The papers are saying that the President is working to come up with a new approach. I believe that he's found it. I think what he's going to do is support the Shiite in their war against the Sunni. Why do I say this? It's pretty easy to figure out. We can't stop the sectarian violence and we can't get the Sunni side to come to the table and talk. The Shiites are winning anyway and it's always better to side with the winning team. This "Islamic Nation of Iraq" that the Sunni's proclaimed last week is getting press coverage and that looks as if it is being pushed by the American side. The problem with this option of "taking a side" (and this is exactly what we are doing), is that the Saudi government who support the Sunni's are talking about building a nuclear weapon of their own, and supporting the Sunni's if America pulls out of Iraq. That in itself is an indicator that the Saudi Government has been told of this new development.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Shiite cleric that supports parliamentary democracy, and Moqtada Sadr, the Commander of the Mahdi Army, are locked in a power struggle for control of the Shiite community. While not openly at war, both are rivals. The Mahdi Army has not fired on American troops, not as a matter of policy anyway. I believe that Bush believes that American support for the Shiite side would leave the American forces in Iraq free to take back Baghdad and put down the Sunni uprising in the Anbar Province, and with the help of the Mahdi Army, will seem to put Iraq back under the rule of law and therefore gain support from Americans that are desperate to see some progress. I think the fleet is there to warn Iran to keep out of this.
The "surge" of forces that General Casey was against, but this morning seems that he is now "for", I believe is because of Arm twisting by the Commander in-Chief. The Commander of Central Command, the command that oversees the Iraqi war effort, General Abazaid, is stepping down, and General Casey is now on his own. The option of remaining adamantly opposed to a surge in force is really no option at all. The General Staff do not do so well on their Officer Evaluation Reports once they have locked horns with a President.
I could very well be wrong about everything I've written here. although I haven't been wrong on anything I've written about this War yet. It's not like I have any crystal ball either. It just makes sense from a Bush win-at-any-cost point of view. To hell with what we will end up with; an Iraqi dictatorship with Moqtad Sadr and his Mahdi Army running Iraq. The question is, are we willing to embrace that as an outcome? It looks as if that question has been answered.
So while this might bring a semblance of peace to this war ravaged nation, after 3000 American dead, and over 600,000 Iraqi dead, all we have managed to do is swap dictators and Muslim Sects, a sect that is closer spiritually if not politically, with Iran. What are we getting in return? That is something only George W. Bush or someone close to him is able to answer. I know this though, if it's anything like other deals that have been made by this President, It might not be in America's best interests, but it will be in the best interests of George W. Bush. You can count on that.