So the fighting stops in Iraq for a day. The news says that this is a good thing; I believe them and then John Robb has the completely opposite take on events. Thing is; I believe him more than the news…
“Sadrs plan was defensive and not offensive. However, the militias were starting to take too much territory and expose themselves to airstrikes. This is an attempt to get them back into a defensive crouch.”
John Robbs Weblog: Sadr reigns in militia
The FT predicts what will happen in 2008…
FT.com / Comment & analysis / Comment – President Clinton, Google grows, $100 oil, but no US recession – this is 2008
There are a couple of intersting comments; first Iraq…
Will Iraq disintegrate?
Iraq is a broken country – broken by dictatorship, war, invasion and occupation. For most practical purposes it already has disintegrated: it can no longer properly be considered a unitary state. The best hope is a weak central government whose primary role is to allocate oil revenue on an agreed basis.
That would require a broader rapprochement in the region between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia (which is possible), and the US to bury the past and seek a diplomatic grand bargain with Tehran (which is not – at least in this last year of the Bush administration). David Gardner
Intersting that the obvious is now out in the open. Iraq no longer exists but we continue to pretend that it does.
Now to a good prediction on Sarko. The main reason that Sarko will survive is that he moves faster than the opposition can organize (he launches a debate, last nights was about the “politics of civilisation”, by the time that the opposition has decided what they think he’ll move to another subject) as long as he keeps that up he’ll survive.
Will Nicolas Sarkozy blow up?
Observing Nicolas Sarkozy governing France is a bit like watching a man striking matches in a warehouse full of fireworks: there is constant colour, noise and excitement but also a nagging fear that the whole thing might explode. His determination to reform the country’s rigid labour laws is the most likely spark. But the country’s civil service, universities and banlieues are also combustible. The French president’s impulsive foreign policy seems yet another accident foretold. That said, Mr Sarkozy has an instinctive understanding of his compatriots and a happy knack of skirting disaster. French voters elected him to change the country. He runs the most risks by taking none. There will be plenty of flashes in 2008, but none is likely to prove fatal. John Thornhill