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19 December 2007


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Babak Makkinejad

Jim Schmidt:

Also the fact that it is often the case in North America that Catholics play golf with fellow Catholics and Protestants with other protestants.

Babak Makkinejad

William R. Cumming:

I think you are not looking at it the right way - US has no shortage of experts in other cultures and languages. I think they are often ignored and their experience and opinions are dismissed by the political classes as "Academic" - a term of denigration in the United States.

By political classes I mean those men and women who have stood for elections and have won them and those others who have helped them get there. For many such people, loyalty is foremost feature that they look for in a person.

Jim Schmidt

"Also the fact that it is often the case in North America that Catholics play golf with fellow Catholics and Protestants with other protestants."

Babak Makkinejad

"I play golf with friends sometimes, but there are never friendly games."

Ben Hogan

James Pratt

There are three factors that may speed the withdrawal of most US forces from Iraq.
The Kurds may see US protection from the Ba'ath and its Sunni successors as no longer necessary because half of the Iraqi Sunnis are in exile and at least half a million have been killed in the last five years.
They could regard the US as essentially a Turkish ally and an enemy to their national aspirations.
The political pressure from domestic and foreign Shi'i on the Iranian leadership to hurry the US out of Iraq will increase with every horror story told by a returning pilgrim from Karbala and Najaf. I know the Iranians worked hard to get the US into Iraq and I believe the present leadership is satisfied with the status quo. After Dick Cheney is out of power the Iranian agenda may change because of political necessity.
Lastly, I think the US corporate leadership influential in both parties may regard Iraq as a lost cause because it is going to cost them a few of their allies in Congress every election until the electorate is satisfied that the fiasco is over.


If the more-or-less expected happens next November, and the Democrats gain control of the executive branch and the 2 houses of Congress, we will HAVE TO leave Iraq. It will be politically impossible for the Dems to insist on anything else.

However, "leave" can mean many different things, from how Dennis Kucinich/Bill Richardson mean it to how Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama/John Edwards may (or may not) mean it. Therein lies the rub...

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