The Zelikow Plan

Zelikow "The Bush administration is deliberating whether to abandon U.S. reconciliation efforts with Sunni insurgents and instead give priority to Shiites and Kurds, who won elections and now dominate the government, according to U.S. officials."  Wright


The WAPO correctly "paired" these two articles on its website.  They are examples of the closely integrated fabric of goofiness that characterizes the administration’s policy in the Middle East.

The Zellikow notion of "sponsoring" Shia and Kurdish subjugation of the Sunni Arabs is breathtaking.  It is so grotesque that it is virtually certain to be the policy choice of the moment.  Is this the Bush/Maliki deal?  The idea seems to be that we would concentrate on arming the already mostly Shia army and police while participating with them in an attempt to completely subjugate the Sunni Arabs.

1- This proves that the neocons are still in charge of this administration’s policy.  An effort to hand Iraq over to the Shia lay at the heart of neocon ambitions in Iraq.  Evidently, it still does.

2- Does the Zellikow plan take into account what the reaction of the Sunni countries will be to an American/Shia alliance against their co-religionists?  Obeid, the Saudi government adviser, warned last week in the WAPO that if the United States abandoned Iraq’s Sunnis, then the Sunni countries would feel it necessary to increase assistance to the Sunni Arabs of Iraq (read insurgents).  Gasoline on the fire, that is what the Zellikow plan amount to.

Answer me this:  Why is it that Shia "opposition" in Lebanon is a bad thing but the Shia government in Iraq is a good thing.  Why is that?  pl

"The official purpose of the third annual session of the U.S.-backed Forum for the Future was to promote democracy around the world. But there were no plans for a joint statement on universal freedoms, since efforts to compose such a missive at last year’s forum meeting dissolved into bickering."  Kessler


Let’s see how this was supposed to "go down."  First we get the governments to the meeting, then we get them to sign some sort of "universal" declaration on human rights, then in a year or so we declare them to be in "violation" of their own undertakings about "democracy," and therefore rightly subject to sanctions or worse as "law breakers" of some sort.

Does this sound familiar?  pl

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32 Responses to The Zelikow Plan

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    Of the 4 Arab states bordering Iraq only Syria has the government structure that can be utilized to support Sunni Arab insurgents. And Syria will do no such thing.
    The other 3: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan do not have the state structure to help the insurgents – nor the military might to do anything about it. Theirs are empty threats. They can send money but their populations are already doing as much.
    Egypt won’t do anything except making noises – America’s has bought and paid for Egypt this past 27 years.
    In other words, I believe that the threat of substantial and qualitatively increased strengthening of the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq is an empty one. I fail to see how the situation can be made substantially worse for US there.
    Yes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, UAE and assorted other Arab governments are going to fight the Shia Arabs of Iraq to the last Sunni Arab of Iraq! And these are the same Arabs peoples and governments that were silent when Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds and Iranians.
    The incoherence of the policy extends also to Sunni Arabs – US is committed to supporting Arab governments that rule over populations that quite literary celebrated the 9/11 attacks on US – they loved it. And then US is against Iran whose population shed a few tears over the 9/11 attacks.

  2. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    I recall 25 years ago people asking why is US not working with Nabih Berri?
    Why indeed?

  3. Frank Durkee says:

    If this administration were a corporation the leadership would long since have been sued for extreme incompetence and lack of basic responsibility. They seem to me to be analogous to and alcholic who can see all of the problems in his life and devise soloutions, except for alcohol. One can only hope that the internal deliberations are not as isipid as the public statements. In “On Bullshit”, Prof Franklin makes the point that spin, unlike lying, has no reguard for the truth. It denies truth any reality. Reality becomes its narrative in so far as they can impose it. Once this is seen then one can scarcely be blamed for holding that most of what comes out is ‘spin’ and may be set aside as ‘story’ and not serious. Finding a way out of this ‘wonderland’ is imperative and difficult.

