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Iraq And Its Future
Current Iraq situation suggests, its moving towards civil war and eventually balakanization.
It will impact rest of world.
Oil resources will be in danger.
Jihadis will get new playground.
Countries in Asia and Europe will be directly effected by any outcome.
Religious fanatics will try to influence rest of world politics.

Mounting US casuality, How long US will stay in Iraq?
Its impact on coming US election?

June 30, 04 is set date to handover Iraq to Iraqi council.
Warrant Issued for Shiite Cleric's Arrest
58 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An Iraqi judge has issued a murder arrest warrant for a radical Shiite Muslim cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, for the slaying of another Shiite leader shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of the country, coalition officials said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Dan Senor announced the warrant but would not say when al-Sadr would be detained. "There'll be no advance warning," he said.

The announcement of the warrant came a day after violent clashes between militiamen loyal to al-Sadr that killed 52 Iraqis, eight U.S. soldiers and a Salvadoran soldier — some of the worst gunbattles since the ouster of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Since the violence, al-Sadr has been holed up in a mosque in the city of Kufa, south of Baghdad, surrounded by armed supporters.

Senor said the arrest warrant had been issued several months ago. He refused to say why al-Sadr had not been arrested earlier.

Al-Sadr is accused in the slaying of Abdel-Majid al-Khoei, a rival Shiite cleric who was stabbed to death by a mob at a Shiite shrine in the city of Najaf in April.

A total of 25 arrest warrants have been issued in the case, and 13 suspects have been taken into custody. Sunday's violence in Baghdad and other cities was sparked by the arrest last week of Mustafa al-Yacoubi, a senior aide to al-Sadr, on one of the warrants.
Breaking News:
Attacks against US forces are spreading allover Iraq.

Today Bush again reassured that US forces will handover Iraq to Iraqi temp govt of 30 June.

Looks like, new Iraqi govt will invite UN forces to control civil war. And US 3000 strong diplomatic core in Iraq will look after Iraq and its interest.

Not a bad game plan.
Looks like Shiit(E)'s hit the fan. Let's hope all the major Non-Nato allies will help out.
The fighting in Iraq seems to be quite intense. Notice the talk for more troops. I am sure we will not get much news. The basic plan of the US would be to suppress all news and then go in for a massacre. The only way one can control such situations is by whole scale massacres.
Crusades and jihads underway

Looks as though the mullahs have called for jihad on the Christians. I feel the stage may be set for a conflagration. The US has created Jihadis where none existed previously. It will definitely resonate across the ummah
Not so soon, Islamic countries don't have well equipped and trained army other than terrorist state of Pakistan, but Paki Army don't have will and they are more a mercenary force already bought by US.

Western or Anglo world have sufficient weapon to clean whole Middle East and Pakistan, if they think their survival is in danger. These jihadis are doing more hit and run and eventually get killed. They are not been able to hit Western world even if you count 9/11.

I think these gong ho will gone and forgotten within 10 years.

But they will target India/Hindus who are soft and weaker and will hesitate to drastic action against these jihadis. Anglo world will be happy if they see Islamic invasion in India and complete annihilation of Hindus.

India should improve its security and will. India needs to change its strategy from defensive to aggressive.

by B.Raman

The USA's biggest enemy today is neither Al Qaeda nor Osama bin Laden and his dregs nor the International Islamic Front (IIF).<b> It is its own intellectual arrogance and its unwillingness and inability to admit its mistakes and to do an introspection on its past policies, which have led it from one disaster to another</b>.

2. Thanks to its vast human and material resources, it has in the past been able to extricate itself out of the disasters of its own creation and emerge none the worse for them. It is doubtful whether it would similarly be able to extricate itself out of the looming disaster, which it has created for itself in Iraq.

3.In the context of the current Shia uprising in Iraq, the readers may like to go through the following article titled "After Saddam: The Mullas and Imams" written by me for the South Asia Analysis Group on April 21, 2003 (Paper reproduced below as an Appendix)
I do not deny that the US may be able to crush the Iraqi rebellion. But I think, as Raman points out, the Islamic revolution of Iraq is under way and the US cannot do much to set the clock back. Raman has clearly explained everything
08 April 2004

<b>Gaming Out Iraq</b>


The United States is involved in its greatest military crisis since the fall of Baghdad a year ago. This is the convergence of two separate processes. The first is the apparent re-emergence of the Sunni guerrillas west of Baghdad; the second is a split in the Shiite community and an internal struggle that has targeted the United States. In the worst-case scenario, these events could have a disastrous outcome for the United States, but there are reasons to think that the worst case is not the most likely at this point.

