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Tuesday, 13-February-2007
Almotamar Net - Doctors use the word “crisis” to describe the point at which a patient either starts to recover or dies. President George W. Bush’s Iraqi patient now seems to have reached that point. Most commentators appear to think that Bush’s latest prescription – a surge of 20,000 additional troops to suppress the militias in Baghdad – will, at best, merely postpone the inevitable death of his dream of a democratic Iraq. Yet as “Battle of Baghdad” begins, factors beyond Bush’s control and not of his making (at least not intentionally) may just save Iraq from its doom. Almoitamar,net Project Syndicate - Doctors use the word “crisis” to describe the point at which a patient either starts to recover or dies. President George W. Bush’s Iraqi patient now seems to have reached that point. Most commentators appear to think that Bush’s latest prescription – a surge of 20,000 additional troops to suppress the militias in Baghdad – will, at best, merely postpone the inevitable death of his dream of a democratic Iraq. Yet as “Battle of Baghdad” begins, factors beyond Bush’s control and not of his making (at least not intentionally) may just save Iraq from its doom.

One key factor is that, for the first time since the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, Arab Sunni leaders are backing a US military plan for that country. These Sunni leaders live in abject fear of the geopolitical earthquake that any disintegration of political authority in Baghdad would bring, believing that all-out civil war would invariably follow – a war that would not respect international borders.

Of course, America has been encouraging Sunni leaders in this belief. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent tour of Middle East capitals helped spread the word to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states that any US failure and sudden withdrawal would be certain to destabilize them. Given the fragile grip that these leaders have over their societies, America’s warnings have been taken to heart.

But the truly curious factor that might bring success to Bush is that those who have opposed or resented America’s presence in Iraq, such as the Iranian-backed Shi’a parties now also appear to want Bush’s new strategy to succeed. They are for it because they believe it will defang Moqtada al-Sadr, the rogue Shi’a cleric whose power has mushroomed over the past three years – to the point that he now dominates much of Baghdad and holds the allegiance of countless angry young Shi’a men.

Of course, attacking Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in the name of fighting militia death squads has the potential to draw American military forces into a level of urban warfare unseen since the Falluja assaults of 2004 and 2005. Al-Sadr is seen as the protector of the Shi’a of Iraq and has an estimated 60,000 fighters in his militia. But he is deeply mistrusted by other Shi’a leaders, who fear that they may one day have to take him on by themselves. Better to let the Americans do it, though of course these Shi’a leaders prefer a slow strangulation of al-Sadr to a direct and bloody assault.

But make no mistake: how al-Sadr is handled is the big test of Bush’s new strategy. Should the US choose to face al-Sadr and his forces head on, they risk alienating Iraq’s largest sectarian community, the Shi’a, adding fuel to the anti-occupation resistance and thus probably dooming Bush to failure.

Iran and Syria, which have played a spoiler role in Iraq up to now, may also now be anxious to find a way to pull the country back from the brink. Bush still refuses to talk to either of them, and has lately been having US troops arrest Iranian agents in Iraq. Yet Iran may already see itself as victorious, with the current Iraqi government friendlier than any the Iranians have ever known. So maintaining that government in office has now become a strategic priority for Iran, particularly as it is now clear that any US hopes of using Iraq as a permanent military base are dead.

The “surge” also opens, perhaps for the first time, a serious possibility of pouring water on the insurgent fires in Anbar province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. The US has achieved relative successes in the province through alliances with Sunni tribes. The hope is that such realistic and pragmatic accommodations will be extended to Iraqis who are fighting under the banner of a nationalist and anti-occupation agenda.

So some of the stars have come into alignment for Bush. But to keep them there in the long term, the Iraqi government will need to amend the constitution in a way that appeases the Sunni community. Reassuring Iraq’s Sunnis that they have a place in the new Iraq will also reassure neighboring Sunni governments, which have mostly turned a blind eye to the support for the insurgency that has come from their lands.

Of course, should the US see failure ahead, it could seek to broaden the war beyond Iraq’s borders by attacking Iran, a policy reminiscent of “Operation Sideshow,” when US failure in Vietnam in the late 1960’s enticed President Nixon into attacking Cambodia and Laos.