  4. LG says:

    “State Department counselor Philip D. Zelikow, author of the proposal, argued that the United States has compromised its prospects of success by reaching too far, according to the sources.” When you are trying to end a multi-sided civil war, I guess the last thing that you want to do is bring all sides into the process. I thought that Zelikow was on his way out. I wonder if that’s because of or in spite of this proposal?
    “The State Department proposal, which was introduced at the second of 10 meetings and has dominated debate ever since, suggests that the United States would keep at arm’s length diplomatic efforts to bridge the deep divide in Iraq between the two branches of Islam, the sources said.” Excuse me, but isn’t the deep divide between the two branches of Islam the root cause of the Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq? And we’re supposed to reduce the violence by ignoring the root cause?
    The only way to make any progress, it seems to me, is to bring in all of the regionaal players. I don’t think that it is in anybody’s interest in the region to further destabilize the situation or have a failed anarchic State in Iraq. But we won’t even talk to Iran or Syria. This situation would be an extremely difficult problem for even honest brokers like Carter, Bush 41 or Clinton. Given the mindset of the group that’s in charge now, it’s impossible.

  5. zanzibar says:

    All these befuddled strategies go to point out this Administration and their neo-con advisors are off the rails and bereft of a sense of realism about what is happening on the ground. The confusion we are seeing is because they do not have a coherent vision of US national interest and strategy in the Middle East. Even their utopian ideas of republican democracy at the barrel of a gun had no chance to work since execution is not their forte only pontification.
    If the Sunni in Iraq are to be crushed with the aid of the US military, its only a matter of time that Saudi and Jordan get destabilized. The Saudi’s can only provide money and bodies for the AQ types. But that’s like catching a tiger by its tail. Radicalization inside Saudi would be a recipe for the overthrow of the House of Saud.
    And now we have the chaos of ME policy being reflected in Lebanon.

  6. jamzo says:

