Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Will Iraq descend into civil war? (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Will Iraq descend into civil war?
Adjudicator
Member
Member # 724

 - posted      Profile for Adjudicator   Email Adjudicator   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Recent events seem to indicate that things are headed in that direction. Certainly the different groups hate each other enough that there is little reason for them to hold together. Perhaps the US strategy should shift toward creating an independent Kurdistan.
Posts: 1172 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a certain article I read today mentioned, nine months ago the same prediction was made. And again over a year ago. I'm not saying it's NOT more likely now, but crying wolf is dangerous.
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FIJC
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nine months ago, the conditions weren't the same.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unless Sistani tells his followers to go all in, there will not be a civil war.
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A. Alzabo
Member
Member # 1197

 - posted      Profile for A. Alzabo   Email A. Alzabo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
jav:
quote:
As a certain article I read today mentioned, nine months ago the same prediction was made. And again over a year ago. I'm not saying it's NOT more likely now, but crying wolf is dangerous.
I agree that "officially" making moves that show no confidence in a united Iraq would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I don't think it's a civil war yet, but I think it's mighty close.

If large chunks of the population start fighting with other large chunks of the population, I don't think there's much we can do at that point. Deal with the stable areas, I guess.

Posts: 2519 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adjudicator
Member
Member # 724

 - posted      Profile for Adjudicator   Email Adjudicator   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To address Javelin's point- you are right, of course. The difference is that based on what I hear (which just comes from the major news outlets) it sounds like things are much more unstable over there than at any time since we took solid control (which means that I am excepting the chaos which ensued just after the fall of the government).

Maybe it is just because I am hearing spin, but things seem mighty grim between shiite death squads and blowing up each other's mosques and so on.

Posts: 1172 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
riverbend brought up the possibility on her blog the other day. There was a bombing by those in government uniforms of a very important mosque.

quote:
All morning we’ve been hearing/watching both Shia and Sunni religious figures speak out against the explosions and emphasise that this is what is wanted by the enemies of Iraq- this is what they would like to achieve- divide and conquer. Extreme Shia are blaming extreme Sunnis and Iraq seems to be falling apart at the seams under foreign occupiers and local fanatics.

No one went to work today as the streets were mostly closed. The situation isn’t good at all. I don’t think I remember things being this tense- everyone is just watching and waiting quietly. There’s so much talk of civil war and yet, with the people I know- Sunnis and Shia alike- I can hardly believe it is a possibility. Educated, sophisticated Iraqis are horrified with the idea of turning against each other, and even not-so-educated Iraqis seem very aware that this is a small part of a bigger, more ominous plan…

Several mosques have been taken over by the Mahdi militia and the Badir people seem to be everywhere. Tomorrow no one is going to work or college or anywhere.

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

LetterRip

[ February 24, 2006, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's the thing: things are different over there today, then they were 9 months ago, or even 1.5 years ago. They MAY be more unstable, in many different ways. But they aren't more unstable in all ways, and I've yet to see a decent breakdown of the concerns, and compare it to the progress or lack thereof. I'm concerned about civil war in Iraq too, but right now, all the articles I've been reading on the subject are crap - the same old, same old, "New news means we've got to hype it up" crap that keeps happening. I'd like to see an analysis that doesn't start with "And with the bombing of a Mosque in Iraq, has civil war come at last?" I mean, has anyone ELSE noticed how this seems to be a perfect paraphrase of how these media outlets are hitting the story? On the counter side, I've seen half a dozen reports from "liberal media" groups that have put their anchors on the ground in Iraq, with them coming back surprised at how different the situation is there then they've been reporting - not all in a good way, but very different.

I just can't see any reason to trust any media outlet with what's going on in Iraq right now, due to their utter failure to be a decent source up to this point. I'd like to see some third party, non-news sources throw this all into perspective, but I'm not sure how. It would require an enormously complicated analysis of a complicated situation, and thus would be easily biased, and hard to parse.

Until then, or until we've got a something like what LR's blogger is reporting, but on a more massive scale, I've got to consider this yet another cry wolf.

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, what's freakin' me out more lately is the amount of long time lurkers suddenly posting out of no where. Is Ornery descending towards civil war?

