By Patrick Cockburn
"Iraq is disintegrating faster than ever. The Turkish army invaded the north of the country last week and is still there. Iraqi Kurdistan is becoming like Gaza where Israel can send in its tanks and helicopters at will.
The US, so sensitive to any threat to Iraqi sovereignty from Iran or Syria, has blandly consented to the Turkish attack on the one part of Iraq which was at peace.....
....American success in reducing the level of violence over the last year has happened precisely because Iraqis are so divided. The Sunni Arabs of Iraq were the heart of the rebellion against the American occupation. In fighting the US forces, they were highly successful. But in 2006, after the bombing of the Shia shrine at Samarra, Baghdad and central Iraq was wracked by a savage civil war between Shia and Sunni.....The Shia won this civil war. By the end of 2006 they held threequarters of Baghdad. The Sunni rebels....decided to end their war with US forces. They formed al-Sahwa, the Awakening movement, which is now allied to and paid for by the US.
....The former anti-American guerrillas have largely joined al-Sahwa. The Shia majority, for its part, is determined not to let the Sunni win back their control of the Iraqi state. Power is more fragmented than ever......
This lack of allies may not be so immediately obvious in Baghdad and central Iraq because both Shia and Sunni are willing and at times eager to make tactical alliances with US forces. But in the long term neither Sunni nor Shia Arab want the Americans to stay in Iraq. Hitherto the only reliable American allies have been the Kurds, who are now discovering that Washington is not going to protect them against Turkey......."