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12 January 2006

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wtofd

"You go into Iraq and you own it." Apocryphal or not, Gen. Powell's warning to the neo-cons and the President before invasion is the only sensical sound bite we've heard from this administration. They've opened Pandora's Box.

angela

The Iranians seem to be becoming increasingly assertive in parallel with people like Hakim.

I fear we may be facing players who are going for "bold" moves. We have talked of military intervention in Iran over the nuclear issue, but the leadership of Iraq is likely to prohibit their terriotry from being crossed or used in anyway and if an attack occurs we may get hit by our "allies."

john

It's a little late and arguably accidental, but President Bush appears determined to fulfill President Wilson's point twelve whether he (Bush)understands what it means in Iraq or not:
XII. The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

qwerty

It would be interesting to know how more about how the saudis view these developments. I doubt the see a shia goverment backed by iran as something positive in iraq

Serving Patriot

qwerty,

I'm sure they'd be happy to see an economic embargo sponsored by the UN installed against Iran. Taking Iran's (limited) production out of the market would immediately raise the price of oil (again) and further enrich the monarchy and kingdom in a way that might help them silence (buy off) their domestic opposition (which was radicalized in the era of cheap $25/bbl oil).

After all, they and their gulf oil cronies have done a pretty good job of keeping Iraqi oil off the market despite the presence of 150K+ foriegn troops. And look at the windfall they're enjoying as a result. And everyone would enjoy the return of "contraband" oil shipments and all the corrupt moneymaking opportunities they entail. Heck, even the western navies would be happy - they could take up maritime enforcement again and force the purchase of new multi-billion dollar warships!

Sounds like a win-win-win situation for everyone - except the Iranian people of course.

Now, if the Saudi Gov't could just assure themselves those pesky Shi'i in the Eastern Province would continue to be loyal to the King...

SP

qwerty

If the saudis really feel threatend would it be to far of to imagine an alliance between them and the sunis in iraq? Or stirring up sunnis in irans Khuzestan province like the article below seems to suggest.

Seems to me the political situation in the middle east is slowly moving to a regional war with either proxies or regular forces with a clueless administration trying to get out.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GD29Ak01.html

john

The Middle East seems significantly destabilized. But I have confidence in the ability of petty tyrants and/or outsiders to control and navigate the Arab and non-Arab peoples out of their difficulties. On the serious side, Kurds and Shiis are not going to willingly relinquish this opportunity to determine their own fates. Iraq was put together by force, stayed together because of force; remove the force and Iraq disappears. The interesting question is the extent of the administration's part in or awareness of the apparent dissolution of Iraq.

Some Guy

This is so depressing. And as always, you cut to the heart of it, Colonel. Why is this surprising to anyone? Even relatively uniformed louts like me could tell civil war was not a remote possibility but THE possibility to be worried about, setting aside the foolishness of why, how, and to what end we invaded Iraq (and that is a hefty set of set-asides).

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