"Iraqi unity and security are the ingredients for the start of an American military withdrawal, U.S. officials say. The U.S. commander in the country, General George Casey, wouldn’t specify yesterday when a pullout of the 133,000 troops might begin, only that his “general timeline” is intact." Bloomberg
Translation: A withdrawal of American forces, even if only partial, is conditioned;
1- on the ability of the new government to hold together in the face of the centrifugal social forces tending to tear the country apart
2- On a rapid diminution of the violence (insurgent and inter-communal as the administration wants to see it) that afflicts Iraq.
The Bush Administration desperately wants to get most American troops out of the country starting this Summer. They can read the poll numbers in the US which virtually forecast a "bad patch" for the Republican Party both this Autumn and also in the next presidential election.
Unfortunately for them the time has passed in which they could control the actions of the government which they have gone to so much trouble to create. They insist that it is sovereign and it increasingly sees itself as sovereign whether or not it can maintain its unity and whether or not it can control the country’s territory.
In other words, the fate of the Bush Administration’s policy in Iraq is now in the hands of; a group of grasping and fractious 3rd World politicians, various private armies belonging to sectarian groups and leaders, the emerging armed forces of a fledgling state and the will to fight of various Sunni insurgent groups.
The people who now have the least control over Iraq’s future are we Americans.
Let us all hope that the Iraqis believe that "they must all hang together or they will surely all hang separately."
Strictly speaking, the Iraqi leaders are not politicians in the Western sense. They are men of the hour.
Ah… I don’t know about that. They may be men of the hour but their characteristics and behaviors are very reminiscent of the Arab politicians I have hung around with in places like Lebanon where “politics” really exists. pl
I think what the admin wants is the headline shouting “U.S troops leaving Iraq”
But when all is said and done it is admin’s plan to keep 100K+ there from now until the end of time (end of days?).
They will rotate them in on training missions or whatever other bullcrap lexicon they come up with to the cover their tracks. But we Americans are there forever. At least in Cheney’s mind anyway..
That was precisely my point. There is no political structure behind these men: no party structure and no agreed upon framwork. As you observed in a different posting, there is no Hegelian dialectical give and take.
Ah. You have it. They are just like all the other Arab “parties.” All of them are really just instruments for the ambitions of selfish little men.
Or, worse yet the “catspaws” of fanatics of one kind or another.
You are going to love (not) my latest. pl