Iraq's President Talabani says that current troubles in Iraq are a sign of a functioning democratic society. Whilst recognising that the proposed Iraqi constitution has drawn criticism, especially from the Sunni's, he says that the people will decide (in the referendum on October 15th) whether or not to pursue a federal route.
"If they don't want federation, OK," Talabani said. "If they didn't want it, put it aside."
The trouble, of course, is what happens if it is "put aside." The break-up of Iraq may benefit the semi-autonmous Kurds and the oil-rich Shiites, but would cause consternation among the Sunni's and their Iranian sponsors.
President Talabani, himself a Kurd, distanced himself from the Turkish Kurdish opposition group PKK. He also said that although Iraq is building up its security forces, and that American troops could be downscaled over the year, US troops are needed in Iraq, not only for internal security but also "to frighten our neighbours not to interfere in our internal affairs."
Iraq's president sees Iraqi society united