Civil War in Iraq?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by numediaman, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #1
    This looks like a prelude to civil war (or all out war against the occupation troops):

    This is from 12 noon CDT


    Sources: Al-Sadr supporters take over Najaf
    Wanted Iraqi cleric said to be at holy shrine

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Supporters of maverick Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr controlled government, religious and security buildings in the holy city of Najaf early Tuesday evening, according to a coalition source in southern Iraq.

    The source said al-Sadr's followers controlled the governor's office, police stations and the Imam Ali mosque, one of Shia Muslim's holiest shrines.

    Iraqi police were negotiating to regain their stations, the source said.

    The source also said al-Sadr was busing followers into Najaf from Sadr City in Baghdad and that many members of his outlawed militia, Mehdi's Army, were from surrounding provinces.

    Business people are closing their shops and either leaving the city or hoarding their wares in their homes, the source said.

    Earlier Tuesday, fighting erupted on the northern side of Fallujah when a routine patrol came under fire. The Marines sent an Abrams tank and several Humvees to reinforce the patrol, along with helicopters.

    One Marine was seriously wounded and evacuated to a combat hospital.

    Also on Tuesday, U.S. Marines detained six Iraqis carrying explosives near an operational command post north of Fallujah, a Marine officer said. The officer said the material was intended to make homemade bombs.​

    EDIT: Another story . . .

    Coalition crackdown on Sunni, Shiite rebels leaves dozens dead

    BAGHDAD (AFP) - Dozens of Iraqis and almost 20 coalition troops have been killed as US troops move against Sunni insurgents and crack down on Shiite rebels of firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr, declared wanted for murder.

    The US military said Tuesday that four Marines died in Al-Anbar province, a hotbed of insurgents west of Baghdad.​
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #2
    Has anyone ever doubted that civil war would'nt be the end result of gw & co.'s foray? It's only going to get worse.....
     
  3. numediaman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #3
    Another view:
    The battle the US wants to provoke

    Bremer is deliberately pushing Iraq's Shia south into all-out chaos

    Naomi Klein in Baghdad
    Tuesday April 6, 2004
    The Guardian

    I heard the sound of freedom in Baghdad's Firdos Square, the famous plaza where the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled one year ago. It sounds like machine-gun fire.

    On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on a demonstration here. As the protesters returned to their homes in the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, the US army followed with tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops, streets, even ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people were killed and many more injured. In Najaf, the day was also bloody: 20 demonstrators dead, more than 150 injured.

    In Sadr City yesterday, funeral marches passed by US military tanks and the hospitals were overflowing with the injured. By afternoon, clashes had resumed.

    Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr.

    Sadr is the younger, more radical rival of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and portrayed by his supporters as a cross between Ayatollah Khomeini and Che Guevara. He blames the US for attacks on civilians; compares the US occupation chief, Paul Bremer, to Saddam Hussein; aligns himself with Hamas and Hizbullah; and has called for a jihad against the controversial interim constitution. His Iraq might look a lot like Iran.

    And it's a message with a market. With Sistani concentrating on lobbying the UN rather than on confronting the US-led occupation, many Shia are turning to the more militant tactics preached by Sadr. Some have joined the Mahdi, his black-clad army, which claims hundreds of thousands of members.

    At first, Bremer responded to Sadr's growing strength by ignoring him; now he is attempting to provoke him into all-out battle. The trouble began when he closed down Sadr's newspaper last week, sparking a wave of peaceful demonstrations. On Saturday, Bremer raised the stakes further by sending coalition forces to surround Sadr's house near Najaf and arrest his communications officer.

    Predictably, the arrest sparked immediate protests in Baghdad, which the Iraqi army responded to by opening fire and allegedly killing three people. At the end of the day on Sunday, Sadr called on his supporters to stop staging demonstrations and urged them to employ unnamed "other ways" to resist the occupation - a statement many interpreted as a call to arms.

    On the surface, this chain of events is mystifying. With the so-called Sunni triangle in flames after the gruesome Falluja attacks, why is Bremer pushing the comparatively calm Shia south into battle?

    Here's one possible answer: Washington has given up on its plans to hand over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, and is creating the chaos it needs to declare the handover impossible. A continued occupation will be bad news for George Bush on the campaign trail, but not as bad as if the hand-over happens and the country erupts, an increasingly likely scenario given the widespread rejection of the legitimacy of the interim constitution and the US- appointed governing council.