[ February 24, 2006, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by javelin:
So, what's freakin' me out more lately is the amount of long time lurkers suddenly posting out of no where. Is Ornery descending towards civil war?

How can it "descend towards" what it has always been? [Wink]
Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dave at Work
Member
Member # 1906

 - posted      Profile for Dave at Work   Email Dave at Work   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I would call myself a periodic lurker in that I seem to lurk and participate in cycles. It could be that many people who normally lurk see something in the recent threads that they want to chime in on. Perhaps we have been covering interesting ground.
Posts: 1928 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DaveS
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So, what's freakin' me out more lately is the amount of long time lurkers suddenly posting out of no where. Is Ornery descending towards civil war?
Well, that's what happens when we attack each other's sacred things. [Razz]
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DaveS
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Until then, or until we've got a something like what LR's blogger is reporting, but on a more massive scale, I've got to consider this yet another cry wolf.
Here are two that I find credible.

Here's a link to a Baghdad blog by Christopher Allbritton. He's an independent reporter on the ground.

Juan Cole is a professor of History at the University of Michigan whose expertise is the Mideast. He's got access to a tremendous range of sources in that part of the world and seems to get the news before many others.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave at Work:
Well, I would call myself a periodic lurker in that I seem to lurk and participate in cycles. It could be that many people who normally lurk see something in the recent threads that they want to chime in on. Perhaps we have been covering interesting ground.

Well, I for one, welcome my lurker overlords.

No really, glad to see so many come out of the woodworks, even if for only a few posts.

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
Until then, or until we've got a something like what LR's blogger is reporting, but on a more massive scale, I've got to consider this yet another cry wolf.
Here are two that I find credible.

Here's a link to a Baghdad blog by Christopher Allbritton. He's an independent reporter on the ground.

Juan Cole is a professor of History at the University of Michigan whose expertise is the Mideast. He's got access to a tremendous range of sources in that part of the world and seems to get the news before many others.

Looks like neither are going so far as to call this a civil war situation?
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rallan
Member
Member # 1936

 - posted      Profile for Rallan   Email Rallan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Course it won't turn into a civil war. The fact that casualties are gonna just gradually ramp up rather than exploding all over the place in one hit, and the lack of organised armies running around, means Uncle Sam will just label it as an intensification of the insurgency and not a civil war at all, no sirree bob.

Then what little remains of the Iraqi government will have an election or something that does absolutely nada, and the white house will not only declare that there's no civil war in Iraq, but that they've (once again) "turned a corner". So yeah, no civil wars for us. Least not officially.

http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/images/gywo.corners.gif

damn forum not allowing inline images.

Posts: 2570 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you've were watching Fox News of Bill O'Reily right after the Golden Dome Mosque bombing there would have been no doubt in your mind that massive civil war was about to break out. And that beyond enforcing the curfew and protecting the fledgeling democratic government the US should pull back to the Green Zone and let them fight it out.

KE

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
If you've were watching Fox News of Bill O'Reily right after the Golden Dome Mosque bombing there would have been no doubt in your mind that massive civil war was about to break out. And that beyond enforcing the curfew and protecting the fledgeling democratic government the US should pull back to the Green Zone and let them fight it out.

KE

And yet, that lack of doubt doesn't cover for being wrong [Smile]
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskullvw
Member
Member # 188

 - posted      Profile for Redskullvw   Email Redskullvw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right now I'd say its 60% likely we will see a full bore civil war. Khurds will be one faction, and are likely to be the best able to defensively war all other factions. The sectarian moslem factions will go at each other from multiple sides. Iranian backed ****es vs Iraq leaning ****es. Sunni fundamentalists vs Sunni secularists. And then sitting in control of the central baghdad you'll have what is left of a central government.

All told Iraq splits at least in two with the Khurds going for independence. The rest of Iraq becomes a religious holy war.

Of course the imams could preach peace every friday and the government could show enough backbone and ability to have a 40% chance of avoiding it.

