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December 13, 2006

Iraq: 'A Paradigm Shift of 1,000 Years To A New Order'

How interesting that the Iraqi national security adviser, Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie, displays far more common sense and offers a much more reasonable strategy than our own Iraq "non-Study" Group report (remember - they never actually left the Green Zone), in saying that Iraq needs more "strategic patience" from Washington to defeat terrorist violence that threatens to swarm the region if the U.S. pulls out too soon.

Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie also asked Washington and regional leaders to back his plans to give general amnesty to insurgents and militias, but warned of more violence if Al Qaeda is able to gain more power in Iraq.

"If we don't act to contain Al Qaeda, the violence will spread like hell, not only to Saudi Arabia and the GCC (Gulf Arab) countries but to Syria, Iran and beyond," al-Rubaie told the International Institute of Strategic Studies conference in the Bahraini capital.

Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings could spread to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Pakistan and India, al-Rubaie warned, naming countries with large Shiite Muslim populations.

The Iraqi national security adviser also asked the United States be patient as Iraq tries to cope with undergoing a "paradigm shift of 1,000 years to a new order."

"We in Iraq would like you to exercise some strategic patience for this paradigm shift," al-Rubaie said. "We need some time to retreat to our own quarters and develop a new identity."

He said the blame the report by the Iraq Study Group levels at Iraq for the country's insecurity is misplaced, because U.S. forces command of Iraqi troops. Al-Rubaie also asked the U.S. leadership to speed up training of Iraqi forces and quickly allow them to seize a command role.

"This is the only way to speed departure of coalition forces," he said.

He said America would appear humiliated before the Muslim world if it followed the report's conclusions and pulled out of all U.S. combat brigades by early 2008, as the report suggests.

And even more interesting is how applicable his description of what's going on in Iraq is - "a paradigm shift of 1,000 years to a new order," and how it could be used to also describe what's going on inside Islam itself. Furthermore, I'd venture to say that the parallel is no coincidence, and that much of what is going on inside Iraq is a symptom of the great turmoil and conflict within Islam - hence the great violence, both between and among, Shi'ites and Sunnis, fundamentalists and moderates.

As further evidence that this is the case (although I hate giving any credence to anything Juan Cole says - but in this case he's right), take Cole's piece, "The New Middle East Cold War: Saudi/Israel/Lebanon versus Iran/Syria/Iraq/Hizbullah," and expand the prism a bit. Cole doesn't admit to the struggle within Islam in his piece, but the scenario he paints in the ME is nothing short of a microcosm of the larger struggle emerging within Islam itself. True, other issues play a part in what we are seeing in the ME now, but we can't ignore the implications of the event of "a paradigm shift of 1,000 years to a new order" in which we are all involved in one way or another and which may require generations to resolve and complete.

Saudi Arabia urges U.S. to keep troops in Iraq - If not, neighbor may fund Sunnis in the war.

Bush Waiting For Some Help? - Quite an interesting contrast. On the one hand, Bush has put off an announcement on any new Iraq policy until after Christmas. Now we are being told that whatever the changes may be, they have mostly been decided.

Hat tip - Harry Owens

Originally posted at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at December 13, 2006 9:06 AM

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