Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another contribution to the discussion

If you feel as I do a certain sense of ideological sameness in the recent expressions of Democratic Party views on Iraq strategy ("nation, not ours, unfortunately but irremediably falling apart in Hobbesian chaos, alas how can we help") perhaps you will find the Al-Quds al-Arabi lead editorial this morning (Thursday Nov 15, p 19) refreshing (wrong word). I am trying to find the right Washington expression: Perhaps you will find in it a more nuanced view (that's better). Or at least one offering a little more historical context.

The editorialist draws a parallel between the Sunni-Sunni fighting (reflected in AQ versus the "awakening councils", IAI versus AQ, and now the Sunni Endowments board militia versus AMSI) and the Shiite-Shiite fighting pitting the national Sadrist movement against the Iranian-leaning Badr Corps, and reflected more broadly in the collapse of the parliamentary UIA coalition, which the editorialist sees as imminent, if it hasn't happened already. The Americans, he says, are observing these developments with satisfaction. But he adds:
The American feeling of ecstasy over these great accomplishments might be somewhat exaggerated, or premature. The current reversals in the map of alliances, and the developing rapprochement between the American forces and some of the Iraqi tribes and Sunni groups might not be that long-lasting. The history of the tribes is full of reversals of alliances, and shifts from one extreme to the other, and there is the greed of some of these tribal leaders for money, and the fact that the gratification of one tribal sheikh can lead to the anger of another, and on. But perhaps the most important point is this: Just as the American alliance with the Shiite groups led at the beginning of the occupation to an escalating rebellion and resistance in the so-called Sunni Triangle, this new alliance with some of the Sunni tribes can lead to a broadening of the circle of resistance in the milieu of the various Shiite camps. It is possible that the explosion caused by a large roadside bomb just outside the Green Zone yesterday could be the warning bell for what the state of the capital could be in the weeks and perhaps the months ahead, following the recent brief period of calm. Which could turn out to have been the calm before the storm whose whose clouds are now gathering.


Blogger annie said...

calm before the storm? the problem w/militias

Absent actual reconciliation, which Stanton believes will be "generational" in coming, this year's strategy had the short-term effect of reducing violence to 2006 levels, and the probable long-term effect of hastening Iraq's disintegration. Even by the standards of Iraq's numerous predictable disasters, this one is glaring and obvious. We might as well call it victory.

7:56 AM  

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