Posts: 6333 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tom Curtis
Member
Member # 2730

 - posted      Profile for Tom Curtis   Email Tom Curtis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Javelin:

quote:
As a certain article I read today mentioned, nine months ago the same prediction was made. And again over a year ago. I'm not saying it's NOT more likely now, but crying wolf is dangerous.
One of the major risks of Bush's campaign in Iraq was that it would destabilize Iraq itself leading to civil war. No-one (or at least, no-one worth listening to) expected an immediate descent into civil war. Rather, they expected a cycle of atrocities to escallate until it broke out into full fledged civil war.

This has not happened for two main reasons. The leading shi'ite cleric sees that civil war is not necessary for shi'ites to gain their political objectives. Had Al Sadr rather than Sistani been the chief shi'ite cleric, we probably would have seen civil war by now.

The other reason is that the Kurds are aware that any moves towards independance would loose them US backing, and would probably result in their being invaded by Turkey (who will not tolerate an independant Kurdistan as a rallying point for their own Kurds).

The majority of the Sunnis, secularists and Christians also don't want civil war; but they don't really trust the Shi'ites to not opress them, and they don't have sufficient force to ensure that the country does not slide into civil war.

The only significant group that does want civil war are Al Qaeda. Even the Baathist Sunni resistance (which is not the same as Al Qaeda, or even allies of Al Qaeda) do not want civil war.

All that it will take for Iraq to slide into civil war is a belief by the Shi'ites that they can no longer achieve their political objectives; or that the central government and or the US cannot sufficiently protect them from the Al Qaeda insurgency.

That is why the attack on the Samarra mosque was so significant. If Shi'a's holiest sites cannot be protected, then the central government and the US have failed in protecting Shi'ites from the insurgency. As a result of that attack, Iraq came to the brink of civil war, but will probably not go over it in the near future. Not unless another major mosque is destroyed. The fact that both Sistani and Al Sadr called for non-violent responces shows that the Shi'ite leadership is still very firmly convinced that democratic government is the way to go.

Anyway, pointing out facts like this are not crying wolf. It is if you say Iraq is in the grip of civil war, but not if you say it faces the threat of civil war. That threat is real, has been their since the invasion, and will still be their for up to five more years.

As for a reliable news source, try Al Jazeera.
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/63193544-8251-4C61-87FF-B4E882F334FC.htm

Redskull, your probability estimate is way to high. That Iraq did not descend into civil war on Wednesday shows that that Shi'ite leadership is firmly committed to the US backed route to self governance. That being the case, only another major provocation (of equivalent level) or a sustained high level insurgency with no sign of victory would shake their determination.

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskullvw
Member
Member # 188

 - posted      Profile for Redskullvw   Email Redskullvw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tc

I guess I am just expecting more major provocations. Although the daylight cerfews and removal of vehicles from the streets has ensentially created a lock down situation in many urban areas in Iraq, what happens when the lock down is lifted. For example in a prision riot, you lock it down and things go back to normal as far as the administration of the prison is concerned. However, the inmates follow a different agenda and its only a matter of time before they riot again. To prevent such outbreaks the administration has to be either enlightened or draconian. If enlightened they may be able to feret out the root causes of the riots and prevent them. If draconian, they stop all but the most concerted efforts for a riot.

So is the current Iraq government an enlightened administrator or a draconian one? Either way it heralds a bad outcome.

Since they are currently pretty weak, acting as an enlightened government may allow even the the least provocative act to turn into a full scale war.

If draconian, how long is it before strong arm tactics result in fed up people willing to rebel simply to see if the next government is more to their liking?

I think its a government somewhere in the middle right now.

Posts: 6333 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tom Curtis
Member
Member # 2730

 - posted      Profile for Tom Curtis   Email Tom Curtis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure the prison analogy is helpfull.

As I see it the current tension does not involve the Kurds. Amongst the Sunnis, those who are likely to support an armed revolt are already supporting either the Baathist or the Al Qaeda insurgency. Pissing of Sunnis will increase support for the insurgencies, but will not bring us closer to civil war.

What will bring civil war is if the Shi'ites start wide spread planned attacks against the Sunnis, particular attacks in force by Al Sadr's militia and/or by regular Iraqi forces acting as the army of the Shi'ites rather than of Iraq. But neither of those are likely in the immediate future because both Al Sadre and Sistani are against it.

