US/Iraqi troops flood Baghdad

Is this the last gasp before all out civil war?

Iraq seems to have continued its spiral downwards as the Israel/Hezbollah conflict distracts the MSMs attention.

35 more people were killed today at a Shiite shrine in Najaf.

Shiite religious leaders said:

“We hold Takfiris [Sunni extremists] and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime … at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible,” they said in a statement.

A Sunni insurgent group, Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba, or Soldiers of the Prophet’s Companions, claimed responsibility for the bombing in an Internet posting

This was not an action by Al Quaeda in Iraq… this was a Sunni attach against a Shia shrine.

The Iraqi Civil War is on.

The US has placed 12,000 extra troops in Baghdad, unfortunately, they did it at the expense of security in places like Mosul, which have now seen increased violence.

The lack of fuel, in an oil rich country, is also causing demonstrations and protests.

And to think… some Americans (and others) think Bush should launch a war against Syria and Iran… before they even get a handle on their current war.

Luckily, the tide has finally turned for Americans on the Iraq war… CNN reports that 60 percent of Americans do not support the Iraq War… and 48 percent think the war is not winnable or the US simply won’t win it.

3 replies on “US/Iraqi troops flood Baghdad”

  1. “Is this the last gasp before all out civil war?”

    Actually, there already is an all-out civil war. The UN reports 100 civilian deaths every day (and these are only the known deaths) in an Iraqi population of about 30 million. If America had a civil war on that scale with its population of 300 million, that would mean civilian deaths of 365,000 per year.

    The problem is that the Iraqi police are unlikely to be purged of Shia militias. Although better-disciplined, regular Iraqi army troops (nearly all Shias or Kurds) are not trusted by the Sunni Arabs. Instead of a more intense civil war, what we may be seeing is a slow partition of the country that could at some point accelerate. The Baghdad redeployment isn’t bringing security to the city and the violence will either continue or intensify.

    The questions are (1) when the US will begin to leave and (2) whether neighboring countries will intervene. The American commitment has been downsized from planting democracy to preventing the unspecified consequences of a precipitous withdrawal. But it is hard to see how things could get worse (or stay that way) compared to what they already are.

    The UN may now be moving into Lebanon to help the Lebanese government establish its authority over the southern part of the country. A UN presence might be useful in Iraq, once an effective partition has taken place, to provide security in the Sunni Arab areas (if the insurgents lay down their arms) and to deter the Shias from taking further revenge. The international community may have a rare opportunity to prove itself in both situations.

  2. Though I asked the question… I personally totally agree with you David, Iraq has been in Civil War basically since the last election.

    You are more optimistic than me on the situation going forward but I agree, this is a golden opportunity for the UN to show that it can actually be effective. The problem is, the usual suspects on the Security Council will block and block and stall and stall and water down and waver.

    What’s more, can *you* see anyone lining up for a UN mission to Iraq?

    I certainly can’t say that I would support Canadian troops going there… even if we could spare the troops… which we can’t.

    There comes a time when we have to just step back and let things run their course. Unfortunately, I think right now Iraq is at that point. It’s not a time for more ‘solutions’ to be thrust upon the Iraqi people, they need to figure things out themselves.

  3. Chris – I think the French have agreed to commit some troops, and if they do then other countries will contribute.

    I don’t think the international force will be in harm’s way. My understanding is that the international force will deploy only south of the Litani river. I would expect Hezbollah to rearm north of the river with longer-range rockets capable of reaching Israel. Thus, the UN troops will be safe and Hezbollah will be safe (albeit pushed a bit farther north), because neither will come into contact with the other.

    Needless to say, I don’t see lasting peace under these circumstances and if the US conducts an air strike on Iran next spring, Hezbollah could resume rocket attacks on Israel. There could also be violence if the international force tries to intercept arms shipments to Hezbollah north of the river or tries to disarm Hezbollah there. But I don’t see any real danger to the UN force because I think there is a tacit understanding that Hezbollah will leave the UN force alone if the UN force and the Lebanese army leave Hezbollah alone north of the river. In the event of a new Hezbollah-Israeli war, the UN force will either be pulled out (as it was in 1967) or it will just step aside, let the Israelis through, and then get out of Lebanon as fast as it can.

    Regarding Iraq, once the United States has gone, I don’t see continuing chaos. The Sunni and Shia Arabs will quickly escalate their civil war but the result will be a partition, like India and Pakistan in 1947-48, that is over quickly. Once it is done, a UN force could come in to monitor the separation of the Sunni provinces from the Shia ones.

    The UN won’t come in at all if either side still wants to dominate the entire country (in that case the war would continue until one side, probably the Sunnis, have been destroyed or forced into exile). A UN presence will only come to Iraq if both sides agree to partition the country.

    The American presence is the reason why the civil war in Iraq isn’t more intense. Once that presence ends, the situation will explode and then subside, either because the two sides will withdraw to different areas of the country or one side will simply destroy the other. Either way, the war will be over.

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