Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus/London – Washington; Battle of Baghdad Initiative Lost – Baker Study Group Recommends Iran – Syria Stabilize Iraq – Mahdi Army Controls Two Cities After US/UK Withdraw – Pattern Set
Night Watch: AMARA – Despite President George W. Bush’s insane face saving, upbeat speeches on Iraq, both London and Washington, the lost alliance, are combining their efforts to find a solution to the debacle Iraq has now become. Behind the scenes former Secretary of State James Baker has formed an Iraq Study Group (ISG), which receives constant advice and analysis from a parallel study being conducted by Britain’s Foreign Office. Contributing to the policy direction change- evacuation, is Britain’s Ambassador to Baghdad Dominic Asquith and Britain’s Ambassador to Washington Sir David Manning. Reports from the study group indicate they will actually recommend Damascus-Tehran enter the negotiations in Baghdad to help stabilize the country. It is even suspected the ISG will call for Syria-Iran to commit troops. This is an obvious admission of defeat. An acknowledgement of the regional reality London-Washington cannot control. [KURDMEDIA]
In order for London-Washington to rationalize that decision they must have convinced themselves, somehow, that Tehran-Damascus are no longer enemies but regional partners in the “New Middle East”. This is just a small example of the unreal depths their minds have fallen into and there is no reality light at the end of that unconscious tunnel. They are going to descend further before this war is over and after.
But what the ISG will never admit and are already ignoring is that we have just seen how Tehran intends to assume more obvious control over the country as the US/UK depart. Two cities that were turned over to the Iraq Army, being trained by the US/UK, are now under virtual control of the Mehdi Army led by radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Balad and Amara.
The cities were turned over two months ago with Amara located in the Shia south of the country just 90 miles north of Basra. Reuters reports that 800 gunmen of the Mehdi Army went wild after word went around that the brother of one of the senior leaders of the militia had disappeared. The police were suspected so the gunmen began to overun police stations and set up their own roadblocks.
Balad has also been the scene of heavy violence since the US/UK pullout and this is going to be the pattern as the occupation ends, which, as regular readers know, is what crossfirewar.com has been saying for quite some. The vacuum London-Washington leave behind will be filled mostly by heavily armed groups controlled by Tehran. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
In the meantime both Damascus-Tehran will be eager to join the negotiations with London-Washington-Baghdad and will try to maintain a straight face as they do so. They will pretend to be a partner in Iraq’s stability even though it is known worldwide they created the instability that has defeated the occupation. The negotiations will actually be conducted during the next wave of fighting against Israel which both Damascus-Tehran will join. A war Washington-London will try to ignore.