As the prisoners are effectively policing themselves (on your analogy), the essential question is not whether the government is strong or weak, but how effective they are in fighting the insurgency - both militarilly and politically by wedding the Sunnis to the knew government. If they can prevent other major destruction of Shi'ite holy sites, and if they can make long term progress against the insurgency (so that over a few years number, frequency and size of attacks decrease) then there will be no civil war.

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"If they can prevent other major destruction of Shiite holy sites,"—Tom C
Who is they? The Shiite’s won't let us guard their holy sites. We weren't allowed to guard the Golden Dome Mosque. And obviously the Shiite’s weren't up to the job. We should be allowed to protect the holy sites of either side. I hate to say that because it puts our troops at risk, but we are the only ones that stand a chance of doing the job.

And can the "prisoners" police themselves? (I'm not too crazy about the analogy either, though I take RS's point.) For now they are doing a good job.

However, if they fail, or change their minds and it comes to civil war, we will have no choice but to let them fight it out between themselves.

I mean besides protecting the government can we afford to come out on one side or the other? If not, how do we do anything without looking partisan to the side we aren't actively helping? We will basically be depending on the Iraqis to decide this one on their own. (This if they do go to war with each other, in my opinion, is not such a bad thing. Let the Iraqis die for Iraq’s future for a while.)

However, maybe I am being too optimistic, but I agree with Tom C that it is a very good sign that the Shia leaders didn't lead them into a holy war over the blowing up of one of their most holy sites. Hopefully they will continue to refuse to play into the hands of the terrorists.

Will Mohammed Washington please stand up, please stand up!

KE

[ February 26, 2006, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sectarian Attacks Surge Despite Curfew in Iraq

Looks like my optimism was well founded! They've come together and blamed us for their killing each other! Yea!
quote:
On Saturday, al-Sadr's movement joined Sunni clerics in agreeing to prohibit killing members of the two sects and banning attacks on each other's mosques. The clerics issued a statement blaming "the occupiers," meaning the Americans and their coalition partners, for stirring up sectarian unrest.

"We demand that the occupiers leave or set a timetable for the withdrawal," the statement said.

Before the clerics' calls, bombs and gunfire killed about 60 people as another daytime curfew Saturday failed to halt violence that has claimed nearly 200 lives since the destruction of a Shiite shrine set off a wave of retribution against Sunnis and pushed Iraq toward civil war.

****ing assholes. Let's just take their oil wells put soldiers around them and **** the rest of the country!

After we get our money back for getting rid of Saddam and get gas back down to 35 cents a gallon we can start using profits from the oil to begin airlifting them food and giving them raw materials to build an infrastructure. Of course they will probably melt down the rebarb for roads to make into spears to kill each other, but you can only lead a horse to water.

KE

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tom Curtis
Member
Member # 2730

 - posted      Profile for Tom Curtis   Email Tom Curtis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
****ing assholes. Let's just take their oil wells put soldiers around them and **** the rest of the country!

After we get our money back for getting rid of Saddam and get gas back down to 35 cents a gallon we can start using profits from the oil to begin airlifting them food and giving them raw materials to build an infrastructure. Of course they will probably melt down the rebarb for roads to make into spears to kill each other, but you can only lead a horse to water.

KE, there are zero American troops in Iraq to do Iraqi's a favour. The reason American troops are in Iraq is because Bush thought it was in America's best interests to have them there. They are still their for that reason alone - because a stable Iraq under a regime friendly to the US is better for the US's middle east policy than a divided warring Iraq.

But even Bush realises that pulling back and securing the oil would be the worst possible outcome for the US. It is widely (and wrongly) believed in the Middle East that the US went to war to secure Iraq's oil assets. Holding the oil assets and leaving the rest of Iraq to go to hell would confirm this perception. That would be pretty much guaranteed to destabilize any US friendly regime in the region (other than Israel). In other words, you might secure the Iraqi oil, but only at the cost of loosing access to Saudi oil.

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskullvw
Member
Member # 188

 - posted      Profile for Redskullvw   Email Redskullvw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TC

I still stick by my original judgement that the entire middle east should be largely liquidated. Turn it into a vast parking lot for Israel. And to assure islamic pacifity, keep a nuclaer hair trigger on Mecca, after we have already televised the nuclear destruction of Medina.