But Iran has resources that Cambodia and Laos could never muster; indeed, its ability to retaliate could set the entire region ablaze. Whereas America’s war in Indochina was a tragic mistake, the cost of a wider war precipitated by the crisis in Iraq would be incomparably greater – for both the patient and the doctor.

Mai Yamani is an author and broadcaster. Her most recent book is Cradle of Islam.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2007.
www.project-syndicate.org


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Friday, 27-May-2016
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The Saudi warplanes also hit Harib-al-Qaramish area and Serwah district of Mareb province with several air raids, the official said, adding the raids caused many casualties.

Moreover, a woman was wounded when the aggression targeted Hareb-Nehm in Sana'a province with two air raids to back an attempt of the hirelings to make progress on the ground.

In Sana'a province, the Riyadh's hirelings targeted the army and popular committees' sites in Nehm district and fired tens of rockets on Mabda'a, Bani Bareq and Malh areas in the district, according to the official.


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The aggression dropped sound bombs on the sky of Harf Sufyan district of Amran province, he noted.

Meanwhile, the Saudi aggression intensified flying on the skies of the capital and its suburbs, Taiz and its coastline, Sa'ada, Hajjah, Mareb and Mahweet, Jawf provinces.
Thursday, 26-May-2016
An agreement was reached to release one thousand prisoners from both of the parties to the conflict in Yemen before the holy month of Ramadan, sources in the national delegation in Kuwait said on Thursday.

The sources explained that each party will submit a list of 500 prisoners to the United Nations next Saturday, which in turn will hand over the list of each party to the other party.
Thursday, 26-May-2016
The national delegation continued on Thursday, during a session with the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to discuss ideas and proposals relating to the transition roadmap.

In the session, the national delegation insisted on the need to form a consensus executive authority and determine the time-bound tasks and powers of the transitional phase leading to presidential and parliamentary elections.

The delegation underlined the importance of finding adequate guarantees for a political solution leads to stopping the Saudi aggression, lifting the siege, achieving peace and ending the suffering of the Yemeni people
Thursday, 26-May-2016
The Saudi war jets waged on Thursday an air raid on Harib-Nehm area in the western part of Mareb province, a local official said.

The official did not mention any details on casualties caused by the raid, condemning strongly the continuation of the Saudi aggression and its hirelings to breach ceasefire in the country
Wednesday, 25-May-2016
At least six citizens were killed and eight others were wounded in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Mareb province, a local official said Wednesday.

The official said that the hostile war jets targeted Sanoma area in Harib al-Qaramish district in the province, which led the killing of six citizens and injuring eight others.
Wednesday, 25-May-2016
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take steps to end the suffering of civilians.

The MSF demanded the parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of health facilities and their workers and give them the opportunity to do their job effectively and safely.

" The organization (MSF) does its efforts in areas that are most in need of medical and humanitarian assistance and we ask all parties to the conflict to respect our work, " MSF's official Will Turner said in a press release.

Turner confirmed that the organization will remain committed to providing health care to patients and respond to the emergency medical needs and will stand by the side of the conflict victims.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016
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Tuesday, 24-May-2016

The Saudi-led coalition warplanes waged on Tuesday three raids on Harib Nehm area western of Mareb province, in a flagrant breach to the ceasefire.

A local official said that the hostile raids came in conjunction with repulsing the aggression mercenaries who tried to advance toward Harib Nehm area.

The aggression’s hirelings crept toward al-Khaneq area and Wadi al-Namla in direction of Sanomah junction and al-Dhabiya’a area in Harib Nehm, where they were repelled by the army and popular committees and many of them were killed and injured, a military official said.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016
The Saudi warplanes waged on Monday night an air raid on civilians' houses in Harib-Nehm area in Mareb province, a local official said Tuesday.

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Tuesday, 24-May-2016
The Saudi fighter jets waged on Tuesday six air raids on different parts of Jawf province, a local official said.

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The official added the aggression also launched an air raid on Ham Mount in al-Moton district and three more on al-Masloub district targeting al-Saqiyah and al-Waqaz areas.

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