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Although the US presidential election has been contested, in part, on American conduct of the war in Iraq, the result of the election is likely to have little bearing on events in that country. For even in the unlikely event of John Kerry winning, Iraq’s short-term future is set – and it hinges on a historic transfer of power from the Sunni minority to the Shia majority. How the Shia elite wields that power, after 500 years of subordination, is now the key to everything. And as Bartle Bull vividly         illustrates inside, the recent signs have been encouraging. Even representatives…

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