Are ther people in the Middle east who aren't a threat to the Western World? Yes. Are there any governments in the Middle East that aren't fundamentally hostile to the US aside from Israel? No. Aside from oil, is there any resource from the middle east that the West cannot live without? No. Considering all that to be true, then also considering the fact that Islam is currently a factor in almost every current war, inspires terrorism of the worst type, and shows no propensity to suddenly turn to a sane, rational, peaceful, and diplomatic course, We would be better off literally erradicating this ultimately cancerous culture.

They consider the West to be a cancerous cultural system, and consider the people who make up our culture as being fodder for conversion by force, or death. I think after 30 years of hearing them make claims that they would do what they say, and have seen them do it, I figure its better to liquidate a culture which shows zero abillity to peacefully coexist with any other cultural system.

That simple. Islam is ultimately a cancer. Whether it is a true or worthy religion is not even important. What is important is that its leadership in political and religious terms, coupled with the largely anti western hostility held by average Islamic people , has shown a comitment to violence.

It shows no sign of abating.

Posts: 6333 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DaveS
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
...As the prisoners are effectively policing themselves (on your analogy), the essential question is not whether the government is strong or weak, but how effective they are in fighting the insurgency - both militarilly and politically by wedding the Sunnis to the knew government. If they can prevent other major destruction of Shi'ite holy sites, and if they can make long term progress against the insurgency (so that over a few years number, frequency and size of attacks decrease) then there will be no civil war.
It’s too soon to tell if the Samarra mosque outrage will tip events into all-out hostilities, but I think a "low level" civil war has been going on since shortly after Hussein was removed from power. It lacks only directly observable street skirmishes between marked militias, but it's happening nonetheless. It's more than an insurgency, because of the widespread support and/or tolerance of the violence by the Sunni and Shiite populations. It is for the most part based on longstanding ethnic/religious incompatibilities, but the Sunni's are also fighting for secular and economic objectives that aren't as central to the Kurds or Shiites.

The Sunnis get most of the press, but the Shiites are fighting with equal fervor and force. The Kurds have largely achieved their partitioning objectives, and so are in a defensive posture. Al Qaeda is small in numbers, but is the most violent group of all. Their objective is to continue destabilizing the country until an acceptable Islamic rule is established in as much of the country as possible. Even though the absolute number of foreign fighters is small, their presence indicates that the "causes" on all sides are shared elsewhere. It’s as if Iraq is a tuning fork for political and religious activism throughout the region that both draws people to Iraq and incites them at home.

It is widely perceived in Iraq that the government is both ineffectual and corrupt and serves the separate needs and purposes of the 3 main factions and their respective sub-factions. Despite our persistent efforts, there is no credible national military capability (those in the military in this group can comment more about why that is). For these reasons, the likelihood that the current government will end the fighting and bring about an acceptable degree of comity on its own is small. The US doesn't want that responsibility, the Iraqis don't want us there, anyway, and we can't do it in any case.

So, that means the best possible outcome in the short term is tri-partitioning and a strong federation of equals. The only way to get that is to make sure that the Sunnis have economic parity with the Kurds and Shiites, but no one has yet figured out how to achieve that. The Sunnis insist they don't want a federated solution, but there's not much they can do to prevent it, despite diplomatic support verging on insistence from the US. Perhaps a unified government can be achieved in the long run, but only once the three groups can cooperate as separate and stable equals.

Given the strong influence of religious authority in Iraq over their respective populations, you have to assume that those leaders tolerate or even promote the continued violence, despite their public statements to the contrary. If they aren't supporting the violence, then things are in even worse shape over there.

“IMO” belongs in front of every sentence above. This is my own unhappy view of the current and pending situation based on reading hundreds, if not a couple of thousand of publicly available domestic and international government, analyst and media documents and reports over the past 4 1/2 years. That being said, I could be completely and utterly wrong. I would feel a lot better if things are actually more stable and secure than I now think, but Administration promises and happy statistics won't make it so.

Tom Curtis says the time window to resolve the risk of outright civil war is 5 years. If this isn't civil war and what is happening now goes on for another 5 years, what will the rest of the region be like then?

