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End State: The face of "Victory in Iraq"

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Moqtada al-Sadr
Good News/Bad News. The good news is that we have entered the “End Game” of our military involvement in Iraq. The bad news is that the man making the closing moves on the chessboard is Moqtada al-Sadr, likely future leader of Iraq, and the face of “Victory in Iraq” as defined by United States policy. To be clear, this is a prediction and not a preference. I dearly hope to be wrong about this. Few in the U.S. would be happy about a Moqtada al-Sadr led Iraq. Nevertheless, it may be the best least bad outcome that we can expect and, believe it or not, is completely consistent with the administration’s continually evolving definition of “Victory.â€Â? Make no mistake, al-Sadr is a consummate politician. Like Republicans railing against “defeatocrat” Democrats, like Democrats railing against “war-mongering” Republicans, al-Sadr will rail against the “The Great Satan” America to play to his base of support. And like Republicans and Democrats, he will work with his opponents to achieve his personal ambitions for power. I’ll return to why I think an al-Sadr “End State” is a likely outcome later, but first we need to talk about some words. Specifically the words “victory” and “defeat”, “win” and “lose”, “success” and “failure” in the context of our military involvement in Iraq. […]

Long post continues and continues and continues at “Divided We Stand, United We Fall”