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25 August 2008

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JohnH

Truly a sight to behold--a leader willing to put national interests ahead of personal interests and those of the hegemon, even when the hegemon was willing to shower him and all the other elected officials with as much money as it could borrow from China!

It's amazing how America seems to have lost the art of creating banana republics, except perhaps in Europe and Japan. Given the examples of Iraq, Iran and Latin America, how long can it be before the Blairs, Sarkozys and Merkels of the world get their own independence streaks?

Lysander

Col Lang,

If indeed Maliki is totally serious about an American withdrawal, do you see The white house, under whatever administration, refusing to go? A coup against Maliki, an unfortunate accident, anything of the sort?

Or will the next president just say "good riddance" and be off?

Patrick Lang

MJ

Seems like it will be "worser" for the US if the UN mandate runs out. pl

William R. Cumming

No coup this time! Just de facto partition before we leave.

Bobo

Following this train of thought leads us to what we knew two to three years ago. Our presence is just stalling the true Shia-Sunni-Kurdish internal war which may or may not lead to a full scale internal Mid East war.

Mad Dogs

"Sign right here Junya. Crayon will do."

"There ain't no timeline in here, raht?"

"Don't you worry. That's somebody else's problem."

"Raht! Now ah gotcha."

robt willmann

What was that line in the old Lone Ranger television series: "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear ..."?

Those would be the days prior to 1991, as in the thrilling days of Saddam Hussein.

My opinion has been and still is that Saddam had more brains and smarts about Iraqi politics than all the chickenhawk neocons, the pundits on TV, the people in the foundation think [sic] tanks, the White House, and Congress put together. (The judiciary lucks out on this one since it usually stays out of foreign policy).

So, how did Saddam Hussein do it? That is, more or less keep Iraq together when he was boss?
Was he just a cheesy knockoff imitation of Joseph Stalin, kind of like those fake Rolex watches you could buy in Hong Kong (and now probably in mainland China)?

We know that the former East German Stasi taught him how to set up a Department of Homeland Security. He also seemed to have some socialist type of bureaucracy in place as well.

Although any study of another area's culture and politics is done through the filter of our own perception, I wonder whether there is any report done in good faith describing how the organization known as the Iraq government functioned back then.

No so-called political leader ever stays in power by sheer brutality alone. It always takes more than that, and always includes ideology, to try to keep the mass of people from running you down.

This brings me to my belief that Iraq will not necessarily break up into three parts if the U.S., Britain, and Israel leave. Of course, as a result of the conscious action of we three, formerly mixed neighborhoods under Saddam are now ethnically cleansed, making an ethnic and sectarian split easier. This fits into one of the goals of the 2003 invasion: to prevent Iraq from having an independent, nationalist government or leader.

Certainly if the U.S., Britain, and Israel leave Iraq, there will be plenty of internal fighting over the massive oil wealth there, since that is one of the reasons for the war (yes, I am a proud charter member of the "Oilies"). With 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 215 billion barrels of likely reserves, you do the arithmetic at present oil prices and even at $30 per barrel.

As a veteran lawyer here who handled some of the high dollar divorce cases once said, when there is enough money to go around, often things tend to work themselves out.

And since the inhabitants of Iraq are a tribal culture, they may resolve their problems if all the Americans, British, and Israelis leave, and arrive at a resolution without a massive civil war.

anna missed

"No coup this time!"

Actually, William Cumming that might not be true. Just a couple of months ago there were indeed coup rumors - this time (unusually enough) coming out of the US establishment in the green zone. The rumor had it that the coup would be a military one organized by the Iraqi Security Forces. In light of the SOFA problems it could very well have been a message to Maliki, to which at this point he has ignored.

Clifford Kiracofe

"Coup"

Looking at the history of the region over the past century, can one exclude this possibility?

A "coup-less Greater Middle East" with "democracy" breaking out everywhere and sugar plum fairies overhead?...I don't think so.

Homer

There are several other pro-Iranian anti-American Iraqi religio-politicans that can easily take Maliki's spot.

The Iraqi Parliament is filled with men who have **also** (e.g.: al-Hakim, Baqir Jabr Al-Zubeidi, et al) dedicated their adult lives to transforming Iraq into a fundamentalist Shiite republic which has strong ties to Iran.

We have ZERO friends in Iraq that can turn Iraq into a vassal state of the US.

This, of course, includes the Iraqis.

You wait: 10 years from now, the US will be at war with Iraq. We will have our guns turned against us.

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