Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan

Practice to Deceive


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Allawi on Plus Up

24 Jan 2007 07:08 pm

An interesting interview. Money quote:

Ayad Allawi: I’m not a military strategist, but looking at it on the surface, I think 20,000 additional troops to complement the 130,000 already there doesn’t seem to be a great boost in the troop numbers. So I don’t think it’s purely a military gesture, and I don’t think it will have a very significant effect on the military equation.

But it’s part of a multi-pronged strategy that basically will ratchet up the pressure on the Iraqi government, propose an alternative to it, and at the same time escalate the costs that Iran may have to bear if it continues to confront or challenge the United States in Iraq.

National Interest: So in your view, the troop increase is in part intended to ratchet up the pressure on Iran, could you elaborate on that?

AA: Well I think it’s clear—the role that Iran has in the Iraqi crisis. It is extremely important and significant, particularly its effect on the Shi‘a Islamist political parties.

And as much as the United States, or the Bush Administration, has objected to possibility of negotiations with Iran, the only alternative course that they have is to confront it, and to challenge it, and to raise the cost of its apparent intervention in the Iraqi crisis.

This of course creates a serious problem for the Iraqi government itself, which is to an extent anchored around the Islamist parties of the United Iraqi Alliance. On the surface it appears to be a contradiction. I mean how can the United States expect that by confronting Iran and Iraq, it is going to get the support of the UIA, which is to some extent dependent on Iranian support—ongoing support—politically and otherwise?

So it’s a way of trying to break this conundrum. Now I don’t think it’s likely to succeed because the only thing that can happen out of this strategy is basically the breakup of the United Iraqi Alliance. You are going to get possibly a new governing majority in parliament, but that would not necessarily reduce the violence or the instability inside the country.


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