"President Bush expressed unwavering confidence in Nouri al-Maliki’s ability to clamp down on the sectarian violence. Yet continued instability and rising casualties have led to calls, growing louder as the Nov. 7 elections near, for Bush to overhaul his war plan." Boston Globe
Nuri al-Maliki is merely one of the actors in the political drama now being played out in Iraq. The "constitution" of Iraq, the election, the purple thumbs, al-Maliki… All of that is just baloney. The real political process lies in the struggle for power and resources that is being waged more or less in the open now among and between the many different and differing insurgent groups (Sunni Arabs) and the Shia factions who are fighting the Sunnis and each other to see which will be the biggest "players" in whatever part of the former Iraqi state the Shia Arabs manage to retain some control in. Ah, which will be the recipients of Iranian favor and largesse and protection? Surely, the Iraqi Shia Arabs have noticed that Iran has opened its purse to the Lebanese "brothers" for re-construction and political purposes.
I have always (since Desert Storm) been against the partition of Iraq. I remain opposed to that future for the region. 1- Partition inevitably will create havens for anti-American activity in some parts of the country, 2- Partition may lead to a general war in the region among contestants for dominance over resulting parts of what had been a country. 3- The Shia Arab state of "Iraq" will be an ally of Iran.
Nevertheless, one must face the fact that Iraq is falling to bits, and we have very little power to stop that or affect the division of the "spoils" that is coming.
President Bush can sit in his "bunker" in the basement of the West Wing and lecture his generals and functionaries until the end of days and that represents NOTHING in the real world of armed political struggle in Mesopotamia. He can lecture Al-Maliki every day and it will affect nothing. Why? It is because al-Maliki is just another Shia contender for power. He is head of the Iraqi government in name only.
Historians eventually will work this out. By then it will all be long over.