Denis Campbell: Ironic that Egypt’s pro-democracy demonstrators fought and freed a nation from a brutal dictator in 18 Days, yet in just 1 less day’s length 3,400 people in Camp Ashraf may be condemned to die in the middle of the Iraqi desert because of apathy and inaction.
Denis Campbell: Now the worry is 3,400 people in the Iraqi desert will also be let down because no matter how hard they try, their voices are constantly lost in a sea of “more important” news.
Ivan Eland: The U.S. occupation has grown so unpopular in Iraq that those same receptive Iraqi politicians, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, are scared to publicly advocate a long-term U.S. military presence.
Gareth Porter: The big question looming over U.S.-Iraqi negotiations on a U.S. military presence after 2011 is what game Shi’a leader Moqtada al-Sadr is playing on the issue.
Ivan Eland: Most analysts believe that the U.S. government will renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any new Iraqi government—making the heroic assumption that there is a new Iraqi government by next year—to leave some forces permanently in that country.
Ivan Eland: Although the Iraqi constitution creates a fairly decentralized state, the most worrisome development for Iraqi unity is Barzani’s increasing demands. Barzani’s electoral gains—and because of Iraq’s post-election political stalemate, his ability to be a king-maker in selecting Iraq’s next prime minister—make him and the Kurds more strident in their quest for autonomy, or maybe even independence, and to grab the ethnically-mixed but oil-rich city of Kirkuk.