REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The Iraqi Election

POSTED BY: GEEZER
UPDATED: Sunday, January 1, 2006 18:33
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Saturday, December 17, 2005 3:06 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Looks like things went pretty well. 70%+ turnout, much greater Sunni participation than last time, international monitors praising the process as fair and free of major problems, little interference by the insurgents. Congratulations to the Iraqis. Can't wait for the results.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Saturday, December 17, 2005 3:08 PM

DREAMTROVE


I have to confess I'm beginning to be hopeful

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Monday, December 19, 2005 3:15 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


The results will be that the "Shiite list" will win slightly less than half of the 275 seat in Parliament (120-130). With just another few votes, the Shiites will be able to push through whatever they choose. If they choose to disaffect the Sunnis (by appointing Shiites to all the important posts like Interior Ministry and Oil Ministry, or by pushing through religious laws alien to the Sunnis for example) then Iraq will head down the path towards civil war. If they choose to embrace the Sunnis then they should be able to peel off all except foreign provovateurs and the most die-hard Baathists.

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Please don't think they give a shit.

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Monday, December 19, 2005 3:52 PM

HAYWARD79


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
The results will be that the "Shiite list" will win slightly less than half of the 275 seat in Parliament (120-130). With just another few votes, the Shiites will be able to push through whatever they choose. If they choose to disaffect the Sunnis (by appointing Shiites to all the important posts like Interior Ministry and Oil Ministry, or by pushing through religious laws alien to the Sunnis for example) then Iraq will head down the path towards civil war. If they choose to embrace the Sunnis then they should be able to peel off all except foreign provovateurs and the most die-hard Baathists.QUOTE]

Actually this is not quite true. First, you're proceeding on a false assumption: that the Shiites are united in their beliefs and their potential choices for important government posts. I think it is clear to anyone who has been following the power struggles within the Shiite leadership over the past 2 years that this is certainly not the case. Secondly, because of the increased Sunni participation, the "Shiite list", which is actually comprised of several separatie organizations, will have to align with either some of the Sunni or Kurdish representatives to even form a government, since they will almost definitely fall short of the majority needed to form a government on their own (which would be unlikely to happen even if they had 60% of the parliamentary seats).

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Monday, December 19, 2005 5:52 PM

DREAMTROVE


I think you're being unduly cynical here. While cynicism is always welcome, I think that there's a real possibility this will work.

Clearly, the US will manipulate the elections, and try to keep a pro-US govt. But in the long term, the presence of a stable system for each group to express its concerns has its benefits. It's important that the Sunnis get a say, and it may be that special rules of a supermajority may need to be installed to take account of the distribution, or again, the three state solution can be invoked.

I think that keeping this running will be a very difficult task, and if the Bush admin is willing to do nothing else but focus on it, then I'm willing to say there's a chance.

If this happens, which is a big if, I may have to concede that this was worthwhile. I will never be a fan of pre-emptive war, and cannot help but think that there were better plans to do it by.

One counter here, I hear from the Bush crowd this argument: "We tried for a decade to do it the other way, and it didn't work."

No. We tried for 8 years the Clinton way. The Clinton way was clearly much worse than the Bush way in that it killed a lot more people and created no progress at all. It was abominable.

Then there were two years of Bush trying it the Clinton way, but he was really just biding time until he got the okay to do it the Bush way.

But I still have to think that there was a better choice than either the Clinton way or the Bush way. If this had been a Reagan/Bush Sr. operation, he would have sent in an elite team to take out Saddam and replace him proabbly with someone in Saddam's own govt. who we would have made a pre-arranged deal with to start the transformation to democracy. Something like that. Anyway, I can't help but feel that the creation of a new Al Qaeda breeding ground, the destruction of the Iraqi infastructure, and feuling of anti-American sentiment worldwide, which has allowed socialists to gain power in Spain, Brazil, and now Bolivia, plus of course 2000 American lives and countless Iraqis is a very high price to pay.

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Monday, December 19, 2005 7:16 PM

SEVENPERCENT


Quote:

Originally posted by dreamtrove:
I think you're being unduly cynical here.