    zelikow has had significant missions in his work with condi rice
    robin wright’s attribution of this “screw the sunni’s plan” seems “out of character” and makes me wonder why it is being said
    11/27 nyt says zelikow resigns state dept post after offering “oblique criticism of admin failire to push strongly for an israeli-palestinian peace plan
    zelikow was among the first people Rice hired after she took over as secretary of state in 2005. She also brought in other fellow academics to join a team of Republican political strategists to be her top advisers. His first assignment was a scouting trip to Iraq.
    When Zelikow returned, according to the Bob Woodward book “State of Denial,” he wrote a secret memo characterizing Iraq as “a failed state” two years after the U.S.-led invasion. In September 2005, he wrote a memo estimating a 70 percent chance of success in achieving a stable, democratic Iraq, and what he called a “significant risk” of “catastrophic failure,” the book said.
    abc ssys
    “Besides his internal assessments of Iraq, Zelikow’s main duties have included work on the U.S. plan to ship civilian nuclear fuel and technology to India. The plan, which the Senate overwhelmingly endorsed last week, reverses decades of U.S. anti-proliferation policy. The Bush administration says it strengthens a key relationship with a friendly Asian power that has long maintained what the United States considers a responsible nuclear program.
    foprbes adds
    “progress on the Arab-Israeli dispute was a “sine qua non” in order to get moderate Arabs “to cooperate actively with the United States on a lot of other things that we care about.”
    “Some of his ideas have become policy; he had called for closing down secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency a year before the Supreme Court decision that prodded the Bush administration to empty them. The United States offered North Korea a chance to negotiate a permanent peace treaty, as Mr. Zelikow had advised, and he, along with Ms. Rice, was one of the backers of the Iran initiative, in which President Bush offered to reverse three decades of American policy against direct talks with Iran if it suspended uranium enrichment. Neither North Korea nor Iran has responded positively to the initiatives, but America’s allies applauded them.”
    the international herald tribune said
    His name has been mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, but a U.S. official said that is not likely. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House hopes the Senate will confirm Bolton, whose recess appointment runs out in January.
    Meanwhile, one of Rice’s most trusted aides, Philip Zelikow, announced Monday that he was resigning his post as State Department counselor. Zelikow, widely viewed as a voice of candor in the administration on the Iraq crisis, said in his resignation letter that he would return to teaching at the University of Virginia. He cited a “truly riveting obligation to college bursars” for his children’s tuition.,1,2571969.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed
    the chicago tribune says
    An administration official said Zelikow had been frustrated with administration policy on Iraq, the Middle East and North Korea.
    “There have been signs of strain within the administration, particularly at the State Department, where career foreign service officials have argued for increased dialogue with Iran and Syria to try to stem the violence in Iraq and Lebanon. “We’ve got a mess on our hands,” said a senior State Department official, who, like others discussing the subject, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject publicly.”
    the council on foreign relations says
    “The momentum in the Middle East is shifting. Not in anyone’s favor per se but toward a U.S. policy addressing the region’s unresolved crises—Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Iran’s nuclear program—as part of a broader Middle East settlement, rather than individually and ad hoc. Elements of this approach have been promoted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Counselor to the U.S. State Department Philip Zelikow (PDF), who just stepped down, as well as by leading U.S. policy analysts like CFR President Richard N. Haass”
    the press narrative around zelikow’s resignation did not cite another important post zelikow held
    this from a salon letter
    Philip Zelikow: Director of the 9/11 Cover-up
    Dissenting voice? Are you joking? Mr. Grieve needs to do more than parrot NYT articles in the future.
    Zelikow is the supreme insider. He co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice, and served as Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, the greatest whitewash/cover-up in American history. When Zelikow and Earl Warren meet in hell, I’m sure they’ll slap hands.
    Zelikow is leaving the spotlight for the same reason Rumsfeld did: They are co-conspirators in the crimes of 9/11. Now that the Project for a New American Century and its ideas are imploding, the principal figures are running for cover.
    Dissenting voice? Yes, I’m sure Bush waited 441 days before grudgingly agreeing to “investigate” 9/11, then appointed Henry Kissinger in a gesture of unparalleled cynicism, before appointing Zelikow as Director, because Bush wanted a dissenting voice to lead the commission.
    Bush is a maverick like that. Doesn’t like using chronies to mask his crimes.
    — gerontion72
    and then eric alterman had this to say on huffington post on november 10
    Well, the executive chairman and principal author of the Commission report was Secretary Rice’s close friend, former colleague, co-author, and now Senior Advisor, Philip Zelikow. Well before the Commission issued its report, I noted in The Book on Bush that “Without casting any personal aspersions on Professor Zelikow, who is also a first-rate scholar of the Cuban missile crisis, it is hard to imagine that anyone could conduct a thoroughly honest and potentially damning investigation of his friends and former colleagues. In October 2003, a group of families of September 11 victims wrote to the commission co-chairs asking that Zelikow recuse himself “‘from any aspect of national security and executive branch negotiations and investigations’ because of his past connections to the National Security Council and to key Bush administration officials.”
    According to three former senior intelligence officials, Tenet testified to commissioners Richard Ben-Veniste and Zelikow. Ben-Veniste confirmed the testimony to McClatchy, but Zelikow never returned calls for comment. Tenet, who kept quiet about the meeting–at least until the Woodward book–got a Presidential medal, despite his spectacular incompetence in the job.
    Sound fishy to you? While reporting Woodard’s scoop, the media produced few stories like those written by the reporters from McClatchy, and even fewer were able to tie 9/11 chair Zelikow to Rice. Amazingly, only a few weeks after the story broke, The New York Times’ Helene Cooper and David E. Sanger profiled Zelikow , focusing on some veiled criticisms of Bush administration policy he has made while acting as Rice’s advisor. The piece touched on his role heading the celebrated 9/11 Commission only toward the end of the piece, noting that he “pressured Ms. Rice to turn over highly classified intelligence estimates and testify in front of the commission. Officials who worked with him marveled at his industry and precision, but described him as far more opinionated than his gather-the-numbers approach might first suggest.”
    The story created shockwaves because, in an administration that generally brooks no dissent whatsoever, it contained some pointed criticisms of U.S. foreign policy as well as the news that Rice had refused to employ Cheney favorites Eric Edelman and Elliot Abrams in the State Department as Colin Powell was forced to do when picking his own team.
    But there was no mention of the key role that Zelikow appears to have played in protecting his boss from the revelation of her spectacular failure to try to act to prevent the 9/11 attacks. (Rice was also present at the infamous August 6, 2001 Crawford “Bin-Laden Determined to Attack Continental U.S.” meeting, which was ended by the president pronouncing, “You’ve covered your ass” before retiring for a day of fishing.) Could it be that Rice is so indebted to Zelikow that he can say anything at all and still retain his job? Might someone in the mainstream media be interested in further investigation? After all, Zelikow’s not that hard to reach…when he wants to talk.