    But by sending the new Iraqi army to fire on the people they are supposed to be protecting, Bremer has destroyed what slim hope they had of gaining credibility with an already highly mistrustful population. On Sunday, before storming the unarmed demonstrators, the soldiers could be seen pulling on ski masks, so they would not be recognised in their neighbourhoods later . . .

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4895872-103550,00.html
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #4
    Lots of us foresaw the possibility of a Shia uprising. After all, they are the majority, and they were ruthlessly oppressed by Saddam's Sunni minority. Now al Qaeda is trying (and succeeding) im fomenting war between the two, and we are playing right into their hands. Again. :mad:
     
  5. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #5
    Whoa!

    al Sadr would turn Iraq into a province of Iran. I wonder how the Kurds and Sunnis like what al Sadr wants to do. It also seems that he controls Najef, or has enough to control Najef. I think that the Iraqi provisional government, with the help of the coalition forces should give him Najef and the surrounding area. Evacuate the area, surround it with a demilitarized zone, and arrest anyone that enters or exits.

    I wonder how long they would last without food or water. You can't eat bullets and RPG grenades, and expect to live for long. :eek:
     
  6. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #6
    Healing Iraq: Zeyad blog
    Hmm... how could you mistake someone carrying a camera with someone carrying a weapon. I think that maybe the al-Sadr forces might, but I doubt the Americans would. You could always wear a white tshirt and light colored pants to present a good contrast of the camera versus the background so that it won't be mistaken as a weapon.

     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #7
    Oh, come on, there has been more than enough information about US forces detaining, roughing up, and yes, shooting people with cameras. After all, the only way gw is gonna succeed at this is to be even more ruthless about press freedom or should I say, the lack of it, than SH ever was. Reading the Arab papers via Google News is pretty revealing, even if we meet midway between Faux News and Al Jazeera, the lack of freedom due to US heavy handedness is pretty horrifying.



    On another note, has anyone heard what the Kurds in neighboring Iran and Turkey are up to? I would think that there has been some pretty serious thoughts about secession on their part so that there could be a new Kurdish state. The coming civil war will only fall into their hands and then we'll see a real mess in the middle east. As if it could get any worse....
     
  8. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #8
    I dunno. Iraq is admitted to be a conglomeration of provinces that were not conducive to peaceful coexistence. Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites... Sounds like it required the iron hand of Saddam to keep the country from disintegrating. Maybe it would be a good idea for Iraq to break up into 3 different 'states'.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #9
    I've often thought it would be the best solution to a bad situation. The bloodshed will go on for years as the three groups jockey for power. But then again maybe that's what the Pentagon wants, a low grade civil war where they can continually intervene until the worst of the worst have killed themselves off and the country is little more than a Niger or Afghanistan, ruled by foreign oil companies and their US political servants.
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    The "three state solution" is not one that the US is going to pursue. For starters, Turkey, a key ally, would never accept an independent Kurdistan and the Shiite and Sunni populations are not conveniently separated. As a general rule, the theory is it's easier to deal with one messed up state than three messed up states.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #11
    Are you kidding? The Turks would go crazy if we reneged on our promises NOT to allow the Kurds any autonomy.

    And I suppose you think things would get better if Iran was able to influence the Shia majority?

    And who gets the Uzbeks? Do they get forced out? Back to Uzbekistan with you! Or do they become a new 'stateless' people like the Palestinians?

    You WISH the Middle East fit neatly into your world view box, but it is far more complicated than I think you can even imagine.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    At this point, an act of (or, active) imagination isn't required. Bush's pledges to "stay the course" in Iraq are looking positively Nixonian. The next step along this path will be the Bush backers accusing critics the Iraq fiasco of not allowing the military to "do the job they know how to do" in Iraq.
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    a friend sent me a pointer to a Real 1 video of footage from Fallujah, where the four american contractors were killed. the US TV news versions were sanitized; the R1 footage is a real horrorshow.

    i have to wonder if, upon americans seeing it, they'd start to ask harder questions about iraq.

    i'll attach the .ram file. i g'zipped it, but added a .zip extension so i could upload it. you must delete the .zip extension (leaving the .gz). then you can double-click it and it'll extract a .ram file.

    warning -- it's graphic.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #14
    There is no WISH for the Middle East to neatly fit in my world view box. I just see that divisions present in the situation, and sometimes, when kids can't play nice together, Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, maybe its time for them to go their separate ways and go at it alone. Sometimes, this break would show them how much they really needed each other, or how much things were better when they were together.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #15
    So you're OK if these groups go their seperate ways, knowing that it could potentially enlarge Iran's influence in the region, possibly create a civil war in Turkey, and lead to the bloody extermination of the Sunnis?