The United States is experiencing its greatest military crisis in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. On the one hand, the Sunni guerrillas that the United States appeared to have defeated after the Ramadan offensive of October and November 2003 have not been destroyed. Although their role in triggering the March 31 attack against U.S. civilian contractors in Al Fallujah is an open question, they have benefited politically from the U.S. cordon around the city and have taken shots at distracted U.S. forces in the area, such as the U.S. Marines in Ar Ramadi.
On the other hand, a Shiite militia led by young cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has launched an offensive in Baghdad and in a number of cities in Iraq's south. U.S. intelligence expected none of this; L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, had scheduled a trip to Washington that he had to cancel hurriedly.

The offensives appear to challenge two fundamental strategic assumptions that were made by U.S. planners. The first was that, due to penetrations by U.S. intelligence, the Sunni insurgency was deteriorating and would not restart. The second, much more important assumption was that the United States had a strategic understanding with the Shiite leadership that it would contain anti-American military action south of Baghdad, and that -- and this is critical -- they would under no circumstances collaborate with the Sunnis.

It now appears that these basic premises are being rendered false.

Obviously, the Sunni guerrillas are still around, at least in the Al Fallujah-Ar Ramadi corridor. U.S. efforts in that area of the Sunni Triangle are aimed at finding those responsible for the deaths and subsequent public mutilation of four U.S. civilian contractors March 31. Current U.S. operations might be in offensive mode -- suggesting that the Baathist guerrillas have yet to fully regroup -- but as the siege of Al Fallujah drags on, the potential grows for the insurgency to acquire sympathetic recruits. Equally obviously, some of the Shia have taken up arms against the United States, spreading the war to the region south of Iraq. Finally, there are some reports of Sunni-Shiite collaboration in the Baghdad area.

We might add that the outbreak west of Baghdad and the uprising in the south could have been coincidental, but if so, it was one amazing coincidence. Not liking coincidences ourselves -- and fully understanding the contingent events that led to al-Sadr's decision to strike -- we have to wonder about the degree to which the events of the past week or so were planned.

If current trends accelerate, the United States faces a serious military challenge that could lead to disaster. The United States does not have the forces necessary to put down a broad-based Shiite rising and crush the Sunni rebellion as well. Even the current geography of the rising is beyond the capabilities of existing deployments or any practicable number of additional forces that might be made available. The United States is already withdrawing from some cities. The logical outcome of all of this would be an enclave strategy, in which the United States concentrates its forces -- in a series of fortified locations -- perhaps excluding Iraqi nationals -- and leaves the rest of the country to the guerrillas. That, of course, would raise the question of why the United States should bother to remain in Iraq, since those forces would not be able to exert effective force either inside the country or beyond its borders.

That would force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The consequences of such a withdrawal would be catastrophic for the U.S. grand strategy in the war against militant Islamists. One of the purposes of the war was to disprove al Qaeda's assertion that the United States was actually militarily weak and that it could not
engage in close combat in the Islamist world, certainly not in the face of a mass uprising. An American withdrawal would prove al Qaeda's claims and would energize Islamists not only with hatred of the United States, but also -- and worse -- with contempt for American power. It would create the worst of all possible worlds for the United States.

It follows that the United States is going to do everything it can to abort this process.

It also might well be that the process -- as we have laid it out -- is faulty. The uprising in the Al Fallujah-Ar Ramadi corridor might have peaked already. The al-Sadr rising perhaps does not represent a reversal of Shiite strategic orientation, but is primarily a self-contained, internal event about al-Sadr's relationship with other Shiite clergy. The reports of collaboration between Shia and Sunnis could be false or represent a small set of cases.

These are the issues on which the conflict and the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq turn. It is the hope of the guerrillas -- Sunni and Shiite -- to create a situation that compels a U.S. withdrawal, either from the country or into fortified enclaves; it is obviously the intention of the United States to prevent this.

<b>The Sunni Threat</b>
The Sunni part of the equation is the least threatening. If Sunni guerrillas have managed to regroup, it is disturbing that U.S. intelligence was unable to prevent the reorganization. But there is a very real silver lining in this: One of the ways the guerrillas might have been able to regroup without being detected was by doing it on a relatively small scale, limiting their organization to hundreds or even dozens of members.