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Anyway, pointing out facts like this are not crying wolf. It is if you say Iraq is in the grip of civil war, but not if you say it faces the threat of civil war. That threat is real, has been their since the invasion, and will still be their for up to five more years.
Careful with the strawmen - they make some people sneeze. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough - the crying of "Wolf!" is that the media has been saying that we are in imminent danger of civil war in Iraq - not sometime in the next year, not already there, but just around the corner - could be this week, maybe tommorow, maybe next Monday, but it's here!!!

This isn't true, as of yet, nor was it true nine months ago, nor 1.5 years ago.

EDITED TO ADD: I suppose I should point out, for clarity's sake, that I have no idea if Iraq is heading towards civil war. I've look carefully at the situation, and I believe the risk is there. I also have seen what's been done to avert the risk, and what and how it's worked, and I feel there is a reasonable possibility that this will continue long enough for things to settle into legitimacy. At this point, the best we can do is throw opinions around - the data is not solid enough to give a good convincing projection that takes into account all the variables.

[ February 26, 2006, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:
KE, there are zero American troops in Iraq to do Iraqi's a favour. The reason American troops are in Iraq is because Bush thought it was in America's best interests to have them there. [/QB]

By that "logic," even foreign aid ranging from the berlin airlift to the food shipments to "Somalia" were no favor, since there were also security and PR motives.

quote:
They are still their for that reason alone - because a stable Iraq under a regime friendly to the US is better for the US's middle east policy than a divided warring Iraq.

That foolish analysis ignores the obvious history. The current regime in Iraq is considerably less friendly to the US than Saddam was prior to Gulf War I.

It's not about wanting a regime friendly to the US. It's about wanting to evangelize a new form of government, a federated democracy. If it works in Iraq, the administration theory is that it would spread to other countries, etc.

One might reasonably argue that it's not right to use military means to evangelize a government type. One might argue that the theory is flawed and that this will not spread or even if it does spread that it won't lead to peace in the middle east. But if you're going go spout this brainwashed and unsupported nonsense that the US went for the purpose of cherry-picking the Iraqi elected government to make sure that it's more friendly to us, then I'm going to have to ask you for evidence. Hell, I could find more facts to show that certain EU members tried to fock with the last US presidential election.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FIJC
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"That is why the attack on the Samarra mosque was so significant. If Shi'a's holiest sites cannot be protected, then the central government and the US have failed in protecting Shi'ites from the insurgency. As a result of that attack, Iraq came to the brink of civil war, but will probably not go over it in the near future. Not unless another major mosque is destroyed. The fact that both Sistani and Al Sadr called for non-violent responces shows that the Shi'ite leadership is still very firmly convinced that democratic government is the way to go."
Do you think that the Shi'ites have been receptive to the thought of US troops protecting their mosques?

quote:
"At this point, the best we can do is throw opinions around - the data is not solid enough to give a good convincing projection that takes into account all the variables."
Of course, that's a safe, but nevertheless "blah" statement to make. From what I have been able to observe, we have come to a point where even the true believers are beginning to have serious doubts, fears, even...regret?...that's never a good sign. I have been wanting to get over to Iraq for around a year now...this is the first time people whose opinions I value have told me not to go, not to look into opportunities there.

[ February 26, 2006, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Of course, that's a safe, but nevertheless "blah" statement to make. From what I have been able to observe, we have come to a point where even the true believers are beginning to have serious doubts, fears, even...regret?...that's never a good sign. I have been wanting to get over to Iraq for around a year now...this is the first time people whose opinions I value have told me not to go, not to look into opportunities there.
Thank you, that information is useful. I appreciate what information we CAN bring to the discussion, but so far no one has brought anything tangible enough to base conclusions on.
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tom Curtis
Member
Member # 2730

 - posted      Profile for Tom Curtis   Email Tom Curtis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
DaveS:

quote:
It’s too soon to tell if the Samarra mosque outrage will tip events into all-out hostilities, but I think a "low level" civil war has been going on since shortly after Hussein was removed from power. It lacks only directly observable street skirmishes between marked militias, but it's happening nonetheless. It's more than an insurgency, because of the widespread support and/or tolerance of the violence by the Sunni and Shiite populations. It is for the most part based on longstanding ethnic/religious incompatibilities, but the Sunni's are also fighting for secular and economic objectives that aren't as central to the Kurds or Shiites.
I don't find much to disagree with in your comment other than terminology. In particular, I don't think the low level conflict deserves the name civil war. I would not consider the conflict in Burma (Myanmar), the Philipines, or Indonesia (Papua) a civil war, so I don't think we should call the current conflict in Iraq a civil war either.

