Bush/Sadr Contain Iran and Kurds

by Scott Sullivan (Sullivan is a contrarian commentator), Conservative Voice

At long last, the battle lines are clearly drawn in Iraq. On one side, the pro-Iraq side, are President Bush and Muqtada al-Sadr. On the other side, the pro-Iran side, are Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Jalal Talabani. The critical and deciding issue of Iraq’s conflict, as always, is the future status of the city of Kirkuk.

The full scope of Bush-Sadr cooperation is highlighted in today’s Washington Post, 16 March 07. To quote the WP story’s subtitle, “Radical Shiite Cleric Seen as Crucial to Success of Baghdad Security Plan.”

In brief, Muqtada al-Sadr is the most important political actor in Iraq, and he has thrown his support to the US and President Bush, as long predicted in Iran-Watch.com.

Just as the Bush-Sadr bond is being strengthened, Jalal Talabani is shifting Kurdish support to Iran and President Ahmadinejjad. Talabani has evidently decided that his tactical alliance with the US has outlived its usefulness. This is because as long as the US cooperates with Sadr, the US will never accept Talabani’s agenda of an independent Kurdistan and Iraq’s partition at the hands of the Kurds and Iran.

The depth of Talabani’s new hostility toward the US is evident in his recent interview with the Iraqi newspaper al-Rai. Talabani challenges US policy as he discusses the potential for Kurdish-Iranian military cooperation to drive Iraq’s Sunnis out of Mosul and other disputed areas in northern Iraq. Indeed, Talabani asserts that Kurdish and Iranian forces could today take under their control virtually all of Iraq! Such provocative Talabani comments stir up ethnic animosity in Iraq and put US forces at greater risk — see AINA.com. 13 March.

As always, the critical issue facing Iraq is the future of the northern city of Kirkuk, to be determined at a referendum tentatively scheduled for December 15 of this year. The referendum, if held on schedule, would transfer Kirkuk and its oil wealth to the Kurds, after which Iran would take southern Iraq and its oil reserves at Basra. Iran and the Kurds would partition Iraq between them. Talabani and Ahmadinejad, who want to erase Iraq from the map, strongly support Kirkuk’s referendum. Muqtada al-Sadr, whose political base is in southern Iraq and Basra, does not.

What will President Bush decide? Is President Bush for a unified Iraq, or for no Iraq?

In the final analysis, is the US with Muqtada al-Sadr, or with Talabani and Ahmadinejad? On the answer to this question depends the future stability of Iraq and perhaps entire the Middle East.

March 17, 2007 | Comments Off on Bush/Sadr Contain Iran and Kurds

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