  7. Grimgrin says:

    Beyond anything else this administration is doing, they seem to be working overtime to discredit the very concept of democracy around the world. Not just by the simple fact that having bush as a democratically elected leader argues against the efficiency of the concept, but also by claiming democracy as his justification for his actions in office.
    Babak: My impression has been that reason the states surrounding Iraq have so far declined to support the insurgency is that they’re afraid of ‘blowback’, if the insurgency manages to carve out a stable enclave for themselves in western Iraq. As far as I can tell though they’re also afraid of their own populations, and what might happen if popular anger finally boils over. My concern is that if the US starts working hand in glove with Shia and Kurd death squads, it might manage to increase popular anger in the neighboring countries to the point where supporting the insurgency becomes the lesser of two evils.

  8. lester says:

    babak- how about the law of unforseen consequences? how about our alleged principles?
    ^ this blog of chalabi’s pool boy / INC mascot nabris kazimi confirms col. langs belief that this is indeed a neo con idea. mr kazimi proudly notes over the last three years the times he has called for throwing the sunnis uder the bus in the name of liberty.

  9. zanzibar says:

    From Abu Aardvark
    Jaysh al-Islami has just released a message to internet forums calling on the Sunnis of Baghdad to wage a war of destiny against the Shia militias, a war of existence to decide whether they would exist or not exist. Jaysh al-Islami is one of the most important factions in the Sunni insurgency

  10. confusedponderer says:

    “Answer me this: Why is it that Shia “opposition” in Lebanon is a bad thing but the Shia government in Iraq is a good thing. Why is that?”
    That’s easy. The Lebaese Shia and Hezbollah are clearly Iranian stooges, whereas the Iraqis are clearly Iranian stooges.
    On the other hand, if the Iraqi Shia are not, and capable of own ideas and plans, the Lebanese may be as well.
    That can’t be. So, for the sake of moral clarity, the Lebaese Shia are clearly Iranian stooges whereas the Iraqi Shia are allieds of the US. After all, you’ve seen the photos of Bush and Maliki.
    It boils down to Jeanne Kirkpatricks ‘dictatorships and double standards’, about authoritarian and totalitarian rulers. The difference is that there are dicatators where the US have a foot in the door (authoritarian), or feel so, and others, where they have not (totalitarian). The latter are evil. This is not hypochrisy but a moral judgement about that countries ability to recast itself in America’s image.
    Such unwillingness to refuse the blessings of the American way is evident proof that it cannot be reasoned with. Thus regime change.
    The point can be made that for an orthodox muslim the prospect of a western society in his country is a reason to fight to death. I find it amazing that the christian right would be capable to understand such a sentiment, wheras the interventionist elites cannot.

  11. Walrus says:

    This is hard for me to say because I have Jewish roots myself, but I believe Jews and Israeli supporters must be removed from policy positions in the Bush Administration right now and prevented from having any input in future administrations. Read Zelikow’s biography on Wikipedia, especially his area of academic research. Read it and weep.
    Poster after poster on this website and others have expressed dismay, frustration, despair and anger over the incoherent, stupid, murderous, barbaric, expensive and totally wrong headed Middle East Policies pursued by this Administration. The main, fundamental, complaint is that Bush has no clear vision for the Middle East.
    Who could possibly propose measures such as Zelikow promotes? We ask ourselves how anyone could be so stupid? How could someone who is a noted academic demonstrate such total stupidity? How could so many journalists and commentators write so much drivel about the Middle East? I’m sorry to say, it’s because they are following a script.
    There is one country that does have a vision for the Middle East. That vision is one of perpetually warring tribes of Arabs, corrupt, brutal and so senseless as to prevent any Arab state from forming a coherent government that could support a modern economy. The country with this vision is Israel.
    The last thing Israel wants is to see a peaceful democratic and prosperous group of secular Arab nations in its region, because such nations would eventually confront Israel over its human rights record, religious discrimination and the Palestinian question.
    The big lie is that we are there to promote democracy and nation building! Bullshit! Our real reason for being there is nation smashing and the promotion of sectarianism, tribalism and to do everything we can to prevent the emergence of coherent Arab States!
    Look what Israel deliberately did to little Lebanon – do they want peaceful Arab states? No.
    The Israeli lobby control Middle East policy. AIPAC damn near controls the legislature, starting with Lieberman (R-Israel).
    We are being driven to our doom in support of an Israeli vision of the Middle East that is one of eternal blood, misery and carnage that is not, and never has been in America’s interests.

  12. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Majorities of Western people are well characterized by Don Giovanni in the opera of the same name by Mozart.
    They are not against God – they just want to do their own things and ignore God.
    Thus they are incapable of dealing with people to whom God is central. It is not so much that they are against God; they are against people who are for God.
    That’s why “the christian right would be capable to understand such a sentiment, wheras the interventionist elites cannot” – in your words.

