News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Civil War or Not?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Civil War or Not?

While the Bush admin paints a rosy picture of the civil strife in Iraq, reports of the facts on the ground draw a much darker and more ominous landscape. Certainly, there's not the type of all-out carnage, with large armies facing off against each other as we are familiar with in our own civil war. The Iraq civil war resembles more those in Lebanon and El Salvador in the 80s.

Perhaps it's indicative of the deceitful face this admin puts on the world when you consider the controted semantics that Donald Rumsfeld went through yesterday when reporters confronted him with questions about whether there's a civil war in Iraq or not. Rumsfeld's twisted logic makes look tame those proverbial logicians who tried to answer how many angels dance on the point of a pin. ...

Two reports that are not gaining much play in the press include the following:Shi'ite clerics fear cannot prevent civil war. This report is very discouraging indeed. If the clerics--who you have to admit have been not been voices of moderation--cannot stop their followers from fighting, then the eventualities look very grim.

The other report provides insight into how individual families are "militarizing." That is, they are stocking up on food, digging in, and collecting guns and firepower. No doubt, much of this is a simple impulse to self-preservation. But it also presents the possibility that entire households are now prepared to fight those who are against them.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Few Iraqis, however, share Bush's view that the crisis has been averted. They are readying themselves for the worst, fleeing likely flash points, stockpiling weapons and basic foodstuffs, barricading their neighborhoods, and drawing lines in the sand delineating Sunni and Shiite territory.

Since the golden dome of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra was reduced to rubble last month, the country's long-simmering sectarian feud has flared into the open with unprecedented brutality.

In the wake of that attack, a series of sectarian reprisals has left hundreds of ordinary Iraqis dead and dozens of mosques ransacked. Daily execution-style killings and car bombings continue. On Sunday, multiple car bombs killed scores. The bodies of scores more, many bound and garroted, have been discovered around Baghdad since Monday. The capital's hospitals overflow with the wounded. Meanwhile, the country's politicians remain deadlocked in negotiations to form a government based on the outcome of elections more than three months ago.
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