Monday, January 02, 2006

US-Iraq war entering new phase I believe that the US-Iraq war entered a new phase today with publication of news that the administration won't be seeking any new funds for "reconstruction" of Iraq. In this post, that I put up on Just World News this morning, I wrote that, "this is the way that the end of the cataclysmic project the US government has pursued in Iraq over the past four years gets announced." I give my reasoning there, and also start to look at some of the ramifications of this development. (By the way, the "end of the project" doesn't mean the immediate end of either the troop presence or the violence. But we have, I think, entered a very new phase with the Bush administration now pursuing greatly scaled-back ambitions in Iraq.) Today, I also posted this very poignant message from a friend of our family's, describing Christmas in the main military ER in the Baghdad Green Zone. In general, since the Dec. 15 election, I've been trying to understand the main themes of the many different things that have been happening in intra-Iraqi politics. This analysis that I posted December 27 still holds up pretty well, I think. It identified two of the big meta-narratives in intra-Iraqi politics:
(1) the continuing contest over the legitimacy of the election process itself, and (2) the contest within the victorious Shiite mega-list over the policies it should pursue (as well as over the linked issue of who gets which job in the new government).
A third one is undoubtedly the Kurds' continuing push toward secession, which I posted about here. I've done quite a few posts about the Saddam trial. This Dec. 22 post looked at the continuing debate over the legality of the whole trial process. And this one, also Dec. 22, wrote about what I described as "Iran's opening bid" in a project that may well aim at taking over all or part of the control of this politically very sensitive trial from the US occupation authorities, which currently control every important aspect of it. Let me wish a belated "Happy new year" to that great group of folks who provide the regular posts over here at Today in Iraq, and also to all the readers. I think 2006 is going to see many more, and more rapid, changes in the dynamics of the Iraq situation than we have seen since Aprul 2003. Keep reading Today in Iraq! (Also, Just World News.)


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