News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: What Does Victory Smell Like?

Friday, December 16, 2005

What Does Victory Smell Like?

Robert Dreyfuss presents a different take on the Victory vote that Pres. Bush is trumpeting to drumbeats in Washington these days. For Dreyfuss, the probable scenarios boil down to two: the first sees Sunnis winning enough seats in the Iraqi Parliament to help them get a share of power that they are happy with. The Shiites are forced to work with the Sunnis; thereby, the insurgency dies out as Sunnis gain a reasonable amount of security and share in the new Iraq.

Scenario 2, though, is less rosy...
For Dreyfuss, it is this scenario that is the most likely result of the elections:

Scenario Two: For whatever reason, Sunni candidates fail to win a fair share of seats in the new parliament. The religious Shiite coalition—SCIRI, Al Dawa and the Sadrists—not only win big, but through ballot-stuffing, vote fraud, and help from Iran’s intelligence service, gain enough power to continue their grip on power. The Kurds opt to ally once again with the Shiites. The U.S. military begins to draw down its forces in Iraq, so that President Bush can win political points at home, and the Shiite militias fill the vacuum left over by the slowly dwindling U.S. force. Sunnis, marginalized politically, fail to muster enough votes to make any changed in the constitution imposed in October by the dominant Shiite-Kurd alliance; frustrated and outraged, the Sunnis support the insurgency with renewed vigor. The Kurds retreat into their northern enclave, the Shiite militia launch a brutal and bloody offensive against the Sunnis, with ethnic cleansing of southern Iraq, and Iraq slides into open civil war. Not only is the Phase II Arab League meeting never held, but the Arab world mobilizes in defense of Iraq’s Sunnis, and both Iran and Turkey are drawn into the conflict.
The smell of victory, should this scenario play itself out, may well be of more decomposition as civil war engulfs Iraq.

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