There is no possible “victory” in Iraq for George Bush and Dick Cheney. The majority Shiite parties must prevail politically, and their militias are also prevailing militarily. And that means that Iranian influence will increase, and that Iraq will inevitably become a theocratic state much like Iran. Patrick Cockburn:
Baghdad is more and more Shia-dominated and the Sunni are pinned into the south-west of the city and a few other enclaves. As Sunni and Shia are killed or driven out of mixed areas, there are less of them to kill. Some 4.2 million people in Iraq are now refugees, of whom about half have fled the country.
The real and appalling situation on the ground in Iraq has been all too evident this week. Thirty bodies, the harvest of the death squads, were found in the streets of Baghdad on Wednesday. The figure for Tuesday was 26 and, in addition, 20 rockets and mortar bombs were fired into the Green Zone killing three people. This was significant because they were fired by the Mehdi Army, who had been upset by criticism made on them by the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki. By way of gentle reproof they shelled his offices in the Green Zone.
…talking to Iran has always been essential to any solution in Iraq.
“The Iranians can afford to compromise in Iraq but they cannot afford to lose,” said one Iraqi observer. The more threatened they feel by the US over nuclear power or the possibility of air attack, the greater incentive they have to ensure that the US does not succeed in gaining control of Iraq. For most of the past four years they have not had to do much because the US has helpfully ensured its own failure by pursuing disastrous policies.
Paradoxically, Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Arab states, actually supports the Iraqi government in Baghdad. It is run largely by their Shia co-religionists and political leaders, who were supported by Iran for years against Saddam Hussein. The problem here is that Washington has never been willing to accept that the great campaign it launched to overthrow Saddam Hussein has increased Iranian influence and put Shia clergy in black turbans in power in Baghdad as they have long held power in Tehran.
It may be that Bush and Cheney will flail at Iran in order to temporarily derail the process of Iranification of Iraq. That will just make matters worse, kill thousands more, and ultimately fail. It is a hopeless situation, and we are unfortunately being led/ruled by two irrational men who can only create more havoc, rather than concede their errors.