I think you're being unduly optimistic here. As long as the U.S. is manipulating the elections, there will always be a very vocal (and very correct) minority group in Iraq with the ability to sway people against the government using the idea that Iraqi sovereignty is a front for U.S. puppeteering. The 'stable system' you talk about will collapse unless the overwhelming insurgent and al-Qaida (notice, some of you, how the two aren't the same thing?) presence in the country is neutralized. After this story today:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/252583_cheney19.html
I don't see it happening. The highlight of this link is the fact that Cheney made a surprise visit to Iraq, of which two things happened.
1. No one in the Iraqi government was notified for fear that there might be a leak
2. Iraqi 'security forces' weren't given guns (the assumption being that so many agents have infiltrated even trusted forces that we have no faith in them). From the article:

The daylong tour of Iraq was so shrouded in secrecy that even Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and President Jalal Talabani were kept in the dark. The prime minister said he was surprised when he showed up for what he thought was a meeting with the U.S. ambassador and saw Cheney.

And

U.S. forces guarded Cheney with weapons at the ready while Iraqi soldiers, who had no weapons, held their arms out as if they were carrying imaginary guns.

Today, we also released Mrs. Anthrax and Dr. Germ from prison, after the troops worked hard to capture them. Any bets on how long it takes them to find a position back in the halls of Iraqi power? I'm betting faster than we'd like, unless something happens.

Fun stuff, no? Sorry, DT, but I can't see this turning out any other way then bad. I'd ask for a Christmas miracle, but apparently there's a War On Christmas going on and I'm one of those godless liberal devils out there telling people Happy Holidays, so I don't think Jesus will grant me one.



Quote:

I can't help but feel that the creation of a new Al Qaeda breeding ground, the destruction of the Iraqi infastructure, and feuling of anti-American sentiment worldwide, which has allowed socialists to gain power in Spain, Brazil, and now Bolivia, plus of course 2000 American lives and countless Iraqis is a very high price to pay.


Oh, but most of the R's in this country would disagree with you. I'm not even sure what our objectives are anymore; we removed Saddam, found no weapons, this will be the, what, third historical vote they've had. When do we get to leave? Probable answer - never (at least not if we want it to get worse).

And I'd like to throw out this little gem - every billion dollars spent shooting people and building schools in Iraq that we blew up in the first place is a billion dollars that doesn't get spent in our own schools, where kids are shooting each other and some schools haven't seen a fresh coat of paint in a decade. They cut head start and programs for gifted and disabled kids to pay for this little field trip, so in 10, 15 years when everyone is complaining because the U.S. educational system is in a sorry state, I'd like them to remember stuff like this (and it isn't just GWB's fault either, but this is a topic for another thread).

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 7:59 AM

DREAMTROVE


7%,

I don't think the - what I would call justified - insurgency, is going to present too much of a problem as long as obtaining influence through due democratic process is easier than overthrowing the country by military force. Here I'm talking about groups like Al Sadr and the Mahdi and all those people who have a valid point about US occupation and its potential undue control over a puppet govt. I think Moqtada Al Sadr and co see this, that it is more benificial for Iraq to fight potentially damaging US control in a non-violent manner if possible.

The other point I agree with you on. Al Qaeda, which is represented in Iraq By Al Zarqawi, a Jordanian, and by extension Zawahiri and Egyptian, and Bin Laden a Yemeni-Saudi. These people and their organization contrast markedly with the native insurgency in that, even if their active footsoldiers are Iraqi for the most part, they do not represent Iraqi interests. Any foreign special interests in Iraq, whether coming from the US, Britain and Russia (let's be fair, there's a complete list of folks here who think they have dibs on the oil) or whether it's coming from either an Al Qaeda or from an Iran backed group, ultimate does not have a place in the due democratic process of Iraq. For this reason they will continue to be a problem, which must be dealt with.

As far as Cheney being hated in Iraq and fearing for his life and generally feeling the need to act in a totally paranoid fashion, this is nothing new. He acts that way in the United States too. He came to the college where my sister teaches, and they had security teams sweep for bombs and try to ban potentially upstreporous liberal students from showing. A recent poll showed that Cheney's job approval rating is down around 25%, and for a long time has been staying a solid 10 points under Bush's. He's not a popular guy. They hate us in Iraq right now, I don't doubt that, I would hate us too if I were them. They're also going to need us if they don't want to get invaded and slaughtered by someone else.

