms, the Kurdish areas are broadly analogous to Scotland, Dhi Qar and other Shia provinces are Wales, and the Sunni Triangle is Northern Ireland.
The best bulwark against tyranny is a population that knows the benefits of freedom, as the Iraqi Kurds do. Don't make the mistake of turning Iraq into a dysfunctional American public school, where the smart guys get held down to the low standards of the misfits and in the end they all get the same social promotion anyway. Let's get on with giving the Kurdish and Shia areas elected governors and practical sovereignty, province by province.
And then fix bayonets and stick it to the holdouts.