debkafile Exclusive: Saddam Hussein’s execution was a stage in the newly-crafted Iraq strategy Bush has promised to unveil in the New Year

The strategy, already in the works, was first revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 283, Dec. 22. It hinged on the cooperation of two key national religious figures: the most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and the Sunni cleric with the most influence on the Sunni Arab insurgency and the Baath, Sheik Hares al-Dari, head of the Sunna Scholars Council. The plan as conceived by the US president is not contingent on engaging either Iran or Syria.
The next stage, possibly the toughest, is to bring a form of stability and security to Baghdad, for which an infusion of troops will be required, followed by the partition of Iraq into three semi-autonomous Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni regions. Baghdad will serve as the federal capital. Its key role will be the administration of Iraq’s oil resources. Oil revenue will be distributed equitably to all three regions by a higher oil authority, whose members will not be Iraqis but Iraqi federal government appointees backed by the national army.
These arrangements which depend largely on the continuing cooperation of the two clerics are intended to pave the way for the orderly exit of US forces from Iraq.
(Picture: US soldiers in the northern oil city of Kirkuk. Under the new Bush plan, US units will control the oil city and its oil fields to fend off a Kurdish grab)

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