Posted by Cutler on February 07, 2007

Right nowRight now, I only have questions about US policy in Iraq.

1. Is the US preparing for a big counter-insurgency push against the Sunni insurgency?

The Haifa Street battles and the downing of several US helicopters by what appear to be Sunni insurgent forces tend to make it seem that the US is returning to the aggressive anti-Sunni moves from the summer of 2003.

At the same, Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post has been saying that Prime Minister Maliki and his Shiite governing coalition opposed the surge because they really only wanted the US to get out of the way so the Shia could complete the “ethnic cleansing” of Sunni Baghdad.

If Shiite power–the so-called “80 Percent Solution”–is the aim, why not simply “release” the Shia?

2. Is the US preparing to take on Sadr and the Shiite militias?

Recent attacks on senior Sadrist figures seems to point in that direction.

At the same time, the US continues to stand by Maliki even as he appears to be quite dependent on Sadr.

If the goal is to try to close “Pandora’s box” and restore Sunni minority control, why not back a Sunni coup and “release” a proto-Baathist attack on the Shia?

3. Is the US trying to use American soldiers to protect Shiite and Sunni populations from each other in the name of National Reconciliation?

Good luck with that.

4. Is the US preparing for a two-front war against Shiite militias and the Sunni insurgency?


1 Comment to WTF

  • Seems to me the 80% solution is the one they would like to pursue, givin continued Sunni intrangence. It’s the path of least resistance, literally, to achieving limited client state status, were it not for the Sadrists, who insist on U.S. withdrawl. The surge then, is to facilitate/intimidate the Sadrists into either a closer relationship with Maliki, or call him out for a fight. In a sense they’re giviing him (Sadr) the choice of saving the Maliki government and what gains they’ve made, or saddling him with the burden of having thrown those gains into the maelstrom of complete anarchy — or (more likely) the anarchy that would result from a coup, in the form of a “national salvation” government being implimented by the U.S. Bottom line, the U.S. cannot leave having handed Iraq to the Iranians, so they must either empower an anti-Iranian U.S. Shiite alliance in Iraq or rollback (bomb) Iran.

    In all likelyhood though, all parties are playing the U.S. as much as the U.S. thinks its playing them — except that they live there. And as General Giap so glibly put it “they’ll kill a lot of us and we’ll kill some of them, and eventually they’ll get tired and go home”.

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