October 08, 2006

Time For A Pro-US Iraq Coup?

Richard Dreyfuss says Bush might give a wink and a nod to the CIA, the U.S. military, and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to get rid of Iraq’s current regime:
Like the other too-clever-by-half stratagems of the Bush people in Iraq, the installation of Maliki created more problems than it solved, and it now looks like Maliki has utterly lost the confidence of the White House.

Question is, what are they going to replace him with—and when? According to recent reports, the United States appears to have given Maliki a deadline: two months.
Hmmn, we need a military strongman... How about that guy in prison? What's his name? Oh yeah, Saddam Hussein.

Personally, I cannot see much sense in this idea. If a US puppet government cannto control Iraq, a US puppet military strongman is not likely to do much better. At this stage, I think there are only two options:

1. US withdraws and let's Iraqi sort things out for themselves. Creates a chaotic mess, but what have we got today anyway? At least this scenario would eventually play out to some sort of (bloody horrific, no doubt) conclusion. The present morrass seems interminable.

2. A UN protectorate. This analysis from Toby Dodge rings true to me:
Washington has to recognise that it needs a great deal of help. The task of rebuilding the Iraqi State from the ground up is far too great for the world’s sole superpower, let alone a small group of Iraqi politicians long exiled from the country.

The second step is for the international community to change its attitude. The great powers that sit on the United Nations Security Council, especially France, have to put the bitterness surrounding the invasion behind them. The continued descent of Iraq into civil war will cause problems on a truly global scale: after all, Iraq is far closer to Europe than the United States. Iraq now poses such a problem that all the international community has an undeniable interest in solving it.

Against this background the UN, with full and unrestricted backing from the European Union, has to take over running the country. Such a huge undertaking would involve giving Iraq a similar status to Kosovo. Iraq’s sovereignty would have to be put temporarily into the hands of the international community. The creation of a new post-Saddam political settlement would have to start from scratch.

The beginning of this process would entail a new peace process overseen by neutral international arbitrators and guaranteed by the UN. This would bring all Iraqi parties involved in the dispute to the table. The present governing Iraqi elite would have a place at the table but could not be in government for the duration of the negotiations. Their place at the head of failing or semi-functioning ministries would, temporarily, be taken by international civil servants.

Iraqi insurgents, as opposed to transnational jihadists, would also be encouraged to take part by giving them what they have long demanded, the removal of US forces from the streets of Iraq’s cities. A multilateral force of peacekeepers not associated with the bungled invasion and its bloody aftermath would take their place. In return for a place at the table the insurgents would have to agree to reject al-Qaeda forces in the country...


Blog Archive