Thursday, December 22, 2011

That did not take any time at all, did it?.

BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq threatened on Wednesday to abandon an American-backed power-sharing government created a year ago, throwing a fragile democracy into further turmoil just after the departure of American troops and potentially tarnishing what has been cast as a major foreign policy achievement for President Obama.

In a nearly 90-minute news conference broadcast on tape-delay, Mr. Maliki defied his rivals and pushed back on all fronts in Iraq’s deepening political crisis, threatening to release investigatory files that he claimed implicated his opponents in terrorism.
He also threatened the Kurds, valuable allies with close ties to the Americans, warning that there would be “problems” if they protected Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who fled to the semiautonomous Kurdish region in recent days to escape an arrest warrant on charges that he ran a death squad responsible for assassinations and bombings.

The escalating political crisis underscores the divisions among Iraq’s three main factions — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds — that were largely papered over while the American military maintained a presence here. The crisis also lays bare the myriad problems left behind with the final departure of American troops: sectarianism, a judiciary that the populace views as beholden to one man and a political culture with no space for compromise.

Now you know why the President wanted to keep 30,000 soldiers on Iraqi soil. But that deal died right along with the SOFA. The Iraqi government hewed to the agreement that it reached with the Bush Administration and Team Obama could not move them off that marker.

 Iraq is about to enter a Hobbesian struggle of the all against the all and there is not much Obama can do about it. The Shia majority of Iraq holds the upper hand as they have the numbers and the support of their neighbors to the East, Iran. The Kurds do have geography going for them as they can wage a long, dibilitating war of attrition from their mountains. The Sunnis of the Iron Triangle are in the worst position. They are a minority, the other factions of Iraq hate them for the depredations of Saddam, and they lack oil. They were the backbone of the previous regimes military and they have the support of the Saudis, but in long civil war of attrition, that may not mean much.

People who had a grasp of strained politics of Iraq, of the numerous fissures in that society only kept in check by dictatorial excess, knew that this end game was coming sooner or later. The only way the nation of Iraq remained whole was by being lead by an absolute SOB. That position was once held by Saddam Hussein. All the US invasion of 2001 did was offer that position to an ambitious Iraqi politician.

The misguided attempt by the right-wing incompetents of the Bush Administration to create a Arab democracy and free market utopia in Iraq by fiat has ended the only way it could, in failure. Yet the collapse of the NeoCon project by the waters of Babylon has taught no one in the D.C. bubble any humility. The fever dreams indulged in by the denizens of the Beltway continue unabated; with the Islamic Republic Of Iran next on the regime change "to do" list. There is no learning curve at all for the interventionist of the Potomac.
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