Mr. Bush took on an almost desperate and pleading tone this week when he encouraged both Congress and the American public to give him more time to supposedly make his failed Iraq policy succeed. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Bush continues to overstate the role of Al Qaeda in Iraq as well as continuing to lower the bar for whatever is defined as "success" in Iraq.
By overstating the role of the tiny Al Qaeda organization in Iraq, Mr. Bush hopes to play on the politics of fear with the American public, many of which do not realize that this organization comprises no more than about 500 foreign fighters and about 500 domestic Iraqi Sunni radicals. Certainly in a nation of 26.7 million persons, or larger than the population of Australia and Switzerland combined, a 1,000 member organization represents no serious threat to overthrow the Shiite dominated government of Iraq by any means.
The main problem in Iraq has been a sectarian civil war unleashed since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. With only about 22% of the population, the Sunni minority isn't about to achieve power in Iraq whether through democratic elections or by a sectarian conflict. And the Shiite majority will not give up much power when the powerful Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, warns Shiite lawmakers not to do so.
Mr. Bush will simply use the politics of fear of Al Qaeda with the American public to buy enough time for some sort of a "political" victory to be declared in Iraq, similiar to the Nixon "Peace With Honor", which will be only a symbolic handover of power in Iraq, while the situation that Bush unleashed in Iraq will only continue to endanger the MidEast region and draw both Iran and Saudi Arabia in as competing forces to assert power in Iraq and the Gulf region.
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