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Will Sheik al Sadar do for US what November 7 could not do?

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posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 10:35 AM
Pundits and pollsters say the November 7 election was won by the Democrats primarily because voters had become disillusioned with the lackluster handling of the Iraq War by Bush43's administration. Credence to that observation was reenforced when Bush43 unceremoniously fired his heretofore unquestionable Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

The Iraq Study Group, reeking of Bush41 and including Bob Gates along with a panorama of old politicos from both parties, offered 3 major suggestions and 76 other minor points of interest. It was obvious to me that B41 was giving his notoriously stubborn son, B43, a way out of the dilemma America faces in Iraq. Almost everyone agrees there is no easy, non-painful way out of Iraq for America, assuming we have legitimate interests there and want to see them accomplished. Israel and oil. As of today, it looks as if Iran will be the Middle East’s big winner in the shutdown of the Neo Con Bush43's lackadaisically planned and dismally executed Iraq Adventure.

Bush43 Chronology: March 18, 2003. Operation Decapitation. Shock and awe! Mission Accomplished Day, May 1, 2003. Oops. The Iraq War is entering its 4th year, longer than it took the US to win WW2.

Th probable ascendancy of Iran to regional hegemony status is due not only to the lengthy shared border with Iraq, but also to the religious connection between the two - Iran as the only Shia majority country under Shia control - and Iraq’s most numerous Shia (60%) population. Aside: Shia are to Islam what Catholics are to Christianity, Sunni are to Islam what Protestants are to Christianity. Shia believe in miracles, saints and have one head of the theology department. Sunni are more “people of the Book” and do not have saints nor do they have a hierarchal cleric system. Wahhabi Sunni’s are to Islam as Evangelical Protestants are to Christianity.

The leader of one group of Shia, Sheik al Sadar whose headquarters are in Sadar City, a part of Baghdad named after his late father who was also a leading cleric and was murdered by Saddam Hussein, is now staying undercover because the US has strongly implied it will arrest him if they can find him. Nevertheless, al Sadar leads one of the largest blocs of the freely elected Iraqi Parliament. Holding 30 seats out of 275. This means another Shia, Prime Minister al Maliki, has formed his government by obtaining the support of various parties, totaling at least 138 seats, a bare majority. We have seen the disadvantages - weak prime ministers - that flow from narrow margin coalitions in Israel’s Knesset and in France before the 5th Republic. Perhaps still in Italy. And now, in our own Congress.

Yesterday, al Sadar had the four ministers from his Party resign their government posts - but not their seats - in protest to PM al Maliki who has aligned himself and therefore tied Iraq’s (short term) future with the Surge Plan recently implemented by Bush43. Note: Several informed observers have said it will take more US troops on the ground in Iraq and in particular, Baghdad, to reduce the level of violence to a tolerable level. We assume by “tolerable” level they mean a level at which ordinary citizens can resume most of their daily lives in safety. It is unclear how many more troops will be needed to achieve the goal. It appears that the extension of 90 days to the Army’s combat tour by Sec. Gates will allow perhaps as many as 45,000 additional troops to be in Iraq for 3 months. June, July and August. The GOP self-imposed Labor Day deadline!

Sheik as Sadar is demanding PM al Maliki fix dates certain for the withdrawal of Collation Forces from Iraq, calling them “occupiers.” The newly empowered Democrats in Congress have discovered how little power they really have. The House has passed - by a 218 vote the barest minimum - a Supplemental Funding bill for the Afghan and Iraq wars, to which they added about $20 b. of what are often called “pork” or that much dreaded bugaboo, earmarks.

The Senate, where the Dems hold a 50-49 edge, as bare a margin as you can have mathematically speaking. One Dem, Sen. Johnson, suffered a stoke and while he is in therapy, I do not expect to ever see him back in the Senate. He has to remain “officially” a senator to prevent the GOP governor of South Dakota replacing him with a GOP senator, thus throwing the Dems out of power! Oh, on how thin a thread do great moments flow?

To further complicate the Dems position in the Senate, where unlike the House, unlimited debate - a filibuster - is allowed unless on a 3/5ths vote of the members for cloture - closure - they can shut off debate. For that reason, on difficult matters it is taken for granted that without 60 votes - 10 more than the Dems have - nothing can pass the Senate. The Senate version of the Supplemental bill “recommends” the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, where the House bill mandates withdrawal.

Reconciliation. If you think Iraqi Arabs are irreconcilable, watch our own Conference Committee work on this one! The Conference Committee will likely be made up of 5 House and 5 Senate members. Dems will send 3 each and GOPs send 2 each, from each Chamber of the Congress. The final product of the Conference Committee will be entitled to an up or down vote in each chamber. President Bush has [prematurely] said he will veto any bill with withdrawal dates in it. Q. Why does not B43 just “sign off” on this one? As he has done on 1000s of others.

Financing of the 2 Wars reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Nothing is at it seems. I do know the Secretary of Defense is permitted under certain circumstances to move budgeted money from one account to another. In any case, it is arguable whether Congress by denying or delaying any more money to the 2 Wars would (or even could) adversely effect the safety and personal security of our Armed Forces anywhere in the world.

I don’t know what is in the Supplemental Bill that Bush43 regards as so consequential, so it is impossible for me to make an informed judgement. Like so many things - too many - we as citizens of the United States are expected to “trust me” when dealing with Bush43 and his Administration. To make it an article of faith.

Conclusion. Will it turn out that Sheik al Sadar will accomplish what the American electorate wanted on November 7, but which Bush43 refuses to give them? Legacy? At what risk to our soldier's lives? We are at 3,300 KIA now. How many more? How will staying longer make it better? Say hello, Richard Nixon. Hmm?

[edit on 4/17/2007 by donwhite]

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