    This is precisely what many of us were warning about in the run-up to war, and we were brushed aside by those who said we would be welcomed with open arms and flowers by people who were thrilled to see the US military occupy their towns. The fact that you would advocate a position so at odds with the goal of bringing 'Democracy' to Iraq shows how far the pro-war folks have had to backpedal in the face of mounting reality.
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #16
    And other times (Yugoslavia) it just causes total chaos in all the neighbouring countries, breakdown of any remaining cohesion, thousands more dead as different groups ethnically cleanse each other, political turmoil, lack of any control, and a safe haven for any number of freedom fighters - sorry, "terrorists".
     
  17. numediaman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #17
    Sen. Byrd is sometimes a strange guy -- and I'm not thrilled with certain elements of his past. But every now and then he stands up in the Senate and says the right thing:
    NY Times:
    On Capitol Hill, a senior Democrat, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, urged caution.

    "Surely I am not the only one who hears echoes of Vietnam in this development," .25 said. "Surely, the administration recognizes that increasing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq will only suck us deeper, deeper into the maelstrom, into the quicksand of violence that has become the hallmark of that unfortunate, miserable country."

    "Starkly put, at this juncture, more U.S. forces in Iraq equates more U.S. targets in Iraq," Byrd said. "The harsh reality is this: one year after the fall of Baghdad, the United States should not be casting about for a formula to bring additional U.S. troops to Iraq. We should instead be working toward an exit strategy."​

    Everyone seems to want to throw in more troops. But the US has a strategy problem, not to mention a political problem, in Iraq.

    This reminds me of post war Europe. The Poles and the Czechs were certainly happy to see Russian troops liberate them from the Nazis -- but they were not happy when the Russians stayed and imposed a system on them. Now the US is doing the same thing in Iraq.

    By the way, the ".25" was in the original story. Who am I to correct the N.Y. Times own typo!

    EDIT: great parody by The Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/onion3911/pt_the_war_on_iraq.html
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
  19. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #19
    But we are leaving on June 30, 2004... come hell or high water.
     
  20. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #20
    Each group needs to figure out whats best for themselves. I think the US would intervene if the Sunnis asked for help, that is, if we are still in the region, and the administration is not cowed by the anti-war activists.

    The US went in there to remove Saddam. Okay, done deal. Removing Saddam left a power vacuum in Iraq, and you have various factions elbowing their way to become the main power structure in the region. Some are benevolent, some are not. Iran-backed Shiites, Kurds that want autonomy, Sunni that are afraid of reprisals since they are the minority.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #21
    ???????
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #22
    A little late for that sentiment don't you think? Where was this view when you were arguing that we needed to go kick Saddam's ass to protect ourselves? If you really believed that, you would not have supported an invasion.

    This is your exit strategy? And you figure that if we leave, only supplying help if asked for it (not bloody likely the way most Arabs feel about us these days) that we will have made ourselves safer from the threat of terrorism?

    Let's see, we'll create a power vacuum and then split and see what happens. That'll make us safer. :rolleyes:
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #23
    Don't kid yourself. Paul Bremer is leaving. The troops are staying.
     
  24. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #24
    Remember the few months where we tried to get Saddam to leave the country peaceably? Same thing would have happened, a power vacuum would have been created as well.

    Saddam was dangerous because he wanted nuclear weapons and other nasties, and we did not have any assurances that he wouldn't sell them to the highest bidder. We have the same problem with Kim Jong Il and North Korea. We thought that we would have the same problem with Pervez Musharraf, but he quickly saw the light. That, and he's got an India to keep him honest as well.

    Iran, same deal.

    Now, we know that Saddam's scientists were lying to him and taking his money. Thats what you get when you have a non-tech saavy President.

    Too bad we did not have good spies inside of Iraq and these various other countries, we might have known if we are being lied to or not by these scientists. Too much reliance on high-tech spy satellites, instead of Arab-on-the-ground intelligence. That kind of stuff doesn't grow on trees, and takes a while to take root. Hopefully, we are encouraging this now.
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #25
    the CIA didn't believe much of that intelligence. blame the WH for stovepiping its intelligence from a handful of guys w/ an agenda and ignoring dissenting opinions. THAT should get your blood boiling. the WH's rush to war was either outright lying or complete incompetence.

    you can't pass this off on the CIA.
     

Share This Page