Snapshot Thoughts: August 2007: Archives

August 23, 2007

A Light Cross genre: Front and Center & Snapshot Thoughts

Cathedral In Paris - 2004
Is A "Light" Cross Easier To Carry?

Daniel DiRito | August 23, 2007 | 9:29 PM | link | Comments (1)
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August 9, 2007

Iran's Ahmadinejad & Iraq's Al-Maliki Hold Hands genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Snapshot Thoughts

Trite as it may sound, a picture is, on occasion, worth a thousand words...and the following picture may best tell the story of the Bush administrations miscalculations with regards to Iraq and our efforts to establish a democracy that is friendly to America in the troubled Middle East.

While the U.S. backed government in Iraq may be on friendly terms with the United States, the picture also reminds us that reality requires Iraq and Iran to find common ground. The Bush administration's difficulty with this inevitability likely contributes to our inability to craft or coerce a political remedy to the Iraqi crisis.

From The Washington Post:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, facing deepening political woes at home and U.S. criticism for lack of progress in bridging sectarian divisions, won pledges of support from Shi'ite Iran during a visit to the neighboring country.

With Shi'ite Muslims now also in power in Baghdad, ties have strengthened between the two oil-rich states since 2003, when U.S.-led forces toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab who waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

"Iran fully backs Iraq's popular government... Iraq's biggest problem is the presence of American forces there," Iran's most powerful figure, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as telling Maliki in the holy city of Mashhad by the official IRNA news agency.

Maliki described his talks in Iran as "successful," his office said in a statement issued in Baghdad.

Iranian media said the two sides had planned to sign security agreements, but few details were released about any concrete results apart from Iranian promises to help provide fuel to Iraq during the winter and with building a refinery.

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At the same time, President Bush issued a warning that Iran would face consequences for arming the insurgents in Iraq. The fact that the Iraqi government and Iran are both Shiite regimes seems to suggest that Iran and the al-Maliki government must share similar goals...a reality that seems destined to impact any eventual political resolution amongst the different sectarian factions in Iraq.

Frankly, I'm not sure how al-Maliki can succeed. He has the U.S. demanding that he compromise with his sectarian opponents in order to achieve a functional government...his own sectarian followers in Iraq are opposed to many of the compromises sought by the United States...and he has the Iranians looking to exert influence and assure a Shiite dominated government in Iraq.

If he appeases the U.S., he will lose favor with his fellow Shiites and Iran...if he appeases the Sunni opposition, he will likely lose the next election...if he courts the Iranians and holds fast to Shiite goals, the sectarian violence will continue and the U.S. effort to secure the country will face ongoing obstacles.

Senator Joe Biden has argued for well over a year that the only solution is to partition the country around the three sectarian factions and establish some loose national alliance. As I read and decipher the meaning of the latest meeting between Iraq and Iran along with reviewing al-Maliki's untenable situation, it is hard to imagine a more plausible resolution.

It is even more frustrating to know that the current dynamics were predictable well before the U.S. invasion. Further, the assumption that years of sectarian conflict would magically evaporate with the toppling of Saddam was little more than fantasy.

My sarcastic side wants to know when Dick Cheney plans to walk the streets of Baghdad and retrieve all of the flowers that were tossed at the feet of the American liberators.

Ahmadinejad And al-Maliki

Tagged as: Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iran, Iraq, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nouri al-Maliki, Sectarian Conflict

Daniel DiRito | August 9, 2007 | 3:36 PM | link | Comments (1)
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August 3, 2007

Unity genre: Front and Center & Snapshot Thoughts

Store signage in Paris - 2004
Does Being Born With A Left And Right Brain, Both Sharing The Same Space, Indicate That Unity Is An Innate Understanding?

Daniel DiRito | August 3, 2007 | 10:34 PM | link | Comments (0)
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