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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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Monday, 21-July-2014
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Sunday, 20-July-2014
The Presidential decree No. 43 for 2014 was issued on Sunday on the regulation of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

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Saturday, 19-July-2014
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi sent on Friday a cable of condolences to King Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku of Malaysia, following Thursday's crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine.

Hadi in the cable offered his deep condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and people of Malaysia.
Friday, 18-July-2014
Yemen and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding included providing support worth $ 500 million to improve the food security in Yemen.

The memorandum of understanding signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Mohammed al-Saadi and the WFP representative in Yemen Bishaw Parajuli stipulated the allocation of the support to help about six million Yemenis to face the challenges of food scarcity and food insecurity.
Thursday, 17-July-2014
Gunmen have attacked a post office in Hadramout province, killing a security man and looting over 1.6 million rials.

Director General of Post Office of Hadramut valley and desert ,Ibrahim Ba-shuaib, explained to Saba that 12 militants riding a car stormed on Tuesday evening the post office in Hura town after they fired at the office guard who died immediately.
Tuesday, 15-July-2014
A UN survey shows over 40 % of the Yemeni population still struggle for food, UNICEF said on Tuesday.

The survey's preliminary findings indicated that over 10 million Yemenis don't know where their next meal will come from, while around five million people were found to be severely food insecure, suffering from levels of hunger where external food assistance is generally required.

The Comprehensive Food Security Survey also shows that the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under the age of five is beyond the international
Tuesday, 15-July-2014
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi received on Monday the Director of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) office in Sana'a Sa'ad al-Arifi.

The nature of bilateral relations between Yemen and the GCC at various levels were discussed at the meeting along with the latest developments on the ground.

Hadi at the meeting expressed his thanks and appreciation to the efforts of the GCC's Countries and their support to Yemen at various circumstances and at different arenas.
Monday, 14-July-2014
The Group of Ten Ambassadors condemned on Monday the violence that has occurred in Amran and its surrounding areas.

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The Group called on all parties to cease armed conflict that has claimed and continues to claim Yemeni lives. The Group stressed that the Houthis, militias affiliated with political parties, and all armed groups and parties involved in the violence, must stop the fighting, respect all cease-fire agreements they all have committed to, especially that of June 22nd, withdraw from Amran, and turn over weapons to authorities loyal to the national government.
Saturday, 12-July-2014
President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has chaired a meeting with Defense Minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, Chief of staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal along with a number of military leaders..

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Friday, 11-July-2014
The Republican decree No. 111 for 2014 was issued on Thursday appointing officials at Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology as follows:

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