I think our present agenda in Iraq is this:

The neocons in PNAC came up with a plan, and then they got into the whitehouse and they put that plan into action and it sucked. It was an utter disaster. Now they have a situation far different from the rosepedal parade they envisioned, and they're left with a mess, and a need to answer, what now? and they're response is "uhhh i dunno?"

The problem with these think tank globalist ideologues is that they do all their work through advanced planning. They spend years working out all the details. Then, they put their plan into action, and when it doesn't work, they don't know what to do. By their model, they'd have to go back to the drawing board and think about it for a few more years, but they don't have time.

You're not going to get a defense of GWB out of me, I guess that goes without saying. But we have inherited a debt, just like the deficit, because of bad policy, and now we have to deal with that. Iraq is an obligation whether we like it or not.

Consider this. If you know a guy who is a little over the edge, some nutcase with a huge weapons cache under ground, and you go over to his house, raid his fridge, set fire to his house and steal his car, then you yell at him until he promises to track you down and kill you. Then you turn around and run back to your house. What do you expect to happen?

The Bush plan seems to be to continually sock the guy in the jaw in hopes that he's like you more. But clearly there needs to be a plan here, or the result will be that he'll show up at your house with a howitzer.

Iraq is a guy who is predisposed towards violence, has been at war his entire life, and has a cache of oil under the ground capable of buying any weapons he wants. All he needs is the leadership of a true lunatic like Al Qaeda to go berzerk and start killing everyone in town.

What he needs in a new house, some really level-headed leadership from his actual friends, and a seat at your dinner table to try to understand that you were just trying to get a rat out of his house when you burnt it down, and it won't happen again.

I'm not sure this is a workable plan, but it beats the hell out of the alternatives.




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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:06 AM

SEVENPERCENT


Post-election in Iraq:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article334476.ece

From the article:
Quote:

Iraq is disintegrating. The first results from the parliamentary election last week show the country is dividing between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions.

Religious fundamentalists now have the upper hand. The secular and nationalist candidate backed by the US and Britain was humiliatingly defeated.





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Friday, December 23, 2005 10:28 AM

DUTCH508


I was annoyed with this (your comment about Cheney and security). I was present when the Vice-President visited us at a lunch after he toured the 1st Iraqi Mechanized Brigade. Except for the security detatchment NONE of us were allowed to carry weapons. Not the Iraqis, not the US Soldiers, not any of the other CFs.

So, your story is true in part, but you are taking only what you want to hear from it.

In addition, when the President visited us at Fort Polk, LA prior to us coming to Iraq we were once again not allowed to carry ANY weapons. We went through a metal detector before being allowed into the AIRFIELD.

There is security...and then there is being foolish about security. I'd rather the President safe than not. Same with the VP.



dutch
Advisor, Iraqi Army
www.maciraq.blogspot.com

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Friday, December 23, 2005 12:27 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Then we are back to the tripartite solution to Iraq. Rather than losing the whole of Iraq to Iran-oriented Islamic fundamentalists, we should be able to salvage a Kurdistan. With aid, time, patience, AND TROOP W/DRAWAL we might actually be able salvage the Sunni center. The best we can do about Iran and southern Iraq is to keep our hands off. Our support is enough to taint pro-democracy groups.

EDITED TO ADD: Look at this from the Sunni and Kurdish standpoint. They face a national army which will probably be inimical to their interests. This national army will be supported and trained by the USA, which will claim that this represents some sort of "victory for democracy". Unless/ until we stop propping up this farcical government, the Shiites will have no reason to actually negotiate with other interest groups in Iraq. Civil war ensues.

Dutch- What say you?

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Please don't think they give a shit.

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Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:57 PM

DUTCH508


The political situation in Iraq can be boiled down to this:

Everyone is out for themselves.

Under the old Saddam days nobody but those who sucked up to Saddam got sh*t. When anything went out from Saddam each level of authority took their cut off the top so that by the time it got down to the level of the local officals there wasn't too much left for anyone else.

People got by because they had enough to live on, and not much else. Education was stressed here simply because it looked good.

People have no drive to make themselves better by working hard because there was no rewards for doing this. I mean, if you busted your butt and did a good job for your boss he got he credit. HE reported to the next boss and so on. Any reward was filtered down by various levels of Saddams cronies and so you, the worker, got squat. Why work hard if that is the system.

Now come the Americans who say, "If you work hard you can do anything."

