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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

A Question of Timing

A Question of Timing

There is an absolutely chilling story over at dkos that slipped away to the diary ethersphere; such are the ways of dkos.

At first blush, I was incredulous; I thought (hoped) it was just some crackpot Reynold's Derby rant. But alas, it is from a respected dkos contributor and his source is Knight-Ridder, one of the few media outlets possessed of any balls or decency anymore. And if their sources are correct, this could well be the most important story out of Iraq.

The Bush administration's exit strategy for Iraq rests on two pillars: an inclusive, democratic political process that includes all major ethnic groups and a well-trained Iraqi national army. But a week spent eating, sleeping and going on patrol with a crack unit of the Iraqi army - the 4,500-member 1st Brigade of the 6th Iraqi Division - suggests that the strategy is in serious trouble. Instead of rising above the ethnic tension that's tearing their nation apart, the mostly Shiite troops are preparing for, if not already fighting, a civil war against the minority Sunni population.

...Sgt. Ahmed Sabri stood outside the Umm al Qura mosque, home to the militant Sunni Muslim Scholars Association.

..."Every man we've had killed and wounded is because of that mosque. Thousands and thousands of Shiites are being killed, which is why they're joining the army," Sabri said. "Just let us have our constitution and elections in December and then we will do what Saddam did - start with five people from each neighborhood and kill them in the streets and then go from there."

Pretty much everybody with half a brain cell predicted this scenario back when invasion was theoretically theoretical, but we expect the administration to ignore us. But even top military and CIA analysts advised on these risks; they, too, were ignored. Hell, shrubya even ignored his own father's advice, but we'll leave his Oedipal issues for another blog.

For now, let's just say that Iraq is not all parades and rose petals. The fledgling Iraqi Army is shaping up to be little more than a better organized extension of Sadr's Madhi group, with Shi'ite clerics wielding far more influence than elected officials. Again, anybody with half a brain cell connected the dots between predominantly Shi'ite population + democratic elections = Islamic Theocracy, but freedom is messy, donchyaknow?! I wonder how Rummy might euphemize this:

...Some Iraqi troops went a step further, saying they were only awaiting word from the marja'iya [the ruling council of Shiite clerics] before turning on American forces. Although many Shiites are grateful for the overthrow of Saddam, they also are suspicious of U.S. motives....

"In Amariyah last week, a car bomb hit a U.S. Humvee and their soldiers began to shoot randomly. They killed a lot of innocent civilians. I was there; I saw it," said Sgt. Fadhal Yahan. "This happens all the time. If they keep doing this, the people will attack them. And we are part of the people."

Sgt. Jawad Majid chimed in: "We have our marja'iya and we are waiting for them to decide when the time to fight (the Americans) is, when it is no longer time to be silent."

So, when will we have "stayed the course" to shrubya's satisfaction? My money is on our permanent bases being completed. But it's obvious we've lost two wars: the fight for re-making the Middle East in our image and the fight for Iraqi hearts and minds. I can only hope that shrubya acquires the sense to withdraw before we have to because we have officially become the enemy.

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