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Where Iraq is headed: not anyplace good


The art or pastime of making bold predictions about world events turns out to be a curious business. Sometimes you're right. Sometimes you're wrong. And sometimes you're right but wish you were wrong. That's where I think I've arrived on the subject of Iraq.

Last Friday, Fred Kaplan lamented the Iraq quagmire:

This is a terribly grim thing to say, but there might be no solution to the problem of Iraq. There might be nothing we can do to build a path to a stable, secure, let alone democratic regime. And there's no way we can just pull out without plunging the country, the region, and possibly beyond into still deeper disaster.
The latest news probably isn't going to change Kaplan's mind: a three-day conference intended to create a 100-member interim assembly, responsible for elections, among other things, is falling apart just as it gets underway. The situation in Najaf seems increasingly beyond remedy. (Much the same could be said of Fallujah.) Ayatollah Sistani, who seemed destined to control the outcome of national elections, is no longer in the country. In all these respects, the situation is appreciably worse than I had envisioned just a few months ago.

But this only serves to underscore what I concluded last fall, which is the matter of Iraq has already been decided, and not in America's favor. All that is left is figuring out how to extricate ourselves with the least amount of pain. We certainly aren't in much of a position to determine who will control Iraq once we're gone.

President Bush has no apparent plan besides "stay the course." Sen. John Kerry proposes a plan reminiscent of how the British left Palestine: they handed off to the UN and then pulled out. In the case of Palestine, the UN had no forces to provide, so the British departure coincided with the eruption of full-blown intercommunal warfare and the intervention of neighboring states, intent on seizing territory for themselves. Presumably, that's not what Kerry has in mind, but he may have to settle for something uncomfortably close to this scenario if he turns out to be serious about this strategy.

Either way, we can't stay forever, and once we're gone, what are now effectively two or three separate wars against the United States and its Iraqi associates are liable to become a civil war. The main difference between the candidates seems to be when each is willing to cut America's losses: Kerry sooner, Bush later.


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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000291.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Analyst @ 08:44 AM CST [Link]


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Replies: 6 comments

That country was brought up learning to fight against each other. From the time they were little boys they were taught to shoot and kill their kind instead of resolving issues with words.
How do we change their ways? You can't, we can't and neither can our entire military. They will continue to kill each other until no one is left........(it's a game of lets get even) and very unfortunate for families and young children.
We need to get the troops out now!
Enough is enough BUSH!!!!

Posted by Loosy @ 09/06/2004 08:54 AM CST

The United States, long before it was a country fought with England for our freedom. Any country, that is not willing to fight for their freedom is not worthy of freedom. Benjamin Franklin said word to that effect at one time.
Why should we fight for another's freedom when they are not willing to fight for it themselves? We need to get out of Iraq before we are bled dry.

Posted by Ray Turner @ 09/11/2004 08:58 PM CST

Don't blame this war on Bush, He was not the one that flew the planes into the W.T.C. We wouldn't have had to go into Iraq if the French and Germans had not been play let's hide the money with Sadam.

Posted by Roger L. Owens @ 09/13/2004 07:57 PM CST

American civilians have been purposely lied to by its own government. First, the lie about fighting terrorism; let alone Saddam Hussien, it was never sufficiently proven that Bin laden was behind 9/11!! Let memory serve you correctly, soon after 9/11 there was supposed to be an investigation into the attacks. For some reason BEFORE a trial could be held, the U.S. dropped bombs on civillians, primarily women and children, in Afghanistan. Even though American media with such unfair bias tries to paint these Arab, Muslim, or non Jewish people overseas as suicide bombers and terrorist, Osama bin laden said several times on national t.v. that he had nothing to do with 9/11. Now, it's funny to me how on most american media, whenever there is some sort suicide bombing, they say so and so claimed responsibility; therefor, why would bin laden say he had nothing to do with it. The rediculous statement that he feared U.S. retaliation makes no sense because, HELLO!!! HE'S A SUPPOSED SUICDE BOMBER, HE DOES'NT CARE ABOUT DYING!!! SO WHY WOULD HE DENY IT OUT OF FEAR OF U.S. RETALIATION! This is just one of the many lies about the "war on terror".
America is very hypocritical to talk bad about weapons of mass destruction and the treatment of women in other countries when the fact is America has the worst record in both. with such hypocrisy coming from America, one would be a fool for criticizing North korea for stocking up on as many wmd as they can. North Korea sees that if you disarm like Iraq, the U.S. will attack you and drop bombs and blow you to smitherines. But, if you arm yourself to a "t", the U.S. will talk to you and is forced to act civilized and negotiate with you. And yes Iraq did disarm of wmd in early '90's because if they did'nt they would have used them when they were attacked. If some is shooting at you in your yard with a shotgun you're not going to walk past your uzi to grab a sling-shot.

Posted by vff @ 09/14/2004 10:03 AM CST

I can't believe that Bush supporters have the nerve to criticize any part of Kerry's service records when Bush and Cheney both dodged the draft and were allowed to do so because of the reason the don't support affirmitive action for "preferential treatment", you know, being priveledged. The fact is, it doesn't matter if Kerry was bitten by a bug in Vietnam, at least he was over there risking his life in the line of fire.
The fact is Kerry has a much stronger trck record on any military or defense issue that arises than Bush or Cheney, by far.
After he served his stint in Vietnam, he had seen that faulty leadership, the criminal elements, and administrative errors that mislead the country into an unjust war and that took place during the war, and had the courage to speak out against it. This is an example of showing the versitility to see were you we're wrong, and being willing and able to reconcile it. Therefor, it's completely false that bringing up events of the past and military records hurt John Kerry.
After all, he's been in a situation before where the country was mislead into war, and found a way to get through, and would be much better then Bush who's making a bigger mess and more enemies.

Posted by v @ 09/15/2004 03:51 AM CST

Don't blame bush because he did'nt fly planes into the wtc? I hate to be the one to be the one to break this to you but, neither did Saddam Hussein. And, if you look at the records regarding it, it appears bush knew a heck of a lot more about the events surrounding 9/11 than what Saddam did. He said early in his term in 2000 that it was american policy to remove saddam hussein from power. When, in fact, it has never been American policy to remove a leader of another country from power.
The rebuilding contract of Iraq was supposed to be bidded on, but, was given to Haliburton, you know, the company vice president **** Cheney was CEO of, before the war even started!
Also, lets take a look at the imfamous money trail and see who benefitted most from 9/11; big corporations which are nearly 90 percent republican and bush supporters, like the airlines whose plaines crashed recieved millions for their slowdown, but, the workers who were laid off at the time received nothing. Afghanistan and Iraq had no such investments.The Bush administration went from trying to push all kinds of anti-biological, anti-anthrax vaccines of these rich pharmaceudial companies (who are primarily Bush supporters) down the American publics throat creating an atmosphere of panic one day, to go about your daily lives the next.Most of the beneficiaries of the "attacks" have been the rich, republican supporting elite.
So, hell, I'll ask again, are you sure Bush didn'nt have more to do with 9/11 than Saddam Hussien did?

Posted by zx @ 09/15/2004 04:41 AM CST

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