"The moment of reckoning has arrived in post-Ba’athist Iraq and none of the major players shows a trace of the will to compromise that would be necessary to construct a genuine nation-state, in which diverse social groups have an overriding commitment to live together.
Even if civil war is averted in the short term and a government is formed, that government will not be a genuine national-unity administration, but an arena of conflict between contending power groups." M. Weinstein
Yup. Deja Vu all over again. "Compromise," "Nation State," all of those things that we have been discussing here are highlighted by Weinstein. Yes. We are entering a stage at which everyone in the world except the president will know that we will be unable to accomplish his goal of making Iraq into West Texas. Does that mean that our presence there will end soon. No, It does not mean that. There will be a long and messy step by step process of disengagement with Iran watching us for a chance to do some hurtful thing every step of the way. Lang
"The central interests of the Kurds are to maintain their effective independence and to gain control of Kirkuk and its surrounding region, which has large energy reserves and had been split off from the Kurdish provinces under Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime. The Kurds complain that the transitional government, in which the Shi’ites had the preponderant influence, did not facilitate the resettlement of Kurds who had been displaced from Kirkuk under Ba’athist rule, and that it failed to put into effect provisions of the Iraqi constitution and its subsidiary Law of Administration that require a census in and a referendum on the status of Kirkuk.
Already in late January the governor of Kirkuk, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa, had threatened to suspend oil exports to the rest of Iraq if the central government did not allocate funds for taking the census and holding the referendum. " Weinstein
The Kurds want Kirkuk. The Talabani Kurds, some of whom are Shia live in eastern Kurdistan near the Iranian border. Talabani, although a Sunni, has always been on friendly terms with whatever Iranian government was in power. Jalal Talabani is familiar with thr rule that "you should go home with him who brought you to the dance." The Barzanis in the west do not have that history and I continue to maintain that a deal is in the works between Ankara and Barzani over what we now like to call an "end state." Lang