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Taking Sides in the 80% Solution

A couple of weeks ago, before the current brouhaha over whether or not the conflict currently raging in Iraq constitutes a civil war, Laura Rozen broke the story that some in the Bush administration were giving consideration to a strategy whereby we drop the pretense of neutrality and side with the Shiites against the Sunni insurgency.

Rozen confirmed that this "unleash the Shia" option was indeed under consideration as she dissected the Hadley memo leaked to the NY Times. And it would appear this option may be the one the Bush administration is giving considerable weight to:
The Bush administration is deliberating whether to abandon U.S. reconciliation efforts with Sunni insurgents and instead give priority to Shiites and Kurds, who won elections and now dominate the government, according to U.S. officials....

Some insiders call the proposal the "80 percent" solution, a term that makes other parties to the White House policy review cringe. Sunni Arabs make up about 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million people.

It will be interesting to know how this "80 percent" solution will sit with the Saudis considering they have voiced their intention to protect the other "20 percent".