  13. Matthew says:

    Walrus: I listened to dreadful speech yesterday by Yossi Olmert, erstwhile brother of the Israeli PM. The Israeli can count. If they don’t get the US to push around Israel’s Arab neighbors and force a settlement the Zionist Enterprise could begin to unwind. Some examples: Ephraim Sneh’s recent observation that Iranian nuclear capacity could destroy Zionism without firing a shot because it would lead to significant Jewish emigration. Or: the demographic “time bomb” that will make Jew’s a minority in Israel/Palestine by 2030. While these may be Zionist concerns, I’m not sure how the ethnic make-up of Israel is an American national security issue. The irony is that delaying a just peace settlement actually places Israel at infinitely greater risk.

  14. “We are being driven to our doom in support of an Israeli vision of the Middle East that is one of eternal blood, misery and carnage that is not, and never has been in America’s interests.
    Really Walrus? Driven or a combination of rushing over the cliff like the gadarene swine (the minority) and permitting yourselves to be hauled over the cliff by the aforesaid swine (the majority.)
    What proportion of the American population troubles itself to vote?
    What proportion of the US populace has ever troubled itself about the innumerable atrocities committed against the people who live in the region and from which the US and its allies have benefited?
    Sins of omission can be just as deadly as sins of commission.

  15. drouse says:

    As I watched the presser from Jordan it was clear to me that Bush had sacrificed the Sunnis. What he recieved in return is not all that clear. On a differnt note, the way that Bush acted toward a supposed head of state was simply appalling and it could not have done said head of state’s domestic standing any good. You do not treat a head of state as your straight man.

  16. ali says:

    What an old world colonial power would do in this situation is pick a side. Usually the less numerous faction as they will more likely remain maleable vassal. In Iraq there are many sides to choose from as all the ethnic blocks have fault lines running through them. And here we must think in terms of all Arabia not just Iraq as that will now be the theater. Looked at like this the Shi’a are certainly the weaker party and what better way to stir the wrath of their Sunni overlords than back them.
    Since before WWII DC has had a sordid but mutually gratifying affair with Gulf Kingships. Unfortunately after the assault by their nationals on 9-11 DC invaded a uninvolved Sunni Arab dominated state in vengeful mood at that great offense. DC’s military has since spent much blood and treasure chasing the Kings well funded allies fruitlessly around Al Anbar. Switching enemies at this point requires a duplicitous agility that is beyond even Karl Rove.
    None of the three populations in Iraq has much cohesion at the moment. The Iraqi Shi’a are particularly fractious all that binds them is growing sectarian hatred of the Sunni. Successful nation states are often founded in a fury of ethnic cleansing e.g. Spain, revolutionary France or modern Turkey. If you look at the levels of population displacement after 1778, a war with a fair dose of religious sectarianism, you could even make this argument about the US itself. There is a natural momentum in this direction a strongman can build a power base and a viable State this way.
    But the resulting State would be a natural ally of Iran not the US. If DC has a strategic purpose in Iraq it is to oppose the growing power of Iran. Cold real politik suggests an energy rich mini-me Iran would be a utter disaster for US interests.
    So we back the Iraqi Shi’a firmly and resolutely, pledged to stay braving the birth pangs of a new Middle East. The mass graves of Baghdad filled we then withdraw wringing our hands at their failure to respect human rights and leave the Iraqi Shi’a to face the enraged Sunni hordes. Iran will then be sucked into the power vacuum. At this point we’d switch sides to defend the sovereignty of the Kingships and their oil fields. Think the Thirty Years war with DC as Cardinal Richelieu.
    Some neocon eigit in DC may well be thinking like this. Unfortunately if there is Cardinal Richelieu about today he wears a black turban.

  17. Leila says:

    Walrus, your statement is silly. I agree that this administration’s policies in the Middle East are disastrous. I agree that there are people responsible for policy whose biases and prejudices drive the dumb decisions that create the disaster.
    But to suggest that we use religion to eliminate people from holding policy positions is not just against American principles, it’s stupid.
    There are plenty of thinkers and political scientists who are Jewish who make sense (to me) on Israel and Palestine. Eric Alterman comes to mind immediately, but there are many more.
    Barring Jews from holding policy positions would not solve the problem you diagnose – shoddy scholarship, bias toward the worst tendencies of Israeli repression, and so forth.
    Your solution is a very bad one and should be rejected out of hand by anyone who values our American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance. People’s religion (and national origin, race, gender preference, etc.) should have nothing to do with their qualifications for public service.
    In fact, it’s such a bad solution that I wonder if it was made in good faith. Reading the full post, I believe you did make it in good faith. But I must say that Arab-Americans and Arabs don’t need allies who call for religious or ethnic discrimination. Please reconsider your words.