Certainly, they have many more sympathizers than that, but a careful distinction must be drawn -- and is not being drawn by the media -- between sympathizers and guerrillas. Sympathizers can riot -- they can even generate an intifada -- but that is not the same as conducting guerrilla war. Guerrillas need a degree of training, weapons and organization.

The paradox of guerrilla war is that the more successful a guerrilla offensive, the more it opens the guerrillas to counteraction by the enemy. In order to attack, they must communicate, come out of hiding and converge on the target. At that moment, they can be destroyed and -- more important -- captured. Throwing a large percentage of a guerrilla force into an attack either breaks the enemy or turns into a guerrilla disaster.

The U.S. Marines west of Baghdad are not about to be broken. Therefore, if our assumption about the relative size of the guerrilla force and the high percentage that have been thrown into this operation is correct, this force will not be able to sustain the current level of operations much longer. If the guerrilla force is large enough to sustain such operations, then the U.S. intelligence failure is so huge as to be difficult to comprehend. Protests and riots are problems and create a strain on resources, but they do not fundamentally affect the ability of the United States to remain engaged in Iraq.

<b>The Shiite Threat</b>
It is not the Sunni offensive that represents a threat, it is the Shia. The question is simple: Does al-Sadr's rising represent a fundamental shift in the Shiite community as a whole, or is it simply a small faction of the Shia that has risen? The U.S. command in Iraq has argued that al-Sadr represents a marginal movement, at odds with the dominant Shiite leadership, lashing out in a desperate attempt to change the internal dynamics of the Shiite community.

For this analysis to be correct, a single fact must be true: Ali al-Sistani, the grand ayatollah of the Iraqi Shia, is not only opposed to al-Sadr, but also remains committed to carrying out his basic bargain with the United States. If that is true, then all will be well for the Americans in the end. If it is wrong, then the worst-case scenarios have to be taken seriously.

The majority Iraqi Shiite population suffered greatly under the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was dominated by the Sunni minority. After the fall of Hussein, the Shia's primary interest was in guaranteeing not only that a Sunni government would not re-emerge, but also that the future of Iraq would be in the hands of the Shia. This interest was shared by the Shia in Iran, who also wanted to see a Shiite government emerge in order to secure Iran's frontier from its historical enemy, Iraq.

The first U.S. impulse after the fall of Baghdad was that Americans would govern Iraq indefinitely, on their terms -- and without compromising with Iranian sympathizers. That plan was blown out of the water by the unexpected emergence of a Sunni guerrilla force. The United States needed indigenous help. Even more than help, it needed guarantees that the Shia would not rise up and render the U.S. presence in Iraq untenable.

The United States and the Shiite elites -- Iranian and Iraqi -- reached an accommodation: The United States guaranteed the Shia a democratic government, which meant that the majority Shia would dominate -- and the Shia maintained the peace in the south. They did not so much collaborate with the Americans as maintain a peace that permitted the United States to deal with the Sunnis. The end state of all of this was to be a Shiite government that would permit some level of U.S. forces to remain indefinitely in Iraq.

As the Sunni rising subsided, the United States felt a decreased dependency on the Shia. The transitional Iraqi government that is slated to take power June 30 would not be an elected government, but rather a complex coalition of groups -- including Shia, Kurds and Sunnis, as well as small ethnic groups -- that would be constituted so as to give all the players a say in the future. In other words, the Shia would not get a Shiite-dominated government June 30.

It was for this reason that al-Sistani began to agitate for direct elections. He knew that the Shia would win that election and that this was the surest path to direct Shiite power. Washington argued there was not enough time for direct elections -- a claim that was probably true -- but which the Shia saw as the United States backpedaling on fundamental agreements. The jury-rigged system the Americans wanted in place for a year would give the Sunnis a chance to recover -- not the sort of recovery the Shia wanted to see. Moreover, the Shia observed the quiet romance between the United States and some key Sunni tribal leaders after the capture of Hussein, and their distrust of long- term U.S. motives grew.

Al-Sistani made it clear that he did not trust the transitional plan and that he did not believe it protected Shiite interests or represented American promises. The United States treated al-Sistani with courtesy and respect but made it clear that it was not planning to change its position.

In the meantime, a sea change had taken place in Iranian politics, with a conservative government driving the would-be reformers out of power. The conservatives did not object to the deal with the United States, but they wanted to be certain that the United States did not for a moment believe that the Iranians were acting out of weakness. The continual hammering by the United States on the nuclear issue with Iran convinced the Iranians that the Washington did not fully appreciate the position it was in.

