Friday, July 18, 2008

Truth, No Stranger Than Fiction

Okay, the epic battle of crass New York operators Guiliani and Clinton never materialized, but at least I imagined this much:

And yes, Iraq was, finally, united. The always precarious alliance between erstwhile insurgent Sunni groups and US forces had run its course, a casualty of its own success as the foreign element all but disappeared. In its absence the Sunnis, recognizing their most realistic hope was not to regain control of the nation as a whole but perhaps, over the long run, retain influence where their numbers allowed, reconciled themselves. Shi'ites, tired of the occupation and realizing accommodation with the Sunnis might be their best means of removing any pretense of its necessity, and that some sort of accord was ultimately required nonetheless, were reaching out in the sort of political reconciliation that had been so elusive since Saddam's ouster. Equilibrium had been reached between the sects through the now complete process of ethnic cleansing and separation; things had run their course. Thus the two sides seemed to turn to the American occupation and ask in unison, why? The struggle now was between the two main Shi'ite factions for dominance in the south.

Opposition to the statement of understanding of the previous year between Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and the United States, outlining a permanent US military presence in the country and now being offered as legislation, was nearly universal. Maliki, almost completely without allies within Iraq and thus utterly dependent on the US, attempted to enact the agreement by executive order following a walk-out of nearly half the Iraqi parliament. The opposition surprised him and the US by calling for nationwide strikes and protests until the United States agreed to the rapid withdrawal of all military forces. The Iraqi democratization project was coming along alright; Iraq had discovered organized civil disobedience.
Which sounds a bit like this. Of course Maliki, like Rudy and Hillary, isn't cooperating either.

I really should get back on that fictional history. It's just hard to outdo reality these days.

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