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02 June 2006

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Paul

Que sera sera.

Shia rule in Iraq is inevitable and our invasion only hastened the process, albeit much more rapidly. With inevitability in mind, not sure that this is a "tipping point" as much as an opportunity for the ruling clique in Baghdad to portray some semblence of independence form the US and garner some domestic support.

Curious

At least nobody has mentioned the next obvious thing yet.

Iran will have nuclear within 5 years because of Bushco stupidity. Combined that with Shia controling of huge chunk of Iraq, middle east balance of power is changing considerably.

Saudi is lying low now. But not for long, once they are threatened by Iran, they will start arming themselves and sending terrorists all over.

Israel new rightwing regime since to be toning down their policy unlike Sharon's ultra hawkish stance. (They should have snuffed that guy 10 years earlier, we would be in so much peacefull world by now)

Babak Makkinejad

How is victory in Iraq is defined by the United States?

zanzibar

IMO, this is just Iraqi domestic PR for al-Maliki since the Haditha story has become news around the world. He had to condemn it and show some independence. These guys must know about most of the large scale killings that take place each day and they no longer probably have shock value in Iraq due to the sheer number of these killings of civilians with perpetrators on all sides. The average Iraqi must be quite cynical and fatalistic after the carnage of the last 3 years. I can't imagine what it must be like when life and death hang by a thread every day.

The political dynamic is all pretty convoluted. Do the Shia still need US military support to pursue the Sunnis in Anbar or do they feel sufficiently strong with Iranian support to crush the Sunnis? Are the Shia really that united? The Basra situation implies there is a battle between SCIRI, Sadr and Fadila with some accusing the others of being Iranian agents - isn't that interesting? So maybe Iran also does not have a total grip on the chaos in Iraq. I think the only word to describe Iraq right now is ANARCHY. And I don't believe any of the actors are playing out any kind of strategy but instead just reacting to day-to-day events.

Bush Sr. was clearly very prescient in describing the situation if he would have occupied Baghdad. Bush Jr. wanted to blaze his own path and will retire in comfort after his term and can always claim within the family context that he was a 2 term President when compared to his father. Is this the end of the Bush clan for the near future or does Jeb become the redeemer?

jonst

I'm not sure how victory in Iraq is defined, but defeat? Just look around. Its a brutal, tactical, defeat. And if they (we, the American people I should say) don't wise up, and I doubt they will, it may turn out to be a strategic one as well.

John Howley

Defeat, indeed. No one dares say it. Maybe WH thinks they'll be able to blame it on the media for exposing these alleged massacres.
Regarding al-Maliki's statement. It is disingenuous on his part because if he really cared then he would demand that the U.S. negotiate a "Status of Forces" agreement which would specify terms and conditions of U.S. presence in Iraq (like we have in every other sovereign country where U.S. troops operate except Afghanistan). An SOF would require al-Maliki to "agree" to permit U.S. troops in Iraq and then be responsible for enforcing the resulting agreement. None of which does he want to do.
He's no different from our "leaders"...biding his time, hoping the S*** don't hit the fan, filling his bank account, jobs for his friends and family, then cash out big time.

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