Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cheney makes a surprise trip to Iraq..and gets a good, close up look at the mess

US Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise trip to Iraq to take a look at the general situation and to try and press the Iraqi government to work towards power sharing agreements that are necessary, in the Bush Administration's view, towards ending sectarian violence and stabilizing the country.

He was met by some of the grateful people that we spent blood and treasure to liberate, Shiites belonging to Moqtada al-Sadr's Shiite faction who called our vice president a terrorist and burned him in effigy, as well as what seems to be a largely indifferent Shiite government.

"I emphasized the importance of making progress on the issues before us, not only on the security issues but also on the political issues that are pending before the Iraqi government," Cheney said.

The Iraqi parliament sees all this as less than urgent, since they are set on taking a two month recess while our troops are getting shot at to protect them.And, believe it or not, they actually resent the Bush Administration telling them that this is, maybe, not the best time for a vacation!

Cheney's visit to Iraq comes at a time when Iraq is pretty much well on the way to splitting along ethnic lines. Leaders from the Sunni Arab minority in parliament are threatening to quit because they are being marginalized and Iraq's Sunnis are being `concentrated' and ethnically cleansed from many areas of Baghdad by the majority Shiites...especially now that we're allowing al-Sadr's Mahdi Army to be involved in security and integrate into the Iraqi government forces.

The Bush Administration is basically running interference for the Saudis and the Emirates and telling the Iraqis that a Sunni role in government is needed to bring Sunnis firmly into the political process and stop them from killing our troops and Iraqi civilians.

Even screwier, the US is pushing for a law that will placate the Sunnis by end a ban on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party from public office...which of course is making the Kurds and Shiites spitting mad.

I mean, what happened to all that rhetoric about removing the tyrant Saddam and his cronies from power?

And speaking of the Kurds, they are are still balking at giving up their oil revenues as part of an `oil revenue sharing bill' to be split throughout the whole country - justifiably so, in my mind, because it runs counter to the federation agreement they signed under the new constituion in the first place.

This is what we've managed to achieve there, after everything we've done.

Our troops have performed magnificently, and they have killed a heckuva lot of jihadis, but you can't save people from themselves. There is no way we're going to accomplish squat with this government, and we had better realize it and figure out an alternative strategy.

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