It’s becoming obvious now that most of the regional powers including Arab countries as well as many former Ba’ath leaders began to realize that defeating America and pro-democracy Iraqis is not a reasonable objective anymore and that’s why they are making steps to join and/or support the political process. This came in the form of lowering the ceiling of their demands from an immediate withdrawal of coalition forces to setting a timetable for the process and this is what we’re hearing from the hardcore Sunni parties and people who speak for the Iraqi militant groups and in the Arab League’s attempts to host a reconciliation meeting.
The previous two and a half years lacked such moves and their appearance at this stage indicates that these opposition parties and Arab policy makers are getting tired of armed confrontation with the Iraqi and US forces since this confrontation hasn’t done them any good.
Maybe the most significant recent statement in this regard is the one made by Egypt’s foreign minister when he said that US forces presence in Iraq is necessary to “stabilize the country” and warned that a civil war could erupt if these troops leave now.
Such a statement lead us to the conclusion that countries like Egypt are no longer placing their money on the armed insurgency. And I really think they were forced to make this change in attitude because Iraq now is less than a month away from electing its first permanent (4 year term) government and the situation is no longer representing a temporary or transitional phenomenon but rather a solid transformation that began to take shape.
However, there are still some elements that have different goals of course but they all think that they can reach these goals through pushing America to leave Iraq; I’m talking about elements like Asad, al-Qaeda and Murtha.
In spite of the differences, neither is following logic and we do need to work on changing their minds (each in a different suitable way).
I can’t imagine why Mr. Murtha said something like “is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region”.
It is really strange when a US representative says something like this few weeks after the elected Iraqi government demanded from the UN to extend the mission of coalition forces for another year; apparently my government (and I) do not think that US military presence is harmful for us and the Arab League also thinks that an immediate withdrawal would be disastrous for Iraq and the region.
And correct me if I’m wrong but I think I heard a few days ago that the US senate rejected a law that demanded setting a timetable for troops withdrawal (58 vs. 40, right?) let alone an immediate one.
However, I agree with Mr. Murtha that some people in Iraq would benefit from an immediate withdrawal but that would be al-Qaeda and there are also countries in the region that would benefit from that too but these would be Syria and Iran!