I do disagree about the approval of religious leaders. There are many religious leaders and they do not form a monolithic block. So the question is, does the violence have the support of the leading or most prominent leaders. Taking the violence after the attack at Sammara as indicative, apparently 200 people died over the weekend as a result of that violence - out of a population of 26 million. Evidently the violence is coming from a very small group of people on proportion to the total population for there to be such a low death toll. Therefore I think the vast majority are doing as the main religious leaders request, and that only a small fringe is involved in violence.

Pete at home:

quote:
By that "logic," even foreign aid ranging from the berlin airlift to the food shipments to "Somalia" were no favor, since there were also security and PR motives.
That "logic" seeks to examine primary motivations without analysing secondary motivations. I am not claiming that Bush has no good will towards the Iraqi's, but that what good will he has is not a relevant factor in his decisions regarding Iraq. Consequently your counterexamples are specious.

quote:
That foolish analysis ignores the obvious history. The current regime in Iraq is considerably less friendly to the US than Saddam was prior to Gulf War I.
And your history lesson chooses to ignore the invasion of Kuwait and its consequences. Considering the size of the data set you want to ignore (a major war, and a decade of low level bombing activity), I would be more carefull in talking of "foolish analysis" if I were you.

More to the point, your analysis ignores Bush's stated reason for going into Iraq - WMD. (That was not the real reason, but as a rational it is strictly inconsistent with a purported objective of nation building.) Talk of nation building only entered the Bush Adminstration's vocabulary after it started becoming obvious that WMD's were not to be found.

For the record, IMO Bush invaded Iraq in order to topple Sadam Hussain - period. He did not care what regime supplanted Hussain, and before the war was quite prepared to contemplate a continued Baathist regime so long as Saddam was not part of it. Having toppled Saddam, however, he cannot leave behind a divided ungovernable Iraq because it would be a major political liability at home, and because it would destabilize other regimes in the region. A stable, US friendly government is his minimum condition for effective exit, not his reason for going into Iraq in the first place. If you like, it is not the reason troops went there, but it is the reason why they are still there.

FIJC:
quote:
Do you think that the Shi'ites have been receptive to the thought of US troops protecting their mosques?
No. But if the insurgency were effectively contained, the Shi'ites would be then able to guard their own mosques. As an analogy, if you need to station troops in Times Square to protect New York, you have not been effectively defending America.

Javelin:

quote:
Careful with the strawmen - they make some people sneeze. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough - the crying of "Wolf!" is that the media has been saying that we are in imminent danger of civil war in Iraq - not sometime in the next year, not already there, but just around the corner - could be this week, maybe tommorow, maybe next Monday, but it's here!!!
You like that accusation, don't you.

If a nation is skirting disaster, then it may well be on the brink of that disaster several times without falling into it. Saying something is on the brink is not crying wolf if there is indeed a significant probability of the disaster happening. For Iraq, every time Sistani is given a significant reason to reconsider his policy, and is under some pressure from other Shi'ites to do so; then Iraq is on the brink of Civil War. It is on the brink because the fate of the nation almost depends on the decision of just one man.

So while it is possible some of the reports have cried wolf (I haven't read them, so I wouldn't know), just because they said Iraq was on the brink does not mean they have. Put another way, just because Iraq has not yet slid into civil war does not mean it has not been on the brink several times.

Redskull:

I apologise. I misstook you for a rational human. It turns out however that you are an murderous ideologist on a par with Osama Bin Laden or Hitler. I will have no further conversation with you.

