The Boot?

Michael Schwartz, writing in Huffpost, links to an Asia Times article by Pepe Escobar that claims that Iraqis may be deciding that they hate us and the Saudi Jihadis more than they hate each other. If true, this would be even more surprising than the Sun coming up tomorrow, but not by much.

From Escobar:

The ultimate nightmare for White House/Pentagon designs on Middle East energy resources is not Iran after all: it's a unified Iraqi resistance, comprising not only Sunnis but also Shi'ites.

"It's the resistance, stupid" - along with "it's the oil, stupid". The intimate connection means there's no way for Washington to control Iraq's oil without protecting it with a string of sprawling military "super-bases".

The ultimate, unspoken taboo of the Iraq tragedy is that the US will never leave Iraq, unless, of course, it is kicked out. And that's exactly what the makings of a unified Sunni-Shi'ite resistance is set to accomplish.

Schwartz:

Basically Escobar says recent meetings among and between Shia and Sunni groups have initiated a set of alliances that could result in a united resistance that will drastically reduce sectarian fighting (by suppressing the Sunni terrorist and the Shia death squads) and move in a coordinated way (using armed attacks and political maneuvering) toward expelling the U.S..

Here are the key elements:

First, there is a new nationalist bloc forming from those who have withdrawn from or always opposed the American backed government. It includes leaders of the Sunni resistance (including the groups that are supposed to have made an alliance with the US), Sunni parliamentary leaders (including the vice president of Iraq), Muqtada al Sadr and his Mahdi Army (the most powerful Shia faction which has always opposed the U.S. presence) and the Fadhila (the most powerful Shia group in Basra, which recently withdrew from the government). According to Escobar, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the most powerful Shia cleric, has blessed the new group.

Such an alliance would not have the power to "kick us out of Iraq," at least not militarily, but they could make the occupation far more costly in American lives. A unified opposition would also destroy any surviving pretenses of legitimacy for the occupation, and perhaps even force Bush to come up with a new set of lies. It might be very difficult to maintain much support even in the nutbag Republican right under those conditions.

On the other hand, it would unify the Iraqis to the extent of giving them a common enemy.

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