U.S. can do little to stop civil war in Iraq, experts say
WASHINGTON - This is supposed to be a pivotal week for the U.S. venture in Iraq: President Bush is to meet Thursday in Jordan with Iraq's prime minister, and the blue-ribbon Iraq Study Group has begun debating its final recommendations to the White House.While Bush says that the US troops will not leave until the mission is complete the Iraqis may think that the mission for the US is complete and they are looking to Iran for help.
But does any of it matter?
Not really, according to a growing number of Middle East analysts, who say that Iraq's cascading civil war has spun out of Washington's control.
In spite of 140,000 troops on the ground the US is now irrelevant in Iraq.
If Iraq is to hold together and avoid an all-out bloodbath, they say, it will be because the country's warring factions step back from the brink and forge some sort of political compromise. That seems like a pipe dream after a weekend of the worst violence for Iraqi civilians since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.As a sign as to how irrelevant this administration has become the Washington Post reports that Cheney was summoned to Saudi Arabia.
The United States has 140,000 troops in Iraq and is spending roughly $2 billion per week on military operations, "but all of that effort doesn't really matter," said Andrew Bacevich, a Boston University professor and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
"We're not in control any longer," Bacevich said.
"There is a growing sense that both sides are attempting to move toward a civil war - they want to have a civil war - to bring closure to who will have power in Iraq," said a retired senior military officer who requested anonymity, referring to Iraq's Shiite and Sunni Muslims. "This is all about power."
Saudi Arabia is so concerned about the damage that the conflict in Iraq is doing across the region that it basically summoned Vice President Cheney for talks over the weekend, according to U.S. officials and foreign diplomats. The visit was originally portrayed as U.S. outreach to its oil-rich Arab ally.I would imagine he got an ear full.