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Commentary :: Peace & War

Iraq is on the path to civil war

Iraq is on the path to civil war, and the US put them there.
Iraq is on the path to civil war. And we put them there. If the CPA and BushCo do not work decisively to

1. win the hearts and minds of Iraq;

2. harmonize the political forces beginning to tear Iraq apart;

3. somehow change the Iraqi perception of the US Occupation Army (USOA) away from that of conquering occupiers;

then the likely future of Iraq will be civil war. Violence is increasing in Iraq, and the reports of attempts on Al-Sistani's life are an unsettling sign of the chaos to come.

Considering the condition of the USOA (the tense morale, the overextended tours, the poor quality of food, the low # of troops), it is unlikely that the Army can hold the whole nation together, should a civil war arise. Not, of course: without a lot more blood, on all sides.

BushCo has shown itself to be spectacularly uncaring in the finer nuances of diplomacy. Should Iraq go into civil war, I have a hard time imagining Bush to use the USOA as a diplomatist: more likely he will try to bludgeon the opposing sides, make allies with the Kurds (and any other factions who deem it expedient), and impose a new "strongman" upon Iraq, whose human rights records will be less important than his (always a "he") nominal allegiance to the US.

All of this occurring in the heart of an election-year, where political grandstanding is into high-gear, while BushCo backtracks and excuses themselves away from the intelligence scandal, and as Dem nominee's play one-upmanship in their finger-pointing at Bush, and the only nominee with ANY plan toward getting out of Iraq sits in the back row, as ABC pulls its reporters off the Kucinich campaign trail.

I imagine that darker days are ahead, for all of us connected to Iraq. Whatever the outcome, it appears that 2004 will be a portentous and perilous year: for the MidEast, for the US, and for Britain.

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