Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My, how things change.

Iraqis want us to stay.

It isn't a surprise that the Kurds want us to remain in Iraq. US forces have essentially given the Kurds their own country for the last 15 years. Without US troops, Kurds would be vulnerable to subjugation by Turkey, Iran, or Arab Iraqis. Further, the Kurds were worst off under Saddam's rule, so they were most excited to see us invade in the first place.

The interesting change is that now Sunni Arab Iraqis want US troops to hang around. Only a year or two ago, Sunni Arabs were in full revolt against the US occupation. They claimed that the insurgency was soley designed to get the "occupier" out of Iraq. Obviously that was BS; they wanted us out of Iraq so they could take over again. Now that the Shias have gained power, the Sunnis realize they can't win a civil war and aren't so quick to see us leave them to the mercy of the vengeful Shia death squads.

You'll notice that the Shia want us around still, too; otherwise their PM would have asked us to leave. All three groups want us to stay around; the reason is because no group in Iraq has a winning hand yet. If one thought they had the power to take over the rest, they'd be trying to get us to leave.

This is a potentially very dangerous situation, but there is an opportunity here. There are three apparently equally matched competitors; that would make for a really nasty civil war (worse than whats going on now, anyway). Alternatively, it also means that the US has some enormous diplomatic leverage since it could easily tip the balance and determine the winner. Why aren't we using that leverage to broker a peace?

And there is a reason I havent posted much. Medschool is a pain in the ass. But I'm enjoying it.

No comments: