Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Friday, December 19, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.


Ethnic/Civil War Brewing In Iraq?


This is what I said on Sunday when Saddam was captured:

[What] of civil/ethnic violence? [Free] from the fear that Saddam will return, will tensions explode? If so, our troops would be caught in the middle of an ugly situation.

We're starting to see hints of this, as this KRT story from Weds indicates:

Saddam's capture seems to have heightened ethnic violence. Since the 1930s there have been clashes on the bridge over the Tigris River that separates Kadhimiya from Sunni-dominated Adhimiya. Residents from each neighborhood have crossed the bridge to cause trouble or defend perceived slights against their honor.

The day after Saddam's capture was announced, Shiites from Kadhimiya crossed the bridge and started dancing in the street in Adhimiya. Sunni residents in Adhimiya went out in the street to reply, and before the night was over, more than a dozen people were dead.

(via Juan Cole)

Further, here's what I read in Arabic News today:

One U.S. soldier was killed and other 4 wounded in different operations carried out by the Iraqi resistance yesterday, at a time when reciprocated assassination operations took place between the Sunni and the Shiite, and raised fears of revenge operations in various parts of Iraq between the supporters of the former regime and its opponents.

Gunmen killed the official in the Higher Council For the Islamic Revolution in Iraq Muhannad al-Hakim near his house in Baghdad on Wednesday evening, according to the spokesman for the council, Adel Abdul Mahdi...

Muhannad al-Hakim, who was the security official at the ministry of education, was hit by three bullets in his head in al-Baya quarters, when unidentified persons opened fire at him from a car which was running speedily near his house. Abdul Mahdi blamed the killing operation on "partisans of the former regime."

It seems a toxic brew: daily we're seeing 22 attacks on US troops, 3 attacks on the US-sponsored security apparatus, and revenge killings between ethnic groups. Forgive me for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about Saddam's capture, or Iraqi schoolkids getting pencils. All of that is good news, but hardly balances the ugly situation on the ground, and how much nastier it just might get.

I reiterate my call to get the hell out of Dodge and let the Iraqis and their Arab neighbors solve their problems. I am not, of course, advocating that we abandon Iraq; rather, I suggest our troops are inherently incapable of providing security and stability in this environment, and are only going to be caught in the middle of a growing maelstrom. Only 15% of Iraqis surveyed in November view our troops as liberators, down from 43% in April, and as this occupation drags on, I suspect these numbers will only grow smaller.

Bring our soldiers home, stop laying contracts on BushCo cronies, and give the Iraqis aid in rebuilding their country themselves. You know, the idea's crazy enough that it just might work.

ntodd 
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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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