However, 70% of the old bosses are still in power because you can't remove everyone in a position of authority without a hella lot more troops. So, we work with what we have. The problems are that MOD (Ministry of Defense) gives out contracts based on who bribed them the most. Contracts for military vehicles maintenance for example, do not specify they type of work to be down, and so the contractors (mostly Lebanese and Jordanian companies) can charge extra for doing crap like replacing track on tanks.

Across the country we see this sort of thing continue. On our own base our Iraqi mess hall contractor is one of the worst. We've shut him down for health violations several times. He goes to Baghdad, pays off a general or two, and he's got MOD permission to open up again. Nothing is fixed and only money has changed hands.

Same in the political world. Al Sadr quit making noice because the Iraqi political groups paid him off. WHen he wants more money he'll call a march and then the Government will pay him some more.

The political situation here will not change because we are here. It will be more of a democracy than there was, by a long shot, but it will be the same group of money that runs things.

Of course, you can argue that that mirrors the US political picture anyway.

dutch- my views.

dutch
Old, cranky and set in my ways.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005 4:10 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Hmmm. Dutch, the picture you paint is not pretty by any means. Having heard of scams by both Halliburton and local (Iraq-based) contractors, it seems to me that there is no honest place for the USA to spend its $$ except the USA military. And for some reason Rumsfeld and Cheney look reluctant to do that. I was under the impression that they have a notion of contracting out/ "privatizing" the military as much as possible.

I have another question for you: My understanding is that the Iraqi "insurgents" are actually made of several groups, including foreign fighters, dissatisfied Sunnis and al Sadrists. Just focusing on the Sunnis, do you have any insight as to WHAT they are fighting for? Is it American troop w/drawal? An "in" on the political (bribery) process? Destruction of the current Shiite-based government? Creation of an independent Sunni nation? Or something else? In other words- what achievement would make them stop?

Thanks for you insight. Just wanted to let you know that you're appreciated for your service to our country.

And BTW- MERRY XMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to our troops in Iraq and elsewhere, and to all my friends and fellow debators here on FFF.

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Please don't think they give a shit.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005 5:43 AM

DUTCH508


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Hmmm. Dutch, the picture you paint is not pretty by any means. Having heard of scams by both Halliburton and local (Iraq-based) contractors, it seems to me that there is no honest place for the USA to spend its $$ except the USA military. And for some reason Rumsfeld and Cheney look reluctant to do that. I was under the impression that they have a notion of contracting out/ "privatizing" the military as much as possible.

I have another question for you: My understanding is that the Iraqi "insurgents" are actually made of several groups, including foreign fighters, dissatisfied Sunnis and al Sadrists. Just focusing on the Sunnis, do you have any insight as to WHAT they are fighting for? Is it American troop w/drawal? An "in" on the political (bribery) process? Destruction of the current Shiite-based government? Creation of an independent Sunni nation? Or something else? In other words- what achievement would make them stop?

Thanks for you insight. Just wanted to let you know that you're appreciated for your service to our country.

And BTW- MERRY XMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to our troops in Iraq and elsewhere, and to all my friends and fellow debators here on FFF.

---------------------------------
Please don't think they give a shit.



What do the Sunni want? They want Sadam back and to be in power again. I think they are still puzzled by the fact the Shi'a haven't rounded them all up and shot them.
That's pretty much what happened after the first Gulf War when we prompted the Shi'a to rise up in the south- and then abandoned them. Saddam's boys slaughtered anyone who raised their voices in protest.
What does Al Sadr want? A fundamentalist Islamic nation led by him. Simple.
As to contractors; The big American ones sub-contract everything down to the local jobbers. They in turn take their 10% off the top and whatever is left for the lower jobbers. It's all about money, don't ever kid yourself.

Insurgents. Most of them are Irha'bii- meaning foreign fighters. We caught two Egytians the other day. They come here to kill Americans. The local guys, mostly Sunni hardlines, want to kill us and the shi'a. Then there are the guys who get paid 20 dollars to set up an IED. They just are intersted in the money. Then there are the crooks, thieves, and various mafia wanna-bees. Doesn't matter who they are, we catch 80% of them. Most of the time we don't have enough on them to keep them locked up and so we turn them loose only to catch them again.
This is for Iraqi citizens only. Foreigners are a different matter. BUT- for 20 dollars I can get you legal Iraqi documents.
It's all about money, brother.

