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Security, Reconciliation in Iraq Are Irreconcilable

By       Message Nicola Nasser     Permalink
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Without reconciliation, all the gains .. will be at grave risk of foundering when American troops are no longer around.

That's the warning message that U.S. President Barak Obama, the present and immediate past U.S. ambassadors, Christopher R. Hill and Ryan C. Crocker, and the present and former American military commanders, Gen. Ray Odierno and Gen. David H. Petraeus have been repeatedly saying. "What Mr. Obama would do if chaos set in as the American troop withdrawal gathers momentum next spring and summer could be one of the most testing moments in his presidency, all the more so for the evident fact that most Americans and most American legislators .. seem to have decided that America has already borne the burdens of Iraq for too long and needs to shift its priorities to Afghanistan," according to John F. Burns, The New York Times' chief foreign correspondent, on the ground in Baghdad before, during and after the U.S. -- led invasion.

The car bombing in a parking lot adjacent to a building where a meeting was held on reconciliation efforts -- attended by a representative of the National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) formed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki -- in the capital of the Iraqi western province, al-Ramadi, on October 11 was the latest example of the irreconcilable security and reconciliation in Iraq.

All efforts at reconciliation exerted by the U.S. occupying power, Arabs collectively through the Arab League or separately by individual Arab states, or by regional powers have failed. While Obama is seeking a tactical exit strategy from Iraq for the sake of a long term "strategic" commitment thereto, "Iraqization" of what he described as the U.S. "war of choice" on Iraq seems to be his option. A prerequisite for "Iraqization" is installing an effective "Iraqi" government in Baghdad; a prerequisite for such a government is an Iraqi national reconciliation, and here Obama's moment of truth in Iraq is racing against time.

Biden, al-Maliki Cannot Deliver

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

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