“When you are surrounded by nothing but failure, then any success you can achieve will have a magnified effect,” writes historian Bashir Nafie in an overview of Iraqi politics. His starting point is the recent announcement of a six-faction resistance alliance (the gist of which was to unite two MB-related factions with the four-faction Iraqi-Islamist Reform and Jihad grouping led by the Islamic Army in Iraq). A small step, to be sure, says Nafie.
But look at what is going on in the other camps. The initial push from the National Pact proposed by Tareq al Hashemi (for instance he talked to Sistani about it) has quickly died, the problem here being that Hashemi, for all his occasional displays of courage, refuses to see things as they are. Under foreign occupation, proposals and visions and so on will inevitably be mutually conflicting, moreover they will, each of them, benefit from only the narrowest of popular support. Proposals based on “good will” alone in these circumstances will go nowhere. There needs to be a “central political force” with broad support (and Nafie doesn’t find it necessary to spell out the obvious, namely that this includes rejecting the foreign occupation). [complete article]