Sunday, January 28, 2007

Iraq circling for awhile

With U.S. forces in Iraq struggling to figure out how to do their surge and politicians in Washington, D.C. chasing each other's tails in endless circles over Iraq, the future of Iraq is looping slowly in similarly endless circles. Sure, chaos continues, but so far nothing seems to be "hitting the fan" with enough momentum to change the overall situation. I suspect this state of affair will continue for at least another month or maybe two before somebody in Iraq makes a move, a big move.

Maybe the militias will see the light and decide to go back to huding in the woodwork until the U.S. leaves. Maybe, but I doubt it. Sure, they might talk about it and even do it for short periods of times, but not with a deep enough level of commitment to permit a full-scale political settlement sufficient to satisfy the Neoconservatives who pull the administration's strings.

I suspect that we might have to wait for some major confrontations among the political players in Iraq and possibly some significant casualties before the political players in Iraq wake up and decide that their best path to a satisfying political compromise is to join forces against a common enemy, namely the U.S. and its heavyhanded attempts to micromanage the Iraqi political system.

I suspect that four important pieces of the puzzle will be Iraqi political accommodations with their principle powerful neighbors: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. And those accommodations are likely to be of a form that is not very appealing at all to the administration or the Neoconservative puppetmasters.

Turkey could well be the dark horse in this process. The last thing Turkey wants is an independent Kurdish state since that would inspire the Kurds in Turkey to want to split off and join that state. It is in Turkey's best interests for Iraq to be a semi-loose federation, but with a still relatively strong central government. On the other hand Turkey doesn't want the central government of Iraq to be too strong since a strong Iraq could rise to challenge Turkish interests in the region.

"Accommodations" are the only political path away from chaos for Iraq.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of circling.

Besides, the U.S. will be funneling plenty of money and goods, including military material, that will find their way into Iraq's black market economy in the coming months. Where there is money, there is a will.

-- Jack Krupansky


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