If this is noble, how come everyone feels manipulated?
"We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi'ites. It's shocking. It doesn't fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state ... I can't believe that's what the Americans really want or what the American people want....Perhaps the Americans are negotiating to get a deal at any cost, but we will not accept a constitution at any cost."
A Kurdish negotiator in Iraq, upon hearing that US diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, providing accord on a bigger role for Islamic law than Iraq had before.
The Kurds are ready to blow. To date, the Kurds have not dropped their insistence on language that would allow them to secede from Iraq under "certain circumstances." The Sunni Arabs are going to be furious about being sidelined. Some reports have indicated that Shi'ite cleric al Sistani has formally come out against the incorporation of Kirkuk into Kurdistan, maintaining that the northern oil city is for all Iraqis. Shiite politician Muwaffaq Rubai warned that if the constitution did not enshrine the principle of federalism, a civil war might ensue. Sadrists (Shi'ite) are demonstrating against federalism.
The majority of American people don't want our soldiers hanging around waiting for full blown civil war to happen.
"We're asking men to die for the Islamic Republic of Iraq, and I for one do not think they should die for that."
Billmon has a blogpost discussing this new information, and he ties in the disappointment that he's wagering will be felt in Iraq by women who've been seeking genuine protection and advancement for their rights in Iraq.
It's not even clear the Cheney administration ever had any serious intention of promoting those values except as a smokescreen for the exercise of American power. When the historians finally write their histories, democracy in Iraq may end up as just another item on the list of bullshit bureaucratic excuses for this war -- behind weapons of mass destruction, but ahead of creating a "flytrap" for terrorists.
It is increasingly clear, though, that whatever the original face value of Bush's promises of liberation, the American public is no longer willing to pay the price to redeem them.
Swopa at Needlenose has updates from the AP and the NY Times. As I predicted a few days ago, Sunni Arabs are complaining that they are being left out of negotiations. One of four main Sunni negotiators named Saleh al-Mutlaq says that they'd finally convinced the Sunnis to take part in the political process through mosque preachers, who used to condemn such participation, and when they learn they've been sidelined, the 'street' is going to be be angry.
The fact that the President refused Mrs. Sheehan and refused to join Gold Star families in interfath prayer when he had the invitation shows me that he chooses his brand of politics over Jesus (his alleged favorite philosopher).
For all Christians, Jesus was with the prayerful that day in Crawford - just outside Bush's gates.
"...Police in London were under pressure after leaked documents revealed that a Brazilian killed on suspicion of being a suicide bomber was not trying to evade police and was already being restrained when he was shot at point-blank range." - LINK
There is a political column at Blogcritics.org which discusses a USA Today op-ed by Peter Schweizer entitled, "Strategies Or Diversions?," which draws a parallel between Roosevelt's refusal to chase after Japan immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor and GW's refusal to focus all of his energy in taking down the Taliban and chasing after Osama bin Laden.
In the USA Today column, Schweizer states:
"There have been numerous tactical mistakes made in the war on terrorism, just as there were under Roosevelt 60 years ago. Nonetheless, we cannot let tragic, tactical setbacks, like the recent deaths of 20 Marines from one unit, lead us to abandon the grand strategy. Allied errors at the Battle of the Bulge didn't mean the sweep across Europe was wrong."
In essence, Schweizer is comparing the unspeakably huge blunder of making pre-emptive attack upon Iraq (where none of the rationales for war have met the reality of facts on the ground) with The Battle of the Bulge.
Making pre-emptive attack upon Iraq was too large a part of the "grand strategy", (ie: the PNAC/neocon plan for America's foreign policy), to surmise that the errors made there could ever rally the nation to continue the path upon which the noeconservative Utopians are leading us.
It's not a sound vision. It's over. Our strategy should be to find the tough-but-intelligent way to lessen the influence of what is culturally ingrained in nearly every Muslim's mind and political sensibility in the Middle East today, where a certain interpretation of Islam and Divine law trumps civil law; where Divine ordinance trumps parliamentary democracy. Our strategy must be refocused. Spilling blood in Iraq isn't working.