Iraqis have a right to know whether they have any options left. But wherever they turn, they are told "the worst" is in store.

Only a few days ago, U.S. President George W. Bush warned that there will be an upsurge in attacks ahead of this month's referendum on a new constitution.

Only last month, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it never occurred to him that violence in Iraq would be so ferocious.

For Iraqis, there is nothing new about these statements. As far as the new Iraq is concerned, warnings of further violence and attacks are just about the items the White House and Downing Street have on the menu.

Even France is worried, and they don't even have troops in the country. Paris recently suggested an international conference on how to keep the country intact.

There is no doubt that the blind U.S.-British occupation of the country is at the root of the unfolding catastrophe in Iraq. Today, this is a matter of fact.

But what I would like to ask here is whether Washington has anything in store for Iraq other than forecasts of further violence.

Since Washington has so utterly failed to achieve any of its objectives through military force and repeated incursions into Iraqi cities, towns and villages, why not focus more on the diplomatic and political options?

If Washington keeps listening to Iraqi Government officials, whose authority extends to Baghdad's U.S.-fortified Green Zone, there is no doubt that the country will continue to sink. These politicians, Washington should know, are almost completely detached from reality, and are unable to see beyond their noses.

These politicians are driven by the fantasies they had in the first months of the occupation. Their mentality is so disconnected from reality and the tragedy that our country has become, that they are unwilling to listen to reason.

Iraq's political map has changed so dramatically that the balance of forces on the Iraqi landscape are no longer the same. It bares little resemblance to the period when U.S. troops landed in Baghdad in April 2003.

But these [Iraqi] politicians obstinately remain on square one, believing that their survival depends on the presence of foreign troops and militias rather than popular support. Their obstinacy and short-sightedness has thrown the country into such a crisis, that only God knows the consequences.

As far a Bush and Blair are concerned, their forecasts of worse to come are perhaps the only thing they have ever been right about. Take a close look at the Iraqi scene and you'll only come up with two possible alternatives. These are not even the worst of two evils, but the worst one could imagine, and neither will lead to peace.

On the one hand, the continued presence of U.S. troops will certainly not lead to stability. But on the other, the withdrawal of U.S. troops will turn the country into a scapegoat for regional rivalries. Every country with a strategic interest will jockey for control and influence.

Do our politicians realize the mess they have created? Iraq's situation is dire. There are simply no options left.