The Baghdad Gulag
There are three overlapping wars in Iraq: the Sunni Arab guerrilla struggle against the US; strands of Sunni Arab guerrillas against assorted Shi’ite militias/death squads; and al-Qaeda in Iraq against the puppet, US-backed Iraqi government in the Green Zone. Make it four wars: the Sunni Arab guerrilla war against the government inside the Green Zone. Better yet, make it five wars: the Sadrists, from Sadr City to Kufa and Najaf, against the Americans.
All strands of these five overlapping wars will never allow the United States – or Anglo-American Big Oil – to control Iraq’s oil wealth. Even if the new oil law is ratified by Parliament before June, implementation will be a certified nightmare, and security for billions of dollars of necessary investment non-existent.
Strands of these five overlapping wars also will never accept the long-term imposition of vast US military bases under a Status of Forces Agreement negotiated with dodgy politicians who spend more time in London than in Baghdad.
Setting a precise date for a total US withdrawal – the crystal-clear demand insistently formulated by Muqtada al-Sadr – would be the only way for the Bush administration to salvage a modicum of not totally humiliating defeat. Instead, the world had better be ready for the imminent arrival of the Baghdad gulag.