Monday, January 15, 2007

Iraq: Beyond the Gallows

Conflicts Forum

The Bush administration's provocative posture towards Iran in recent days could thus say more about what has already happened than about what is yet to come. From the vantage point of the Oval Office, raising the specter of a military confrontation with Iran may in fact seem preferable to facing the greatest humiliation of all: the acknowledgement of an Iranian victory in Iraq. Yet it now appears that Saddam's ignominious end was exactly that: victor's justice - Iranian victor's justice. It is a message from Iran to Iraq's Sunnis that it is Iran, and not the U.S, that is now the dominant force in Iraq. Iran may have been diplomatic enough to call Saddam's execution a "victory for the Iraqi people," but the blunt message heard across the region is that Iran will not relent in asserting its title as the region's leading power.

The message for the Bush Administration should be clear: shifts in military strategy cannot undo the fact that the political struggle for Iraq has already been lost.

The technical term for what Bush is attempting to do by way of self-salvation in Iraq is "shoveling shit against the tide", the "shit" being our troops in his estimation.

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