– IRAQ’S PARADOXICAL SITUATION
Although USA army controls Iraq since 03/2003, for over 5.5 years, there is no legal status to USA presence in Iraq. The legal boundaries between the Iraqi elected regime authority and USA army command jurisdiction are fluid and flexible. Fore the moment it is not clear who has the final word in Iraq’s affairs – the legal regime, the USA army or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Therefore the main mission of Bush’s administration, in its twilight, is to transfer the military success in reducing the violence in Iraq into some sort of political infrastructure, to shape the principles of a timetable to slowly cut off from Iraq and to formalize the rules of the game for the time being by reaching a deal with the Iraqi regime – a deal which will legalize the USA presence in Iraq but also set up a timetable to a full withdrawal, eventually, from the country.
The Iraqi regime wants, naturally, to assume full power on Iraq as soon as possible but, on the other hand, is fully aware that the Iraqi army might disintegrate and split to its sectarian and tribal loyalties as soon as the Americans will leave the country and Iraq might plunge to terrible sectarian violence and to fall, partially, to Iranian hands. That is also the concern of other Sunni Arab nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Emirates. Therefore the Iraqi regime’s interest is the same as the USA interest – to legitimize the situation, to mark the direction but to remain foggy about specific commitments and clear timetable.
The third party in the equation, Iran, has an interest that USA will continue to trample in the Iraqi mud, to spend resources, international legitimacy and military might in Iraq. If USA will attack Iran over Iran’s nuclear program – Iran can easily set Iraq in flames of sectarian violence and target the American army with thousands suicide bombers on a scale unseen before. Iran does not want the Americans to leave Iraq, but they do not want, either, to legitimize the presence of USA in Iraq and to enable a gradual process of stabilizing, gradually, an Iraqi regime which is not a proxy of Iran but an ally to USA.
In the mass rally staged, on Friday 10/18/2008, by anti-US and pro Iranian Shiite protesters, loyal to the Shiite Cleric Moqtada Sadr in Baghdad, the tens of thousands protesters shouted anti-American slogans such as “Get out occupier!”. The protesters opposed any plans to legitimize the USA mandate in Iraq.
Paradoxically all parties want, in the long run, USA to leave Iraq but actually and practically all parties want USA to stay in Iraq for the next coming years, although every one has different agenda. The straggle is about the legitimacy, the conditions and the form of the American presence in Iraq in the next years.
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