  18. confusedponderer says:

    I think it is important that you make a difference between Israel and Likud’s right wing (whatever their name) that is supported by the neo-cons. Just like in the US under Bush there are people in Israel who oppose the insanity of Olmerts troupe, but don’t have a say.
    The US pro-Israel lobby isn’t pro Israel but pro Likud. Insofar, Israel’s neo-con allies are those renowned ‘friends like that’ that do as much harm as the real enemies by supporting foolish Israelis and encouraging them to increase speed on their way over the cliff.
    An article on Israel’s strategic interest and how the neo-cons adversely affect it:

  19. jonst says:

    You wrote: >>>>>It is so grotesque that it is virtually certain to be the policy choice of the moment<<<< That is the best sentence I have ever read regarding this Admin. I've laugh at it all morning. In sort of a bemused, painful way. On an entirely different note...does anyone know what happened to Billmon's website?

  20. Nabil says:

    Walrus, you’re right:
    The key to a peaceful middle east has always been the Israeli-Arab conflict, despite all spin to the contrary. Until that is settled, the US will have zero moral credibility in the middle east. Period. If it weren’t for that, who knows? Maybe the Iraqis WOULD have greeted the marines with rice and flowers.
    Absent any will to change from Israel, and any real pressure on them to reach an agreement that involves a return to the ’67 borders, the only way you will see peace is after the balance of power shifts to Israel’s disadvantage. That will probably involve another regional war.

  21. Got A Watch says:

    What America needs in Iraq to instill clarity is a random draw on the first of each month for “Ally of the Month Club” – simply pull the name of a party or faction from a drum, who will then enjoy all the “benefits” of US alliance until the end of the month. Keep ’em guessing and on their toes. I would submit this policy would work at least as well as the present ones.
    The present “stay the course right over the cliff” is clearly bound for total failure – as was stated, these Byzantine moves are just “attempted fig leaf placement” to disguise the ugly reality of defeat and retreat. Finding anybody who believes the fiction will be the real challenge.

  22. Ned Mardin says:

    Irak needs an Ataturk.

  23. Arun says:

    IMO, ideology aside, US and Iran have many interests in common. Among other things, Iran is the key to Central Asia, and to secure energy supplies. It is important to stabilizing Afghanistan as well as Iraq.
    There is of course, the issue of Israel and Palestine.
    IMO, it would be best for Israel to make a peace settlement now when the US is relatively more dominant in the world than say in twenty years, when, e.g., a more powerful China may have little support for Israel. For that the US has to be seen as a fair arbitrator. Current US policy is disastrous for the long term future of Israel, IMO.
    IMO, if Israel is at peace, and real interests trump ideology then US and Iran can deal.

  24. Will says:

    i finally agree with Nabil on something. the palestinian-israeli mess must be settled. it is the heart of Mid East confllict and seed of terrorism. It is the wellspring of our mid-east problems.
    recently George Will (a.k.a learned besepectacled Ignoramus) pontificated on This Week with George Steph&Pompous that King Abdullah of TransJordan was wrong and that Iraq didn’t have anything to do with Palestine-Israel.
    I can understand now how the 9.11 commission whitwashed the Palestinian-Israel terror connection. Look who the executive director was: Zelinkow-An American member of the Israel Lobby. As Walrus says- it has got to stop! After 3,000 American dead, 20,000 seriously wounded and a trillion dollars of our treasure blown on a expedition to make the world safer for greater Israel- enuff. Back to the ’67 borders.
    Let us remember the words of Ben Laden, taken from comment from
    ” At 4:27 PM, Sirocco said…
    There’s a character named Osama something-Laden, rather famous I think, but I can’t quite recall for what. Pop producer maybe? Golfer? Anyway, this guy said in a video lecture or something that “the events affecting his soul” started when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 with US support:
    “This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.
    I couldn’t forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.
    The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn’t include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn’t respond.
    In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.
    And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.
    And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.”
    Ah yes, I remember now. Doesn’t he host one of those Home and Garden Television shows? ”
    What goes around comes around. And now Dumbya wants to bomb Iran? A country that does not threaten us and does not desire war with us?

