Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Ayatollah's killing: Winners and losers: "The one character who has everything to gain from al-Hakim's murder is young Moqtada al-Sadr, extremely respected because he is the son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr. Moqtada al-Sadr favors armed struggle - right now - and that's exactly why he would be a useful ally to both the 'Saddam network' and the jihadis. Their objective is total confrontation with the Americans - with no space for appeasers like the UN's Vieira de Mello or SCIRI's al-Hakim.

"European diplomats are very cynical about the possibility of the neo-conservatives controlling the Bush administration swallowing their pride and turning to the UN for help. Even the UN is facing a no-win situation, and the diplomats in New York and Geneva know it. In the unlikely event blue helmets were deployed in Iraq, it's practically certain they would be regarded by most of the population as the tail end of the US occupying serpent. Especially if Washington insists on not relinquishing one inch of control of the whole, disastrous operation. So this is the gift of Washington's neo-conservatives to the world: instead of a democratic Iraq, a putrid state infected by a guerrilla virus and on the verge of a devastating civil and ethnic war."

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