A potentially more intractable problem in the long run was the disaffection of Sunni leaders, who have been largely excluded from the deliberations during the past week. The constitution has been written almost entirely by Shiite and Kurdish leaders, who said they had decided to leave the Sunnis out because they were being too inflexible.The Shia are now saying that this is a "compromise", that they'll bend on some positions, but let's look at the issues: Sunnis wanted national control of the oil, no federalism with Kurd or Shia areas, and were wary of increasing islamicization of the government. The Kurds and Shia have written a federal constitution with Islamic rule and autonomous control of oil. This might still have worked, if the Sunnis weren't showing their prowess at detruction on a daily basis.
So what are the options? A Shia-Kurd crackdown on Sunni insurgents? Possibly, but it's hard to see that not spiralling out of control. Some of the metaphors we've used with regard to Iraq have been Vietnam, Somalia, the Balkans. We now have a depressing new possibility: