04/01/2008

US Elections 2008: wich future for Iraq?

At the dawning of the year 2008, the media offered their share of retrospectives and fireworks, but they also paid special attention to the first round of which will represent the topic of the year 2008: the American elections .

What interests the rest of the world in this event, it is not the new public policies offered by the various candidates, but their foreign policy and in particular the fate they intend reserve to Iraq.

This year, Baghdad was in a festive mood to pass midnight on the 31st, which helped to underline the weak but real progress in terms of security in the Iraqi capital. But do not thank Bush’s Iraq policy because the violence is persistent and the number of deaths has actually increased by one hundred compared to the 2006 census. Will this figure grow again in the future? What can we hope from the American elections planned for this year?

What reassures above all in the agendas of presidential candidates whether Democrat or Republican, is the distance they intend to take with their predecessor. But there are still differences between the parties and even between candidates of the same party.

For Democrat candidates, one thing is important: to restore the image of America around the world. To this purpose, and to end the war in Iraq, Obama, Clinton and Edwards are committed to withdraw all American troops from Iraq, and this at the beginning of their terms. Of course all three agree that it is necessary to take measures to stabilize the country in parallel with the withdrawal. With regard to Iraq, it should be noted that Hillary occupies an awkward position among Democrats because she supported the American intervention in 2003.

From the Republican side, we can not really talk about a break with Bush’s policy, even if no candidate is the continuation thereof. Their common characteristic: they are considering Iraqas part of the wider war against terrorism. In contrast, while Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney or John McCain provide for a continuation of troops, but a change of strategy in order to achieve victory, Mitt Romney is getting nearer from the Democrats positions taking aim the withdrawal of the troops and a stabilized Iraq.

Only the final step in November 2008 will determine what will be the new Iraqi policy of the White House. The first caucus in Iowa has been marked by the victory of Barack Obama for the Democrats and Mike Huckabee for the Republicans, but the race for the presidency remains open at this stage.

N.J.O.