By William Markiewicz

and al-Maliki stopped believing the Americans. Therefore, Iraq’s declaration to the US – “Go anytime” – is, in reality, an urgent invitation: ‘Go away as soon as possible.’ Before that, Iraqi politicians urged the population to arm themselves and this was very little commented on in the press. For the first time the Iraqi government shows its fear of the insurgency, perhaps triggered by recent events in Pakistan. For the first time, perhaps, al-Maliki stopped dreaming of the victory to come as Karzai may stop believing in victory over the Taliban. After the American departure, we may see spectacular and surprising attempts of the Iraq and Afghanistan governments to negotiate with the insurgency. It may be too late for them as the insurgents become more and more sure of their final victory.

Looking a little bit further, Israel may also miss its opportunity to become less rigid in negotiations with al Fatah. It is a true benediction for Israel that al Fatah and Hamas war with each other and there is no better support Israel can give to al Fatah than to conclude a quick quick quick peace. Americans can swallow the defeat in Central Asia; Israel has nowhere else to go.

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