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Outstanding analysis of the Iraqi situation...by Juan Cole

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:44 AM
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Outstanding analysis of the Iraqi situation...by Juan Cole
Juan Cole is a history professor at U of Michigan and is a Middle East expert(he not only has a lifetime studying the Middle East, he lived there). Visit his site from time to time and you will be able to see he's got in depth knowledge of this part of the world.....outstanding resource. Not the typical spin coming out of the white house.

The Second Front: Multi-City Sadrist Uprising Continues

The difficulty the United States and its allies are having in regaining control of the major cities of the Shiite south is breathtaking in its implications. There is little doubt that they can prevail eventually in a military sense. But if the Sadrist uprising were a minor affair of a few thousand ragtag militiamen, it is difficult to understand how they could survive the onslaught of 150,000 well-armed and well-trained European and North American troops for more than a day. Rather, it is clear that urban crowds are supporting the uprising in some numbers. Even when the Coalition puts the uprising down, it may well incur the wrath of many persons who had earlier viewed it with favor. And if the US cannot control Iraq now, when it has its hands directly on all the levers of power, how will it do so in the coming year, as it loses its grip on those levers?

The tired CPA refrain that lots of schools have been painted and the markets are bustling is shockingly inept even as propaganda. I lived in Beirut in the early years of the civil war there. I'd like to report that people shop during wars and heavy civil disturbances. The economy does not disappear in such situations. It is just that the value of currency drops, foreign investment dries up, and hoarding is widespread. People rush out to buy stocks in case there are curfews. Bustling bazaars mean nothing in themelves--they have to be interpreted in context. But major fighting in most Shiiite urban areas is unambiguous in its significance. It means that the Bush administration rule of Iraq is FUBAR. It seems inevitable to me that the US military will pursue a war to the death with the Army of the Mahdi, the Sadrist movement, and Muqtada al-Sadr himself. They will of course win this struggle on the surface and in the short term, because of their massive firepower. But the Sadrists will simply go underground and mount a longterm guerrilla insurgency similar to that in the Sunni areas.

The United States has managed to create a failed state, similar to Somalia and Haiti, in Iraq.

Let's look at the major battles on Tuesday:

more......

http://www.juancole.com/2004_04_01_juancole_archive.htm...

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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:07 AM
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1. NPR and PBS have been interviewing Cole regularly
I have met him and regard him as a highly honorable and trustworthy source on ME affairs.
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dae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:24 AM
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2. Thanks RedEarth, he is one of the best.
:dem:
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