The London Times is claiming :
American and Iraqi officials have set a date for giving Iraq’s forces responsibility for security across the country. Under a plan to be presented to the UN Security Council next month, the Iraqi Government would assume authority from coalition troops by the end of next year.
Only hours after Donald Rumsfeld was replaced as US Defence Secretary, American, British and Iraqi officials spoke openly about accelerating the handover process.
Baghdad made clear that it would use the Democrat victory in congressional midterm elections to push President Bush for concessions. Confidants of Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, said that they hoped defeat would make Mr Bush more open to ideas that he had previously rejected.
Maliki has made it clear, recently, that he wants Iraq back in control of the Iraqis as soon as possible, not a decade or two into the future. But Bush Co. has resisted, telling the Iraqis they are not secure enough yet to be given control of the world's second largest supply of oil.
Bush himself said, just before the mid-term elections in the US, that it was too soon for the Iraq government to be handed full control of its Army and oil because terrorists might then use the oil as a way of blackmailing the West.
If Bush Co. refuses to give back control of Iraq to its democratically elected government, and its Army, then there will be a new phase of the war even uglier than what is happening there now. This would be the point where the 'War On Iraq' fully spills out into a regional war pulling in Iran, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.
Should Bush Co. continue to refuse to give control of Iraq to the Shiite dominated Iraqi government, we may very likely see the Iraqi Army, backed by Iran, going to war against the US/Coalition forces.
This would be the point when Bush Co. turns to the Sunni Resistance, who would then pull their allies Syria into the fight to battle the combined and united Shiite forces.
Despite dominating the Iraqi government, and ruling Iran, the Shiites are actually a minority in the greater Middle East region. It is the Sunnis who remain the most powerful tribal bloc, with the mega-wealth of the Saudis amongst their masses.
Yeah, well it isn't going to get any less confusing in the next twelve to eighteen months.
We will see, soon enough, whether it was ever the intention of Bush Co. to hand control of Iraq, and its estimated 200 billion barrels of unpumped oil wealth, back to the Shiite dominated people of Iraq.
This war is far from over.
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