Meanwhile, Pepe Escobar writes in the Asian Times on some possible scenarios for Iraq in the coming years. Key point:
"Several Iranian websites have widely reported a plan to break up Iraq into three Shi'ite southern mini-states, two Kurdish mini-states and one Sunni mini-state - with Baghdad as the seat of a federal government...The plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq - an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq."
America's lack of sufficient troops in the country means that the world's pathetic superpower will have to rely on Shi'ites and Kurds to fight Sunnis. The fight over oil in the north of the country rages daily. Escobar's conclusions are bleak:
"The Bush administration though is pulling no punches with Iraqification. It's a Pandora's box: inside one will find the Battle of Algiers, Vietnam, El Salvador, Colombia. All point to the same destination: civil war. This deadly litany could easily go on until 2020 when, in a brave new world of China emerging as the top economy, Sunni Arabs would finally convince themselves to perhaps strike a deal with Shi'ites and Kurds so they can all profit together by selling billions of barrels of oil to the Chinese oil majors. If, of course, there is any semblance of Iraq left at that point."
Of course, you won't read any of this here. The good man of Queensland is currently hoping that actor Sean Penn, on a journalistic project in Iran, will "prove that he's motivated by humanitarianism, however misguided, rather than anti-Americanism of the kind officially approved by Iran's rulers." God forbid Penn displays scepticism towards Bush's mission in the Middle East.