Monday, September 04, 2006

Dear Malanie,

I am so touched by your invitation. I am sure you meant it very seriously, as I know that Americans always mean it when they offer you something; unlike our rotten habbit of saying such things just to sound hospitable, without the slightest intention of honoring them. Although it is not practicable for me to move to the U.S. right now, nevertheless I really appreciate your compassion and decency. What a stark contrast to the behaviour of some people around here who are forcing families out of their lawful homes for no reason other than being of the "other sect" or ethnicity.
However, I and my family are well protected and looked after at the moment, although the future is not very clear. It seems probable that I might end up somewhere not very far from the U.S. eventually.
Regarding the situation in Baghdad, although we can't claim that the "enemy" has been beaten, one thing is sure: the Iraqi security forces are growing stronger and stronger, and are often blodying his nose quite painfully. It seems to me that responsibility is going to be transferred to the Iraqi side much quicker than what is being admitted in public. I don't know whether we are going to see a significant withdrawal of American forces soon, but I am sure that the nature of the role of these forces is going to undergo a subtle change. It will tend more and more towards observing and technical and logistic support, rather than direct involvement, although in some regions, such as the Anbar, this connot come soon.
The most urgent task of the moment is to combat this scourge of sectarianism, which unfortunately, Al Qaeda and the Baathists have succeeded in forcing upon us; a plan which was expressly and openly expounded, as for example in that famous letter by the defunct Zarqawi. Therefore, in principle, the goverment's strategy is in the right direction; i.e. to deal with the terrorists firmly on one hand and to push forcefully for "national reconciliation", on the other hand. The solution most certainly has to consider many aspects: technical, military, political and economic. I have definite ideas about some of these which I hope to find time to tell you about.
Thank you Malanie, and love to you and your family and to all my friends in the U.S. and may God bless you and bless America.

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