Not part of the Iraq Plan

Not that there was ever a plan for the post-war Iraq. That much has been made terribly obvious. But I bet this wasn’t how Cheney, Bush and friends anticipated things would turn out.

Iraq has signed its first major oil deal with a foreign company since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry said Saturday.

It was the first time in more than 35 years that Iraq has allowed foreign oil companies to do business inside its borders.

The contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation could be worth up to $3 billion. It would allow the CNPC to develop an oil field in southern Iraq’s Wasit province for about 20 years, Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said.

As a coworker of mine recently said. The Beijing Olympics were just as much, or maybe more, about showing the world that China was ready to be equal to, and pass, the United States in influence in the world. Russia also obviously took the opportunity to flex some long resting muscles.

The Age of America is, I think, coming to an end.

Congratulations to Iraq

There is so little good news from Iraq, this should be the top story on every newcast and blog around the world.

The Iraqi National Soccer team (The Lions) has won the Asian cup in a major upset. They beat Australia, South Korea and finally Saudi Arabia today in the final. (See the link for great pictures).

The team is made up of all Iraqis, Sunni, Shia and Kurd.

All of Iraq rejoiced today, even as bombs went off.

This is the type of thing that can truly revive a nation and allow it to remember the pride it always had.

May Iraqis revel in this victory.. and may it help them continue being strong in the face of terrible, terrible circumstances.

(It was so very special today, to see my RSS feed for Iraqi blogs, and every single one was positive and cheering… wonderful wonderful day)

Higher Education targetted in Iraq Civil War

This is courtesy of Treasure of Baghdad.

Civil war in Iraq has reached its peak. Everyday a new aspect of life dies.

After the U.S.-led occupation to Iraq, education deteriorated form its steady situation where students and professors were able to exchange knowledge despite the oppression of the former regime and the U.S.-U.N. sanctions against the Iraqi people.

Last week, a friend of mine told me that the former chair of the English Department in my university in Baghdad fled to northern Iraq. She told me he became miserable after armed men kidnapped his son, beheaded him and sent his head in a box.

In today’s edition, Azzaman newspaper reported that an “unknown group distributed leaflets to university students in Adhamiya and Yarmouk neighborhoods banning them from going to schools.” The paper added that the same group “excluded the elementary and high school students” from this campaign and “promised not to hurt them.”

….

A university professor who spoke to Azzaman on condition of anonymity said he was shocked when he saw one of the leaflets at the footstep of his house. He said fear haunted him and made him decide not to go to school fearing these groups’ threats.

….

The Higher education ministry sources did not comment on most of these incidents, Azzaman said. The source didn’t say much but told the paper that the “government promised to increase the security measures in the universities and institutes.”

I’m sure whatever the Iraq Study Group has to say tomorrow will fix Iraq right up.

and if it doesn’t, I’m sure some of Instapundits’ readers will have the solution.

At Posse Incitatus, a suggestion that we change our approach:
The key is a regional solution. We cannot wall off Iraq from the nations around it, nor should we wish to. Instead, we should be exporting Iraq to the rest of the region. This having been said, it has long been clear that the US plays by one set of rules, and its rivals use a far more effective and different set.
This needs to change.

Or maybe this!

Texas Scribbler writes:

As for Syria, why not financially undermine Baby Assad the same way we do the mullahs, in fact the whole Syrian Bathhist elite? We certainly have the means, and with Iraq drawn down to a 30,000 or so ground troop advisory effort, we’d again have the forces for outright war with Syria. The terrain there is very inviting.

How can people be this…. disconnected.. from reality.

Turkey and Iran talk about Iraq

It seems everyone is talking with everyone else about Iraq… except the two major countries with boots in the sand.

Al Jazeera reports today that the Turkish Prime Minister met with both the President and Supreme Leader of Iran to discuss trade and the security situation in Iraq.

“The main aim of this trip is to study the rapid international development, especially the sensitive situation in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and the responsibility that both nations feel in finding a solution,” state television quoted Erdogan as saying.

With massive protests by Hezbollah and anti-Siniora government forces in Beirut continuing, no doubt the two leaders had much to talk about in Tehran.

I think it is incredibly telling that the United States, Britain, and Israel have been so absent from discussions of what is going in the Middle East right now. Except when talking amongst themselves. And even when Bush showed up in Jordan, he failed to get the tri-lateral summit he had wanted between himself and the Jordanian and Iraqi leaders… and only briefly spoke with both when he got the chance.

To an outsider like me, it looks like the US and Britain have lost the attention and respect of Iraqs immediate neighbours and plans are being made to deal with the situation with or without the help or advice of the Multinational Force in Iraq.

(Update: In other news There has been an attempted assassination of Muqtada Al-Sadr. He was not hurt in the attack… but is just another clear indication that Iraq is deep into a civil-war, that Kofi Annan believes is happening as well

US/Iraqi troops flood Baghdad

Is this the last gasp before all out civil war?

Iraq seems to have continued its spiral downwards as the Israel/Hezbollah conflict distracts the MSMs attention.

35 more people were killed today at a Shiite shrine in Najaf.

Shiite religious leaders said:

“We hold Takfiris [Sunni extremists] and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime … at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible,” they said in a statement.

A Sunni insurgent group, Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba, or Soldiers of the Prophet’s Companions, claimed responsibility for the bombing in an Internet posting

This was not an action by Al Quaeda in Iraq… this was a Sunni attach against a Shia shrine.

The Iraqi Civil War is on.

The US has placed 12,000 extra troops in Baghdad, unfortunately, they did it at the expense of security in places like Mosul, which have now seen increased violence.

The lack of fuel, in an oil rich country, is also causing demonstrations and protests.

And to think… some Americans (and others) think Bush should launch a war against Syria and Iran… before they even get a handle on their current war.

Luckily, the tide has finally turned for Americans on the Iraq war… CNN reports that 60 percent of Americans do not support the Iraq War… and 48 percent think the war is not winnable or the US simply won’t win it.