Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Iraq, the unraveling (XXXV): Pepe’s prediction and more

Many threads to ravel together: Writing in Asia Times Online, Pepe Escobar gives the bottom line on recent auction action in the Iraqi oil industry: What the early 2010s will definitely see is the rise of a relatively wealthy, Shi’ite-controlled Iraq friendly with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. (I loves me the interweb: On the other ...

ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images
ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images
ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images

Many threads to ravel together:

Writing in Asia Times Online, Pepe Escobar gives the bottom line on recent auction action in the Iraqi oil industry: What the early 2010s will definitely see is the rise of a relatively wealthy, Shi'ite-controlled Iraq friendly with Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

(I loves me the interweb: On the other hand, a quick search shows that Pepe was the guy who wrote from Peshawar in, oh, August 2001 (!) that Osama bin Laden was washed up and the United States was paying too much attention to him and to al Qaeda, which he said was "in tatters.") 

Many threads to ravel together:

  • Writing in Asia Times Online, Pepe Escobar gives the bottom line on recent auction action in the Iraqi oil industry:

What the early 2010s will definitely see is the rise of a relatively wealthy, Shi’ite-controlled Iraq friendly with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

(I loves me the interweb: On the other hand, a quick search shows that Pepe was the guy who wrote from Peshawar in, oh, August 2001 (!) that Osama bin Laden was washed up and the United States was paying too much attention to him and to al Qaeda, which he said was "in tatters.") 

  • And Maliki was in Cairo today, which is interesting because the Egyptian government lately has become quite vocal about its worries about growing Iranian interference in Yemen and other parts of the Arab world. Let’s see what comes out of this meeting.
  • Meanwhile, there are more complaints that Sunni Awakening groups are being screwed by the Baghdad government. From a report by the AP’s Brian Murphy:

We have no [Awakening] checkpoints in the area anymore," said Sheik Shebib, who leads Awakening militias in the Arab Jabour area just south of Baghdad. "Now, al Qaeda is coming back and we are feeling more and more powerless."

  • And a Shiite cleric is warning of a creeping Baathist takeover.

(HTs to John McCreary’s NightWatch and FP ‘s Blake Hounsell)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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