  25. walrus says:

    Liela, with the greatest of respect;
    “Your solution is a very bad one and should be rejected out of hand by anyone who values our American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance. People’s religion (and national origin, race, gender preference, etc.) should have nothing to do with their qualifications for public service.”
    I share your point of view, and perhaps I should confine my rage to the obvious agents and supporters of Likud, who have comprehensively demonstrated that they have far too much influence.
    I would however like to suggest that the admirable American values you espouse are not shared by Likud or Israel. I fail to understand why we should support them at all.

  26. ked says:

    hell, WE need an Ataturk.

  27. Will says:

    always good reading at nur-al-cubicle who combs the french and italian press
    Debate with Patrice Claude, Senior Le Monde reporter for Iraq, Thursday 30 November, 11:00 am
    “Q. Does the conflict between Shi’a and Sunnis result from genuine tensions between the two groups or from the US invasion?
    A. Without a doubt, it results form the US invasion. The Americans committed a host of errors from the beginning. They contributed in “communitizing” the government: for the Shi’a, the Sunni, the Arabs, the Kurds and the Christians. Through willing ignorance they set the stage for what is taking place today. However, I don’t believe for a second that they are promoting the spread of this confessional plague. I think they belatedly, as usual, realized their mistake, and now they don’t know how to put the country back together again. ”
    for the whole translated article and a link to the french

  28. ali says:

    Mohammed over at Iraq The Model experiences the 80% solution:
    There are about 27 million Iraqis. I’ll call that Sunni 20% 6 million just for historical resonance.
    More than 1.6 million Iraqi’s have fled the country, another 1.8 million have been internally displaced. This is more than 10% of the population and it’s includes most of the Iraqi intelligentsia from whatever sect. This is just the beginning and a problem DC shamefully refuses to acknowledge.
    “Iraq has seen the largest and most recent displacement of any UNHCR project in the world, yet even as more Iraqis are displaced and as their needs increase, the funds to help them are decreasing,” said Harper. “This growing humanitarian crisis has simply gone under the radar screen of most donors.

    From a high of US $150 million in 2003, the UNHCR budget for its Iraq programme fell to just $29 million in 2006. One quarter of that budget is allocated to meeting the needs of Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.”
    I hear the UN has $6/Year/Iraqi refugee in Syria. The Jordanians, are already being swamped:
    The new Palestinians living next to the old Palestinians ethnically cleansed into Jordan sixty years ago.
    And you can bet this will be more than a humanitarian crisis the Iraqi Sunni are a far tougher and resourceful bunch than the feeble former olive tree owners the IDF slaps around for sport.

  29. Lightflyer says:

    The USA needs an Ataturk!

  30. canuck says:

    When I look at the Middle East, I cannot help but think that democracy is on the march.
    Lebanon’s Shiite population wants more representation. Palestinian’s are no longer content to just be killed; they elected a Hamas government. Shiites and Kurds in Iraq were the dominant group, and they elected a government that is more representative. The House of Saud is terrified they will be overthrown. Because suppression has existed so long in the Middle East, it does not surprise me that the power groups are attempting to maintain the status quo. The people of Iran want freedom too and there is a growing movement that ignores what the Mullah’s say and do. Iranians do appear to be the most patient.
    Pity that the west is so dependent on oil that the transfer of powers toward Middle East democracy upsets world economic apple carts, but the French Revolution was not a pretty sight. The Middle East is just much slower than other parts of the world to seek justice.
    Why don’t Western populations have more sympathy for their plight? South America, and Mexico and struggling too and we often turn our backs on the needs of the people in favour of rich corporations and established authority.
    Unrest and violence in the Middle East is justifiable. How to mitigate the violence should be the goal of westerner nations. Why is it not?

  31. Sgt.York says:

    RE: iraqthemodel
    You must be joking. This guy is obviously getting a DOD check to write this garbage from the Zone. Nice to see he finally took down Bremmer’s blue-striped New-Iraq flag from his website.

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Western nations shold avoid interfering in ME.
    By the way, the Communist Government of Afghanistan was better for the Afghan people – but no – US and others had to go there and help the derelicts wreck that country.

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