As Iranian Expediency Council chief and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani bluntly put it Feb. 24: "They continue to send us threatening messages and continue to raise the four questions," referring to Washington's concerns about Iran's nuclear program, opposition to the Middle East peace process, alleged support of militant groups and human rights. "But they are stuck in the mud in Iraq, and they know that if Iran wanted to, it could make their problems even worse."

Al-Sistani did not want the June 30 transition to go forward on U.S. terms. The Iranians did not want the United States to think it had Iran on the defensive. A confrontation with the United States under these circumstances was precisely what was in both al-Sistani and Iran's interests. Both wanted to drive home to the Americans that they held power in Iraq and that the United States was there at the sufferance of the Shia. The United States had forgotten its sense of desperation during the Sunni Ramadan offensive, and the Shia needed to remind them -- but they needed to do so without a rupture with Washington, which was, after all, instrumental to their long-term plans.

Al-Sadr was the perfect instrument. He was dangerous, deniable and manageable. U.S. officials have expressed surprise that al-Sadr -- who they did not regard highly -- was able to create such havoc. Obviously, al-Sistani could have dealt with al-Sadr if and when he wished. But for the moment, al-Sistani didn't wish. He wanted to show the Americans the abyss they faced if they continued on the path to June 30 without modifying the plan.

The Americans have said al-Sistani has not been helpful in this crisis. He is not ready to be helpful and won't be until a more suitable understanding is reached with the United States. He will act in due course because it is not in al-Sistani's interests to allow al-Sadr to become too strong. Quite the contrary: Al-Sistani runs the risk that the situation will get so far out of hand that he will not be able to control it either. But al-Sistani is too strong for al-Sadr to undermine, and al-Sadr is,in fact, al-Sistani's pawn. Perhaps more precisely, al-Sadr is al-Sistani's ace in the hole. Having played him, al-Sistani will be as interested in liquidating al-Sadr's movement as the United States is -- once Washington has modified its plans for a postwar Iraq.

The worst-case scenario is not likely to happen. The Sunni guerrillas are not a long-term threat. The Shia are a long-term threat, but their interests are not in war with the United States, but in achieving a Shiite-dominated Iraqi state as quickly as possible -- without giving the United States an opportunity to double-cross them. Al-Sistani demanded elections and didn't get them. What he really wants is a different transition process that gives the Shia more power. After the past week, he is likely to get it. And Washington will not soon forget who controls Iraq.

This will pass. But the strategic reality of the U.S. forces in Iraq is permanent. Those forces are there because of the sufferance of the Iraqi Shia. The Shia know it, and they want the Americans to know it. With Washington planning an offensive in Pakistan, the last thing it needs is to pump more forces into Iraq. In due course, al-Sistani will become helpful, but the price will be even higher than before.
Heard on the radio that the square in which Sadam's statue was pulled down exactly a year ago today, Sadr's picture has gone up!
Funny comments by Don Imus who was 400% with Bush on this war till about a month ago. This is from his radio show this morning (he has over 10 million listeners across US):

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"We should transfer power back to Saddam rather than that Challabi. Now that it's confirmed that Saddam had nothing to do with AQ or OBL or the nukes, we should just apologize to him saying we screwed up, say sorry about his kids and hand him back the keys to Iraq  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> . We perfectly understand all those mass graves and the a tough job keeping these jihadi nuts in their place. Here's the keys to Baghadad, we are sorry for the mix up, Saddam you do what you have to - lets's get out of here  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> "
Should India send its troops to Iraq post June 30 when, ostensibly, the country will be governed by the Iraqis themselves?

I think they should but with certain conditions...(will explain my thoughts shortly).
This issue was discussed at a length on BR sometime back - say Jun/Jul of last year. At that time several including moi having bought the snakeoil had a 'maybe' opinion on Indian forces in Iraq. Given the recent events, I really doubt anyone still making a case for sending Indian forces to Iraq - though I'd be interested in knowing Reggie's reasons (corrector could kick in then <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo--> ). We should wait and watch as to what the other nations - especially like those on US dole are up to at this point.

Post edited later...
<b>Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force</b>

2 hours, 3 minutes ago Add U.S. National - AFP to My Yahoo!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior Republican lawmaker said that deteriorating security in Iraq (news - web sites) may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft.

"There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future," Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq.

"Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?" Hagel said, arguing that restoring compulsory military service would force "our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face."

The Nebraska Republican added that a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata.

"Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class," he observed.

The call to consider a imposing a draft comes just days after the Pentagon (news - web sites) moved to extend the missions of some 20,000 of the 135,000 US troops in Iraq.

