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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What do the Iraqis want?

As I argued yesterday morning, amid all the politician/pundit discussions of a new US strategy in Iraq, the Iraqis seem to be no more than a backdrop, almost a part of the landscape. No one is asking what the Iraqis want or how they define victory.

If 74% of the Shia and 91% of the Sunni want the US to withdraw within a year, "surging" troops may well be the worst possible option as it would undermine the Maliki government. Maliki is on the record after all, like Abizaid, saying no more troops. How weak would Maliki appear and how much less influence would he have with the militias and infiltrated security forces we're supposedly trying to shape with this "surge?"

Iraq has become politicized, and the solutions being discussed are being chosen more for their appeal here than their applicability in Iraq. We will not find a resolution by trying to fight Iraq's inertia. We no longer have that level of influence.

(Also: Hagel speaks out against the insanity of more troops.)


  • What do the Iraqis want?

    I think the Iraqis don't want to be Iraqis. They prefer to their particular sect or clan in aboslute control over the other sects and clans. I don't see a credible political movement working to unify all Iraqis under a single national identity.

    The political parties in Iraq are like the Republicans here at home: no interest in working outside their party for compromise, and working for unilateral power over the entire population.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:35 AM  

  • You're right. The Iraqis want very different contradictory things. That's why a civil war is happening/is inevitable.

    BUT, at the same time, trying to impose an outside US solution without taking those wants into account is likely to be at best ineffectual.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:55 PM  

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