Iraq will never be just like the US. It will always be a flavor of Arabic culture. It is getting better, and will be a strong nation once the bugs are worked out.

Hell...I have hope for these people and I've been here 14 months, so if that doesn't tell you something, none of my ramblings will.

take care. be safe.

dutch
Old, cranky and set in my ways.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005 10:02 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by dutch508:
The political situation in Iraq can be boiled down to this:

Everyone is out for themselves.



Dutch.

First off, I read your blog, and it reads just like the letters I sent home from Vietnam 30+ years ago. I spent the last half of my tour with MACV teaching commo to the ARVN, and had a lot of the same stuff happen to me - scrounging for supplies(radio batteries and teletype ribbons mostly), asshat officers and guys who became real heroes just doing their jobs, good ARVN troops who had to deal with a corrupt command structure, etc. The Army is always the Army. If we could go out for a drink with a Roman Centurian I bet we'd all tell the same stories.

I always thought "Everyone is out for themselves" was a universal statement about politics. I'd expect it's really going to be working overtime in Iraq for the next few years just because there are so many folks who now have a chance to actually get out there and get some for themselves. The Shia and Kurds especially will be grabbing with both hands. from the descriptions of graft and palm-greasing, I wonder if what will fall out is an Iraqi form of the old "machine" politics of the 19th and early 20th centuries here in the USA. Tamanny Hall and the Daley reign in Chicago.

Glad to see that the Iraqi forces you're working with are standing up so well. That's a hopeful sign and info we don't really get from the media back here. Wonder why? Sorry to see some of your commanders think War College trumps 30 years of combat experience some of the Iraqi officers have. Nothing changes.

Keep your head down, and thanks.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Monday, December 26, 2005 12:38 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Geezer- Every time someone compares Iraq to Vietnam I get a little shiver down my spine. I was a little too young to distinctly remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident that wasn't, but I seem to recall a couple of successful elections in S Vietnam, and how success followed success right up to the fall of Saigon. It left me w/ a distrust of rosy White House news.

Dutch- I suspect you are a little younger than me and may also not directly remember aspects of Vietnam. You said things are getting better in Iraq. Unlike the administration and various talking heads you're speaking from a ground-level knowledge. I'd be interested to know what's going right in Iraq from your viewpoint.

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Monday, December 26, 2005 2:20 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Geezer- Every time someone compares Iraq to Vietnam I get a little shiver down my spine.



SignyM:

I was only comparing the never-changing experience of the soldier in a war zone, not the controlling factors of the wars themselves. I don't actually see that much similarity overall between Vietnam and Iraq from either political, international alignment, or war-fighting standpoints.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 8:56 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Geezer- Point noted.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 10:07 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Here is an interesting analysis:
Quote:

Parliament requires a 2/3s vote to elect a president, who must appoint a prime minister from the coalition with a simple majority. I figure 2/3s as about 184 votes. Allawi and the Sunni Arabs probably won't have more than 50 or 55 seats all told, leaving around 220. The Kurds will have about 50. If we subtract them, we come down to 170. Therefore, an Allawi/Sunni boycott would force the Shiites into another coalition with the Kurds if they are to form a government, and the Kurds can extract promises moderating Shiite fundamentalist policies before they agree. Since the Rejectionist Conference is alleging fraud in "northern cities," probably a euphemism for Kirkuk, it may in fact push the Kurds to ally with the Shiites again, since both have an interest in protecting their electoral victories in their provinces. On the other hand, if the Kurds and the Shiites can do business, then the Allawi/Sunni boycott would become meaningless and would simply deprive them of a vote in parliament.

Once a Shiite-dominated government is formed, the United Iraqi Alliance could simply vote down its rivals by simple majority, though it would risk a presidential veto if it failed to get a consensus. The president (who likely will be a Kurd and likely will be Jalal Talabani) and the two vice presidents (likely a Sunni Arab and a Shiite) each can exercise a separate veto over legislation for the next 4 years. If the Kurds and the Shiites can find a pliable and complaisant Sunni Arab to serve as vice president, though, they could just run roughshod over the Sunni Arab and secularist minority.

