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Iraq: Situation Normal - Fragile and Reversible

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Former Senator Gravel blasts Bush during lively television debate on Iraq

Analysts and media oped writers have spent the past couple of days dissecting and digesting the Iraq War Report Card presented by US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and his State Department sidekick, Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

Perhaps the two most significant points that those who watched the testimony will remember are: No plans for a troop withdrawal for the time being; and Iran is to blame for everything that has gone wrong.

The testimony also contrasted sharply with earlier statements by President George W. Bush and General Petraeus about how “astonishingly normal things have become in Baghdad.” One of course has to speculate on what benchmark of normalcy Washington is working to.

At the time of writing, a correspondent colleague of the author had just described by MSN a mad dash out of the Sadr City district of Baghdad after a firefight exploded not ten feet from where she and other journalists were standing. The word “normalcy” did not feature in her description of events.

Coming as it does against this dramatic increase in violence in Baghdad and elsewhere, the Petraeus/Crocker testimony paints a very odd picture of normalcy; one that in their words is “fragile and reversible.”

In fact, with the exception of rhetoric filled speeches from Bush himself, the one word we rarely, if ever hear, is that the road to peace, democracy and stability in Iraq is “irreversible.”

Appearing on PressTV’s political discussion program, Middle East Today, former Senator Mike Gravel said what struck him the most was the repeated reference to “fragile and reversible.”

“Obviously the tactic of bribing the Sunni warlords will fail the minute we stop bribing them. And then of course the cowardly act of blaming Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki for the failure in Basra, of saying it was all his initiative, when we were totally complicit.”

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British journalist currently based in Tehran, Iran.
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