Iraq's Leadership Gets It
In Time's "How Rumsfeld's Resignation Is Playing in Iraq" there was this tidbit:
"If the U.S. withdraws, Iran takes over — it is as simple as that," says Dr. Mehdi al-Hafed, a prominent MP from former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's secular block and one of Iraq's most respected politicians. "The Americans have to ask themselves if such an outcome is acceptable to them."I don't necessarily agree with him, I think that Syria will want to have a voice in who takes over; they are the home of the only Sunni Ba'athist regime (Saddam's old henchmen) in the area, and don't like the idea of a radical Shi'ite government in Iraq.
While no one's asking them, my guess is Syria's leaders would probably prefer a democratically elected government in Iraq than the alternative of Iran installing a proxy government. Hopefully someone in the White House is talking to them about that.
The al-Qaeda folks in Iraq seem to get the election results, and firing of Rummy also. They made some interesting statements about both, though most of the news organizations (ABC, Washington Post, NY Times) have been ignoring their comments on the election itself. Mostly, I'd guess, because their leader said the election proves America is weak, and willing to run away.
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