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June 01, 2004

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This may be good news, although I'm slightly suspicious that we've traded the Tikritis for the Shammars of Mosul. The good news about the Shammar tribe seems to be that it's the largest and most powerful tribe in Iraq, consists of both Shia and Sunnis, has fairly good relations with the Kurds, and Crown Prince Abdullah's mother was of the Shammar Tribe.

My thoughts on the NYT and WaPo stories today:

I agree, Edward, that the jury is still out on Iraqi-domestic support for the new government. It is likely proportional to how much they assert independence from the US.

The best thing for both Kerry and Bush would be strong assertion of Iraqi control by the new government. They are the most likely to force the UN Security Council into a resolution that really spells out and supports actual sovereignty, and that in turn would likely lead to more internationalization of the security forces (with no US overall control).

BushCo loses the hidden control they want, but the US role is more contained, saving lives. We can retreat to enclaves waiting for the Iraqi elections in 1/05. Iraqi forces have a better probability of containing violence, if the government gains popular support. The US will never gain back support of the people.

They might even do us the favor of asking the US forces to leave (soon or after 1/05).....

Withdrawal by request would be good for Kerry, and no-so-good for Bush as an election issue, since Bush might be explaining how his actions caused us to thrown out.

I'm hoping that 'freedom and democracy' will be asserted by Iraqis and will live with whatever actual results they come up with.


It all depends on your definition of "full sovreignty."

Given the fact we're building over a dozen permanent military bases in Iraq--I seriously doubt we're leaving any time soon.

Nyet, Nyet, NYET!!!

Is qvagmire!

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