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30 November 2006

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zanzibar

Not sure how the Sadrists and the Sunnis cohabit since they seem to be firing mortars at each other and actively engaged in ethnic cleansing of their Baghdad neighborhoods. But I suppose temporary alliances are always possible in the shifting desert sands.

It seems though that Maliki is in for some rough sledding in the days to come caught between the Sadrists and the Decider.

clif

There are actually three sides to this civil war, The Sunnis, against the Pro-Iranian Shiites against the anti-Iranian Shiites.

Look at THIS map of Baghdad and How it is divided up between these groups...

This battle for Baghdad is going to be MUCH worse than most civil wars because of the intermingled way each side in the city. The map came way of this website, which describes in the Iraqi peoples own words what they are going thru, and how they are trying to prepare for this battle.

anna missed

Could'nt think of a better turn of events. AQII looses their squatter rights, Sunni nationalists are brought into a coalition with Sadr nationalists, Iranian influence is held at bay, a mixed Iraqi army takes shape, the civil war quiets down, new SOFA gives the U.S. an excuse to find the door and walk not run. Of course there will be no special PSA oil deals, but hey it was never about oil anyway, right?...right?

Linda

This is a general question, not a comment on article above.

What happened regarding the US soldier of Iraqi origin who was abducted from or near Iraqi wife's home around Eid al-Fitr? For a while there were special checkpoints around Sadr City that were pulled out, now nothing ... anything?

Green Zone Cafe

The new Iraqi constitution gives the Prime Minister command of the armed forces, but most other executive functions reside in the Council of Ministers. Ministers have much more automony than US cabinet secretaries, not least because the Prime Minister's majority depends on the support of their respective parties. Sadr's party controls the Health and Transportation ministries, for example. This has made it difficult to put technocrats into ministerial positions, as the educated secular class that technocrats belong to is a small constituency compared to parties like Dawa, SCIRI and the Sadrists.

Babak Makkinejad

If Iraq is indeed in the midst of a civil war, then it follows that the states around her will take sides in that war, thus prolonging that war.

I cannot see USG taking sides with the Sunni Arabs, nor with the Shia Arabs, thus leaving only Kurds as US allies.

But Kurds, by themselves cannot win and will not form a workable alliance with Sunnis Arabs againsit Shia Arabs - they will not side with their mortal enemies and will not alienate Iran (in addition to Turkey).

They will try to remain neutral as much as possible.

Some sort of Shia Arab-Kurdish alliance supported to the hilt by USG & Iran can crush the Sunni Arab side with very very high number of dead on both sides.

I personally do not think that we will witness this sort of alliance of convenience. Although, as that great humanitarian, Genereal William Tecumseh Sherman, observed: "The Best thing to do in a war is to bring it to an end quickly." Such an alliance has the best chance, in my opinion, in ending the Civil War quickly and decisively.

But, as I said, I just do not see that in the cards.

Thus, if what I have surmised is correct, we should expect the Iraqi Civil War to continue for decades.

I hope I am wrong and I am just being the usual gloom-and-doom Makkinejad.

DeWitt Grey

Babak:

Assuming a degree of rationality which may not exist at the policymaking level of the US Government, what US interest would be served by supporting one of the sides in the Iraqi Civil War? The side we intervene against will hate us for decades, and the side we support will not thank us for it (indeed will disavow the support). It seems to me as well that our support for one side will make that side less likely to compromise, as well as serving as a rallying point for our opponents, likewise making them less likely to compromise.

There isn't any reason to suppose an Iraqi civil war will be any shorter than the Lebanese civil war -- but equally, I just don't see any reason why foreign intervention will make the civil war any shorter. I would welcome anybody to make the case if they can (assuming it will be subjected to the eagle-eyed scrutiny of the Colonel).

Jon Stopa

Might we see a war for Kirkuk between the Kurds and the Anbarians? This is the only oil near Anbar, and maybe their only chance to get oil of their own.

Incidently, is the withdrawl from Anbar the first step in dividing Iraq into three parts? Standing up a Sunni government in Anbar would have the advantage of creating something in the insurgency to push against.

Babak Makkinejad

DeWitt Grey:

If one side has an overwhelming preponderance, then that side can end the war quicky by winning it quickly.

I realize that US is not in a comfortable poistion - US is not well-liked by all sides except Kurds.

However, from a political point of view, it seems to me, US has to take sides - neutrality is the worst policy for US (if she insists on being involved in the Levant & the Persian Gulf)

There is no possibilty of compromise in Iraq - one isde has to win and the other side has to loose.

rick

what is up with that cartoon?

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