Kitabat, Iran

Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, tells U.S.

troops in Iraq that the Iraqi government's indecision over whether to

ask the U.S. to remain a bit longer is jeopardizing plans for a 'smooth'

U.S. withdrawal, which is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2011.


Kitabat, Iraq

Iraqis Need a 'Plan B' for After America Withdraws


"A 'Plan B' is of great importance, particularly with the withdrawal of U.S. troops so imminent - despite the insightful few politicians who insist on the need to extend their stay. … An understanding of the direction we want to take and developing a capacity to forecast the dangers ahead are the first steps toward avoiding disaster."


By Atheer Al Katib


Translated By Hannah Bakheit


August 4, 2011


Iraq - Kitabat - Original Article (Arabic)

Iraq's influential Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr wants U.S. forces out as quickly as possible, but many of colleagues in and out of government disagree.

BBC NEW VIDEO: Iraq's electricity shortage becomes a topic of 'heated d ebate,' June 24, 00:01:33RealVideo

Thinking about the type of political regime Iraq will have down the road is a matter of critical importance - and for many reasons. Undoubtedly, this regime is in the grips of a crisis. It is deadlocked and therefore unable to live up to the hopes and dreams of the people, let alone ease their pain. Hence we must begin to think critically about alternatives that will avoid a descent into chaos, sectarianism and factional animosity, which none of us deny will ensue if the regime disintegrates.


Furthermore, this will give everyone an opportunity to consider what could be gained by changing course and choosing a better type of government. Even those who participate in the current regime should have an interest in this process, since they're scrambling from one severe crisis into one even more severe. Therefore, a discussion of the consequences of regime collapse - and what might take its place - might not only fend off the worst, it could even sustain the current regime. It is always wise to prepare for the worst, because, "One who thinks his options through is better than one who puts all his eggs in one basket."  


So a "Plan B" is of great importance, particularly with the withdrawal of U.S. troops so imminent [Dec. 31, 2011], despite the insightful few politicians who insist on the need to extend their stay and who argue that a U.S. withdrawal would leave a security vacuum that could bring down the government and leave us confronting unprecedented uncertainty and feeling yet more bitterness.


Many ask: why don't we seek alternatives to this political arrangement? After all, what do we have to lose when, because of this regime, we lack electricity, educational opportunities and health services; and we have little or no manufacturing, trade or security - or even a future? These facts emphasize the need to think of alternatives for ensuring a better life for Iraqis. That is to say nothing of the overwhelming chaos that would follow its collapse - chaos that will go far beyond the inconvenience of even worse essential services.



What will happen if the political process breaks down? Those benefiting from the regime warn that along with its institutions, Iraq itself will expire! On the other hand, those who feel harmed by the regime say that its death will mark the beginning of a better future. But reality is much more complicated than either of these views suggest. The majority opinion is that the regime will collapse and that the proximate causes of that collapse will to a great extent determine Iraq's new direction. 


After deep reflection, one realizes that the political system in Iraq is unfit to continue because it lacks the attributes to enable it to endure. It is incapable of self-criticism and cannot evaluate and hence improve its performance - and that's to say nothing of the unsolved legal cases and its incapacity to settle any dispute - starting with the Constitution and the crisis over Kirkuk. It can't even fill the post of defense minister. Despite all of our experience, the political paralysis is worsening and becoming more complex with every passing day. Reforming the regime from the inside would have been conceivable if tose responsible had the wisdom. But at the end of the day, agreements that were reached didn't hold up and ended in derision. If shortsightedness and a lust for domination hadn't been controlling factors, it would have been possible to leave reform to those with the political wisdom to carry it out.





Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Al-Sadr and Al-Maliki: More Shiite or Iraqi?

Kayhan, Iran: Sadrists to Take Up Arms If U.S. Remains in Iraq

Financial Times, U.K.: Maliki Gives Iran and U.S Joint Cause

Kitabat, Iraq: Letting Iraq Collapse Will Spell Disaster for U.S.

Kitabat, Iraq: 'Render Unto Caesar What is Caesar's'

Azzaman, Iraq: Iraqi Democracy Has Been 'Assassinated'

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraqis Need Patriotism, Not Americans Troops!

La Stampa, Italy: The War in Iraq: America's 'Seven Inglorious Years'

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraqis Must 'Take to Streets' to Demand a Presidential System

El Pais, Spain: U.S. Ends War it Couldn't Win; Leaves Behind Ruined Nation

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraq is Our Country!!!

The Telegraph, U.K.: Top Army Officer Warns Iraq Not Ready Until 2020

The Independent, U.K.: U.S. Troops Say Goodbye to Iraq

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Iraq is 'Half Built with the Roof Off'

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Fears Rise as U.S.-Backed Fighters Defect to al-Qaeda

Debka File, Iraq: U.S. Ends Iraq War, Leaves Two Civil Wars 'On the Boil'

Debka File, Israel: Combat Between U.S. and Iran Looms in Iraq
Kitabat, Iraq: America's 'Promise': To Leave Iraq in a State of Civil War
Kitabat, Iraq: Wake Up Iraqis!: The Americans Never Intend to Withdraw!

Kitabat, Iraq: America's War: From One Dictatorship to Another
Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Details on Scientist's Death Expose 'Zionist Jail' in Iraq

Iraq News Agency: Chalabi Tells General Odierno: 'Mind Your Business'

Iraq News Agency: U.S. 'Pullout' Resembles Israeli Retreats from Gaza


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But if the death of the regime is inevitable and only a matter of time, it would be self-defeating and humiliating to simply sit back and wait to see a repeat of April 9 [the day of the 2003 U.S. invasion]; find ourselves bowing to neighboring countries; or Iraq becoming the scene of yet another protracted civil war. An understanding of the direction we want to take and developing a capacity to forecast the dangers ahead are the first steps toward avoiding disaster. This first step is the hardest and most important, after which everything else will automatically follow. For whenever you awaken from a nightmare in which you found yourself on the edge of an abyss, you must convince yourself that you are safe from evil before being able to sleep again. We must learn from these harsh lessons and never forget them.     



The time has come to begin a serious discussion involving all levels of society about the present and future for us and our children. Let us begin a real dialogue without any preconditions or limits. Let us repeat the golden question. “What is our destiny and where are we going, for the night is black as pitch and the road is filled with obstacles?”


Let us look for a new plan for tomorrow, for a way to move forward again, for new opportunities to restore security, public services, and ways to achieve a better life. Let us endeavor to find a path other than the vicious circle that is dragging us backwards. Let us feel the danger and prepare before the devastating flood. The "Plan B" that I suggest is simply that we all begin looking for it. Maybe then, we will be guided toward the right path and just maybe, in the midst of our search, we will again find ourselves.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Aug. 13 2:43pm






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