Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Civil War As An Exit Strategy?

I think the Asia Times might have it mostly right here: Exit strategy: Civil war
"In reality, the electoral process was designed to legitimize the occupation, rather than ridding the country of the occupation ... Anyone who sees himself capable of bringing about political reform should go ahead and try, but my belief is that the occupiers won't allow him."
-- Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
As Shi'ites and Kurds fought for three months to come up with an Iraqi cabinet, it is emerging from Baghdad that soon a broad front will emerge on the political scene composed of politicians, religious leaders, clan and tribal sheikhs - basically Sunni but with Shi'ite participation - with a single-minded agenda: the end of the US-led occupation.

This front will include, among others, what we have termed the Sinn Fein component of the resistance, the powerful Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) and the Sadrists. It will refuse any kind of dialogue with new Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and his government unless there's a definite timetable for the complete withdrawal of the occupation forces. Even the top Marine in Iraq, Major General Stephen Johnson, has admitted, "There will be no progress as long as the insurgents are not implicated in a political process."

But the proliferation of what many moderate Sunnis and Shi'ites suspect as being Pentagon-organized black ops is putting the emergence of this front in jeopardy. This is obvious when we see Harith al-Dhari - the AMS leader - blaming the Badr Brigades (the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution - SCIRI - in Iraq, a major partner in the government) for the killing of Sunni Arab clerics.
Several Iranian websites have widely reported a plan to break up Iraq into three Shi'ite southern mini-states, two Kurdish mini-states and one Sunni mini-state - with Baghdad as the seat of a federal government. Each mini-state would be in charge of law and order and the economy within its own borders, with Baghdad in charge of foreign policy and military coordination. The plan was allegedly conceived by David Philip, a former White House adviser working for the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC). The AFPC is financed by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which has also funded both the ultra-hawkish Project for a New American Century and American Enterprise Institute.

The plan would be "sold" under the admission that the recently elected, Shi'ite-dominated Jaafari government is incapable of controlling Iraq and bringing the Sunni Arab guerrillas to the negotiating table. More significantly, the plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq - an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Curiously? Very curiously indeed, and there's more here.

I don't think 'exit' is part of any 'strategy' but we'll see. I see 'civil war' as part of a strategy to make the war go on forever. And it seems to be working. Even opponents of the war are buying the idea that we have to stay until we stabilize the country, when seems quite clear that the civil war is state-sponsored. In other words, our presence is a major destabilizing factor and the longer we stay, the less chance Iraq has of ever being stable again. Many opponents of the war do not realize this. And that is very curious, don't you think?