Generally speaking, in parliamentary systems boycotts usually backfire and a poor political strategy. If the Sunni Arabs and secularists were smart, they'd make themselves swing votes in parliament and use their economic power to lobby for policies they want, thus leveraging themselves into great influence. The Sunni Arabs and ex-Baathists were used, however, to ruling by the iron fist from above, and so are hardly canny parliamentarians, and don't know how to make themselves indispensable as a minority.


www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1792738.php

Dutch
Quote:

What do the Sunni want? They want Sadam back and to be in power again.
Then they are stupider than I thought... but this seems to be borne out by the way they are reacting to the election.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 10:28 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


More analysis
Quote:

WASHINGTON, Dec 26 (IPS) - The George W. Bush administration has embarked on a new effort to pressure Iraq's militant Shiite party leaders to give up their control over internal security affairs that could lead the Shiites to reconsider their reliance on U.S. troops.

The looming confrontation is the result of U.S. concerns about the takeover of the Interior Ministry by Shiites with close ties to Iran, as well as the impact of officially sanctioned sectarian violence against Sunnis who support the insurgency. The Shiite leaders, however, appear determined to hold onto the state's organs of repression as a guarantee against restoration of a Baathist regime.... If Abdul Aziz al-Hakin and other SCIRI leaders feel they have to choose between relying on U.S. military protection and the security of their regime, they are likely to choose the latter. They could counter U.S. pressures by warning they will demand a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops if the United States continues to interfere in such politically sensitive matters.


www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=31574
I urge you to read the entire article, it provides a great deal of info.

So, it still boils down to what I said before
Quote:

If they choose to disaffect the Sunnis (by appointing Shiites to all the important posts like Interior Ministry and Oil Ministry, or by pushing through religious laws alien to the Sunnis for example) then Iraq will head down the path towards civil war
It appears that Talabani will become President. In the past he has resisted turning the Interior Ministry over to non-Shiites. However, he is now saying "make-nice" things about including Sunnis in government. But if we are made to w/draw w/o having obtained some protection and representation for the Sunnis thru Kurdish intervention, it will merely put the entire nation of Iraq into the hands of Iranian-linked Shiites. Lovely.


At which point, splitting Iraq into three looks more and more attractive. I even heard speculation that should Iraq become completely dominated by Iran we might actually support al-Zarqawi. He prolly hates the Shias almost as much as he hates the USA. This would be terribly stupid and counter to our long-term goals, pretty much as stupid as supporting the Taliban to fight the Soviets, but it would be the kind of backward thinking that seems to have dominated our handling of the Mideast. I hope it doesn't come to that. In the meantime, I'm holding my breath waiting to see if the democratic process can be made to work in Iraq, otherwise we will have created a nightmare for ourselves.

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Please don't think they give a shit.

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Sunday, January 1, 2006 6:34 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Since I killed this thread, I thought I'd reanimate the corpse a bit. There is some hopeful news- or lack of news in any case. (What follows is a good example of what I've talked about before- looking for the ABSENCE of news.)

Why are we hearing so much about Baby Noor? YOu would think that the American media would be full of speculation about who will take power in Iraq, and what it means to our plans for the Mideast. But since our media is about independent as an appendix- the biological kind- they tend only to relay the "news" as given them by various government spokes-folks.

My guess is that we're running back and forth behind the scenes, trying to cobble together some sort of acceptable government. The fact that we are not vilifying the new government means that negotiations are still taking place, which means that they haven't outright failed.

I suspect that the administration is trying to banadage the situation together just enough to allow troop w/drawal just before the 2006 Congressional elections. My fear is that we will ram something together that will be acceptable to us, the IMF, World Bank, and the oil companies in the short run, but not to the Iraqis in the long-term. Of course, you would never see this in the US media.

---------------------------------
Please don't think they give a shit.

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Sunday, January 1, 2006 6:33 PM

DREAMTROVE


This is a pretty complex debate and I'm too tired to read all this, but I thought I saw a clay pigeon in here somewhere. Dutch paints a bleak picture with a fair amount of truth in it, but I don't think the Sunni's want Saddam back. At least it depends on who you call the Sunnis. The Sunni voters might vote for Saddam if you stuck him on a ballot, but the Sunni insurgents are gunning for something much more theocratic and not so secular as Saddam, they want a Saudi Arabia or possibly an Osama Bin Laden. I think if they can make this seem realistic, the Sunni voters would also vote for that. Of course what the Sunni voters do means nothing unless we move to a three state solution.

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