Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iraq on the Brink

NYT Editorial

Iraq has moved perilously close to civil war. Everyone who knows anything about the tortured history of that country, cobbled together from disparate parts by British colonial officials less than a century ago, has always dreaded such an outcome.

Fear of civil war stayed the hand of the first President George Bush, when he turned back American troops and left Saddam Hussein in power. It generated much of the opposition to the current President Bush's invasion in 2003. Yet many critics of the invasion, including this page, believed that the dangers from civil war were so dire that American troops, once in, were obliged to remain as long as there was a conceivable route to a just peace.

The only alternative to civil war is, and has always been, a national unity government of Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. Unless these mutually suspicious groups can work together, the United States will be faced with the impossible task of trying to create a stable democracy that Iraqis have refused to create for themselves.

The chances of putting together such a government grew much smaller with the bombing of a major Shiite shrine in the largely Sunni city of Samarra last week, an attack that literally blew the lid off the simmering animosity between Iraq's two main religious factions. That hatred and distrust had been heated to a high boil by the sharp-shouldered and small-minded maneuvering over the formation of a new government.

To millions of enraged Shiites, all Sunni Arabs suddenly seemed indistinguishable from the Samarra bombers. Seeing that the weak-willed and poorly disciplined Iraqi security forces had utterly failed to protect their revered mosque and shrine, Shiites looked instead to the vicious and brutal sectarian militias run by leading Shiite political parties. They promptly unleashed a torrent of bombings and killings directed against Sunni mosques, mullahs and terrified civilians.

Those bloody reprisals have so far killed hundreds of people. They confirmed Sunni fears that the Shiite-led government would not lift a finger to protect their lives, families, property and mosques from a reign of terror inflicted by militias affiliated with the leading government parties.

The desperately dangerous situation that now prevails in Iraq could never have been created by Sunni terrorists alone, or by the dithering ambivalence of Sunni political leaders, who seem unable to decide from one day to the next whether they are ready to engage in the give-and-take of parliamentary politics. Much of the blame must also go to ambitious and revenge-minded Shiite political leaders, who, for the past year, have thwarted constitutional compromises and given members of their party militias key posts in the government security forces and Interior Ministry prisons. To this day, they continue to resist the formation of a broadly inclusive national unity government.

Some of the worst offenders on this score include the incumbent prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who has just been nominated for another term; his crucial ally Moktada al-Sadr, the rabidly anti-American cleric, politician and militia leader; and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who heads Iraq's most powerful Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

If Iraq can still be saved from its consuming hatreds, at least some of these major Shiite leaders will have to rise to the moment and abruptly change their ways. Kurdish leaders can help by pledging to withhold their support for Mr. Jaafari's renomination unless he agrees to a broadly representative national government. And Sunni leaders will have to embrace and take part in such a government, accepting the fact that they are a minority in the population and must get used to playing a secondary, though still significant, role.

If civil war broke out, innocent Shiite and Sunni civilians would suffer first, but the repercussions could spread far beyond Iraq's borders. The Shiite south would be further propelled into the political orbit of Iran, and Kurds in the north would claim independence, probably drawing in Turkey. The oil-free western and central Sunni area would be left impoverished, a potential no man's land that could become a home base for terrorists operating around the globe.

Iraq's elected leaders can still save their country. They must now prove that they want to. Time is rapidly running out.


lowjake said...

The terrorist shrine bombers have given the leftist haters of America some more hope that more Iraquis will die and hopefully end up evermore permantly worse than they were under the terror of Saddam. The hate-filled agenda of the leftists has always hoped for failure and death in Iraq because their hate for Bush fogs their humanity such that they want as pure a harm to befall the Iraquis as is possible, so they can bash Bush for it. They care not for any good to become of anything . . . they only hope for the worst in every instance, while actively working toward that end always!

Their gutless and cowardly hatred, puts them as squarely in the al-Queada camp as they can be. They are indeed a valuable and functioning part of al-Queada.

The whining of the weak-kneed desk jockeys of the left would in no way forstall their beheadings if their islamofacist friends ever came to power. It is the Hollywood people, feminists, identifiable gays, and other liberal sorts who would be the first to be killed in al-Queada's hoped-for blood bath anywhere and everywhere in the West; making the left's inbred spinelessness all the more stunningly stupid.

They imagine that they are striking freedom's blow while they imbed their ax in their toe.

Any schoolyard child can see clearly what the blustering fools in their edu-media churches profess to miss.

TOTAL KAOS said...

Hmmm.... Never thought I would see the day a Right-Wing MoonBat would call William F Buckley jr. a Leftist.

Then again maybe you just missed the article or didn't hear Limbaugh crying over Buckley's announcement ...

Here I will post a little for you:

It Didn’t Work (Buckley declares Iraq a failure)

National Review Online ^ | 02/24/06 | William F Buckley Jr

"I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes — it is America." The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. "Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America."

One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samara and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “The bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

And for a bonus here is the link to the GOP Clown College were you can cry along with your fellow MoonBats:


lowjake said...

You continue to delude yourself and attempt to evade your responsibilities regarding the deaths in Iraq in the same way you evade the left's responsibilities re: Stalin's, Mao's whitewashing and other's; just like the arch-typical used car salesman. Except it's people you kill, not just money that you steal.

You are weak, in that that you fear information that contradicts the libel that you choose to call "news". That "news" is just a sliver of information massaged by some weak-kneed wimp sitting at a desk in a comfortable office happily getting other people killed in his/her attempt to feel good.

Your name-calling indicates your level of thought/spirit in human interaction. Whatever you claim to be, you are not strong enough in your own ideas to withstand the presentation of any opposing ideas, without resorting to childish name-calling. But, isn't that what the left seems to be about? . . . intolerance?