Sunday, July 11, 2004

A changing dynamic in Iraq

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Iraq's Rebellion Develops Signs of Internal Rift
The establishment of the sovereign government may have set in motion a subtle but real shift in perceptions among some Iraqi rebels. Some argue that Mr. Allawi's Baathist past — he was a hard-liner before he ran afoul of Mr. Hussein — is swaying some former Baathists toward loyalty to the new government.

A separate article describes the return of jihadi to Saudi Arabia -- from Iraq.

I've wondered what deals were done to get Sistani to accept Allawi. Bush was right to stick to the transition date (one decision I never criticized -- because I agreed with it). If the Kurds and Shias can live with Allawi, then he's the key to reassuring the Sunni. The next step to watch is what Allawi does with Falluja. By focusing on "foreigners" there he seems to be preparing for an attack.

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