Friday, November 24, 2006

Bartering with Nothing

COULD A REGIONAL conference, drawing in all of Iraq's neighbors, help save us and the Iraqis from a massive civil war in Mesopotamia? It is difficult to think what the United States might offer at the negotiating table that would cause Iraq's neighbors to stop seeing it in their interest to foment trouble there. Nevertheless, the the idea of a regional conference has gained currency in Washington, notably inside the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group.

As I had stated before in previous entry, "Re-Framing Iraq War", the Syrians and Iranians, like all ME folks are shrewd, and canny and as I had suspected don't have as much pull as the Realists' utopian recommendation suggests. An Iraqi now living outside of Iraq reports:
"Every Iraqi I talk to says unambiguously that the resistance attached to the former regime would take out the Shiite militias with barely a fight, but that the resistance will not commit wholesale revenge against the Shiite population. They just want to get rid of the "carpet baggers" from Iran. '

Iraq's Violence Spins Beyond Anyone's Control
Analysis: It has been clear for some time that the U.S. is not in control of events in Iraq. But the latest sectarian bloodshed suggests that even help from Iran and Syria may not be enough to stop the slide into chaos.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Revenge-seeking Shiite militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive, and Iraqi soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said.

At this point even Muqtada-Sadr can't control his own followers and I don't think Iranians or Syrians are going to do much better. Having the syrians and the Iranians exploit the the Iraq war by getting concessions such as security guarantees or the bomb from Baker et al while they can't help stabilize Iraq, in many ways is more disatrous than what we're facing right now.

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