Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nationalists Stirring in Iraq

The Nation

On January 13 an emerging Sunni-Shiite nationalist bloc in Iraq signed a groundbreaking agreement aimed at ending Iraq's civil war, blocking the privatization of Iraq's oil industry and checkmating the breakaway Kurdish state. It's a big step forward, and it could change the face of Iraqi politics in 2008.

My highlighted phrase is why Bush will vehemently oppose these Iraqis from charting their own destiny.

So far, the United States has continued to prop up Maliki's shaky regime, despite its growing unpopularity. US officials fear that if Maliki were to fall, the results would be unpredictable--especially in an election year. Besides, the nationalists would be far less likely than Maliki to sign the proposed long-term extension of the American presence in Iraq that Maliki and President Bush intend to ink by July.

I hope Maliki falls or is co-opted before then. Bush too, but that's even less likely.

[...] Even without US interference, it might still take a miracle for a stable Iraqi coalition to take root.

I think that's the understatement of the year, but they'll never know if they don't try. Bush's imperialistic delusions have failed miserably, and the U.S. should get out of their way and let the Iraqis give it their best shot. It's their country, after all, and one way or another their destiny is ultimately up to them. The sooner the better.

The problem with all this, of course, is that Bush will not leave Iraq without what he went there for. OIL. This is liable to get a lot uglier than it is now.

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