Paralysis in Iraq


I'm glad that Condi Rice and Jack Straw went to Baghdad yesterday. Add that visit to the president's remarks last week bluntly ruling out Jafaari as prime minister, and you can see how desperate London and Washington now are. They know that this is Iraq's last chance to avoid meltdown, and yet the Iraqi elites seem unable to make the small compromises necessary to save themselves and what's left of their country. Mohammed sounds ominous in his latest post:

"The situation at this point can be summed by the following:
There is a majority of politicians from various trends who want to avoid a confrontation and willing to reach a deal to form a government; those are not working hard enough though.
On the other side there are militias supported by some parties within their corresponding blocs who think they can enter an armed conflict against the rest and come out victorious.
Politicians recognize the great price that everyone will have to pay if such a terrible possibility becomes reality, there will be no winners in this conflict and every involved party will have to shoulder a share of the losses, the shares may vary though."

The civil war, in other words, has already started. There will be no political deal until that war achieves some results for one side or another. The politics and the violence will continue in tandem. And one mode of self-expression will eventually prevail.

(Photo: Franco Pagetti/Time.)