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View Diary: Cheney's Middle East Trip and the Iraq Oil Law (Update) (187 comments)

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  •  FUBAR is the word for it (8+ / 0-)

    It's complicated, it's deadly, and it's fast moving, now. And Cheney's off to the Middle East.

    It is not just complicated and deadly it is fouled up beyond recognition. Take a look a the long discussion on Juan Cole's blog where one of his readers who has a deep knowledge about just what the draft oil law says and what the Iraqi constitution provides for makes the case that as things stand now the only existing entities that could have anything to gain from passing the petroleum law are the central government and the Kurdish region. 

    The Shi'ia of the south, unless they can somehow get approval for a super region and then flesh it out with the accoutrements of statehood such as the Kurds have in the north, have no stake in the law, which contrary to some representations says nothing about the distribution of oil revenue based on population.

    As to the Sunni of central Iraq there is really nothing for them either in the proposed law.  It looks like this is not so much a case of the clash of various interests inside Iraq -- something one could hope to settle via compromise -- but rather it looks to be more of a case where this administration have have once again painted themselves into a corner legally and politically because of their trademark lack of competence, leadership and coordination when faced with a difficult task.

    It will not be long before everyone in America understands that presenting our troops as targets in turn: first to the Shi'ia Mahdi Army's fanatical millennialism, then to the Sunni Salafi Jihadiand their inimical suicidal attacks, and then the well trained, professionally led and well-financed  neo Ba'athist insurgents, is not doing anything to help a deadlocked parliamentary system (which is more in need of CPR than "breathing space") accomplish anything significant.

    I think that since things may well be going down hill even faster than many think in Iraq, Cheney and his administration feel a need  to make certain positions clear to some of the friendly Arab countries in the area.  He may be telling them not to jump in and make things worse trying to support the Iraqi Sunni in a chaotic breakdown in Iraq. He may feel that Rice, notwithstanding her official status, has not been perceived as enough of a "heavy" to make such a message stick in Arab minds.

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