By Pepe Escobar
"Even by George W Bush logic, "the terrorists" and Iran won the battle of Basra. In the north of Iraq, though, the pieces are falling into place for an alliance between the United States, Israel and a "greater Kurdistan". If only the pesky Iraqi nationalist Sunnis and Shi'ites don't get in the way.
......The battle for Kirkuk and Mosul holds its own riddle; its outcome will determine how a knocked out Iraq will eventually perish, partitioned among Sunni Arabs, Shi'ites and Kurds.
Who will profit from it? Ayman el-Amir, writing last year in Egypt's al-Ahram Weekly, has come to as good a conclusion as any. The winner, according to him, will be Israel. Low-intensity civil war is already on - in fact multiplying itself into Shi'ite-Shi'ite civil war, such as in Basra, or Sunni Arab-Kurdish civil war, such as the battle for Kirkuk and Mosul.
Israel would like nothing better than a proxy war in Iraq pitting Iran and its Arab allies against Sunni Arab US allies. Meanwhile, writes al-Amir, "Israel would build a political-military-economic alliance with a semi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government, with oil wealth that would be considerably enhanced by the prospect of taking over Arab Kirkuk and Mosul." Israeli interests - not to mention strategic intelligence - are already deeply entrenched in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish leaders have already demonstrated an extraordinary mobility to always strike deals with the best-positioned bidder - or with any player capable of advancing the utmost Kurdish dream, independence. As for a US-Israeli-greater Kurdistan alliance, that may still be Washington's way to achieve its own dream of a new, greater Middle East. If those pesky, enraged, realist, Iraqi nationalist Sunnis and Shi'ites don't get in the way. "