Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Who will really be running the show at the Iraq security conference?

The upcoming Iraq security conference that will include the U.S., Syria, and Iran could either be a breakthrough success or a glorious waste of time, depending on who is really calling the shots behind the scene. If the U.S. insists on exercising the primary influence, nothing good will come of the conference, not because of the U.S. per se, but because of the Neoconservative agenda. On the other hand, if Iraq is running its own show and can manage to muscle the U.S. to being a mere observer, this could be a real breakthough for Iraq.

The key to success is Iraq's ability to talk and bargain and negotiate with its neighbors, primarily Syria and Iran, as an independent state and not as a puppet of the U.S.

Yes, it is also important for the U.S. to be attending along with Iran and Syria, and to have at least superficial discussions with "the enemy", but the really important thing is for the U.S. to intentionally refrain from strongarming any of the participants.

The criteria for judging the success of the conference should be simply: Does Iraq appear to be an independent state, able to chart its own course, free from meddling by the U.S.?

-- Jack Krupansky


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