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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Update: Er... War A isn't really over yet (perhaps it's "over" in the same way the war in Afghanistan is "over", where U.S. and British troops are still fighting "pockets of resistance"):

'"Today ... where we sit is in a blurred transition between combat operations and post-hostility operations,'' he said. "We're still fighting pockets of resistance throughout Iraq and still dealing with paramilitary forces."'

The New York Times article quoted above also mentions Iranian agents working in southern Iraq attempting to influence how the political situation will play out. We'll put the Iranians into group "e.)", the "nosy neighbors and international actors" category along with the U.S., the British, the Turks, the Syrians, and a whole slew of "interested" parties.

Now is the time to start watching political developments in Iraq, as they will be a big factor in determining, now that war A is over, if there will be a war B. The Independent is reporting today about the self-proclaimed "Mayor" of Baghdad, Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi, and his self-appointed role as a representative of the Iraqi National Congress. The Washington Post is reporting that the Bush administration is unprepared for a scenario where the Shia muslim majority establishes an Islamic state in Iraq:

'As Iraqi Shiite demands for a dominant role in Iraq's future mount, Bush administration officials say they underestimated the Shiites' organizational strength and are unprepared to prevent the rise of an anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist government in the country.'

. . .

'As the administration plotted to overthrow Hussein's government, U.S. officials said this week, it failed to fully appreciate the force of Shiite aspirations and is now concerned that those sentiments could coalesce into a fundamentalist government. Some administration officials were dazzled by Ahmed Chalabi, the prominent Iraqi exile who is a Shiite and an advocate of a secular democracy. Others were more focused on the overriding goal of defeating Hussein and paid little attention to the dynamics of religion and politics in the region.'

A quick character breakdown of the political groups gives us a.) the exile organizaton, b.) the charismatic (or at least iconclastic) leader, and c.) the simple majority. I've left out the Kurds (they'd be classed as "d.) the eternally repressed minority") because they've so far exempted themselves from the race, although they are making noises about being able to enjoy a certain amount of "autonomy" in the North. We await with interest the unfolding of Iraqi politics.

Andrew 10:54 AM : |


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