Some critics of the US-led occupation complain that military planners used too few troops to subdue Iraq, and insist that more military muscle will be needed to restore order.

The US-led military coalition was put under further strain by the announcement this week by coalition members Spain and Honduras that they would withdraw their military contingents from Iraq.

Meanwhile, witnesses at the hearing, including academics and former US officials, expressed concern about ongoing flareups of violence in Iraq this month -- the bloodiest yet for US troops.

"I think it's clear that pressures in Iraq have reached the boiling point," said Samuel Berger, national security adviser during the Bill Clinton (news - web sites) administration, who called for an increase in troops there, and a "genuine, non-grudging effort to internationalize the enterprise in Iraq, both military and civilian."

"We've got to be prepared to give up our hammerlock on decision making in exchange for genuine burden sharing."

Richard Perle, a former White House adviser who currently serves as a fellow at a conservative think tank, advised against adding troops or extending the date of handover of Iraqi sovereignty beyond the currently-set June 30 date.

"It is essential that we not delay the handover of sovereignty set for the end of June, even if there is continuing violence by those who know they have no place in a decent, democratic Iraq," he said.

Perle also warned against entrusting the United Nations (news - web sites) with the post-occupation administration of Iraq, saying UN involvement should be kept at "an absolute minimum."

"A large UN contingent in Iraq ... would do more harm than good," Perle said.

"It would discourage the assumption of sovereignty by Iraqis themselves. It would drain resources urgently needed for the development of Iraq's economy," Perle said.

A senior Democrat meanwhile, lashed out at the White House for failing to send a top administration official to appear before the panel.

"I think it is outrageous that the administration has not provided every witness we've asked for," said Senator Joseph Biden, the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee.

"The fact that they are not prepared to send a witness means that they are either totally incompetent and they don't have anything to tell us ... or they're refusing to allow us to fulfill our constitutional responsibility" of congressional oversight, Biden said.

The committee's Republican chairman, Richard Lugar, also slammed the White House for "inadequate planning and communication related to Iraq."
<b>Poland planning pull-out of troops from Iraq</b>

Poland is planning to withdraw its troops from Iraq in the coming months, dealing another blow to the US-led coalition forces there.

The revelation yesterday by a senior government adviser that Poland's 2,500 soldiers would leave Iraq comes just a day after the new Spanish Prime Minister, Mr José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, announced the pull-out of Spanish troops "as soon as possible
More carnage Do we really need our troops in this hell-hole.

Added later: Thread to merged with regular India Iraq thread.
<b>Pak considering US request to send troops to Iraq: Kasuri</b> <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Iraq runs into Delhi wall
New Delhi, April 22: A visit by Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zabari has been called off due to lack of response from India.

The proposed visit could have allowed Delhi to get back on the radar screen of the new Iraqi administration which continues to believe that India’s sympathies lie with Saddam Hussein.

India is one of the few nations that has traditionally had good relations with Iraq. But its links were snapped with the ouster of Saddam and the end of his Baathist regime.

The US and its coalition partners who are helping it stabilise Iraq have naturally become the new players in Baghdad.

But countries like Russia, France, Germany and China, which have not joined the US coalition, have been making a serious effort to establish relations with the new order in Iraq.

As a result, an Iraqi delegation visited Pakistan and China last month to a warm welcome. But India seems to be watching developments there without a clear-cut policy on how to deal with the new Iraq regime.

Attempts are being made to discuss new dates for Zabari’s visit — after a new government is in place here — but many feel Delhi may have lost an important opportunity.

Last year R.M. Abhayankar, secretary in the foreign ministry, visited Iraq and held discussions with several senior officials of the interim governing council, including Zabari. The secretary had invited the foreign minister to visit India.

Accordingly, the countries agreed on April 24 to 26 as tentative dates for the visit, but subsequently India did not firm up the dates. It even suggested it would be better if Zabari visited after the elections.

Sections in the foreign ministry said even if Zabari did not get to meet top leaders during the elections, he would surely have got to interact with foreign secretary Shashank and other South Block officials.

They argued that India, which is losing its importance in Iraq, could have used the visit to ensure that the new Baghdad dispensation continues to count on Delhi during its reconstruction phase.
Spoils of war
Reggie: You might have listen to this using real player - I follow it on radio. Yesterday's broadcast (Apl 22) had a segment as to how the MNC goons (as some people like to refer them) are screwin8 their own tax payers and soldiers. Think any other nation stand a chance?

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