Posts: 1208 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FIJC
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"No. But if the insurgency were effectively contained, the Shi'ites would be then able to guard their own mosques. As an analogy, if you need to station troops in Times Square to protect New York, you have not been effectively defending America."
The Shi'ites need to let US troops guard their holy places, if they want these to be protected against the Al Queda.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Talk of nation building only entered the Bush Adminstration's vocabulary after it started becoming obvious that WMD's were not to be found.
Would you care to prove this assertion?

quote:
You like that accusation, don't you.
I like calling them as I see them. And when someone takes something I said, twists it into something I didn't, then argues against that, I call that a "strawman" argument. It's useful to point this out on occasion, since it points out that either:

1. You misunderstood what I was saying (therefore I usually clarify my argument); or
2. You undertstood what I was saying, but didn't have the guns to argue against it, so you decided to try to fool everyone into believing you had an argument.

I think #2 is unlikely here, which is what I said in my original post. Follow?

quote:
So while it is possible some of the reports have cried wolf (I haven't read them, so I wouldn't know), just because they said Iraq was on the brink does not mean they have. Put another way, just because Iraq has not yet slid into civil war does not mean it has not been on the brink several times.
I agree, and if the media had said "we are on the brink, on thing could tip the balance", I wouldn't be so annoyed. That's not what's been said. What's been said is that civil war is inevitable, for these simplistic reasons, and then they've been wrong. Each and every time.

[ February 27, 2006, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: javelin ]

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
flydye45
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Careful jav. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. [Smile]
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
Careful jav. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. [Smile]

Very true. I don't say that Civil War isn't going to happen, I just say that the media has abused it's credibility to the point where I don't give any credence to it's warnings. Thus, I look elsewhere for real information.
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
David Ricardo
Member
Member # 1678

 - posted      Profile for David Ricardo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't say whether or not Iraq will descend into civil war or not -- it's anyone's guess right now. However, the recent events are certainly bad news.

More than that, the majority of our own soldiers in Iraq want to withdraw within one year, and believe that we need to double our ground troop presence to have any reasonable chance of success:

(no link because I refuse to subscribe to the New York Times)

quote:
The Soldiers Speak. Will President Bush Listen?
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: February 28, 2006

When President Bush held a public meeting with troops by satellite last fall, they were miraculously upbeat. And all along, unrepentant hawks (most of whom have never been to Iraq) have insisted that journalists are misreporting Iraq and that most soldiers are gung-ho about their mission.

Hogwash! A new poll to be released today shows that U.S. soldiers overwhelmingly want out of Iraq — and soon.

The poll is the first of U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq, according to John Zogby, the pollster. Conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College, it asked 944 service members, "How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?"

Only 23 percent backed Mr. Bush's position that they should stay as long as necessary. In contrast, 72 percent said that U.S. troops should be pulled out within one year. Of those, 29 percent said they should withdraw "immediately."

That's one more bit of evidence that our grim stay-the-course policy in Iraq has failed. Even the American troops on the ground don't buy into it — and having administration officials pontificate from the safety of Washington about the need for ordinary soldiers to stay the course further erodes military morale.

While the White House emphasizes the threat from non-Iraqi terrorists, only 26 percent of the U.S. troops say that the insurgency would end if those foreign fighters could be kept out. A plurality believes that the insurgency is made up overwhelmingly of discontented Iraqi Sunnis.

So what would it take to win in Iraq? Maybe that was the single most depressing finding in this poll.

By a two-to-one ratio, the troops said that "to control the insurgency we need to double the level of ground troops and bombing missions." And since there is zero chance of that happening, a majority of troops seemed to be saying that they believe this war to be unwinnable.


Posts: 1429 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And 99% of football players polled during practice suggested that wind sprints should end immediately.

Does anybody see anything wrong with a poll that asks soldiers if they'd like to go home to their families instead of playing roadside roulette?

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A. Alzabo
Member
Member # 1197

 - posted      Profile for A. Alzabo   Email A. Alzabo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
And 99% of football players polled during practice suggested that wind sprints should end immediately.

Does anybody see anything wrong with a poll that asks soldiers if they'd like to go home to their families instead of playing roadside roulette?

Yup, it's exactly the same problem you get asking soldiers if they think their mission will succeed and using that to "prove" how well it's going.
Posts: 2519 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A. Alzabo
Member
Member # 1197

 - posted      Profile for A. Alzabo   Email A. Alzabo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
David:
quote:
I can't say whether or not Iraq will descend into civil war or not -- it's anyone's guess right now. However, the recent events are certainly bad news.

So far, the major factional leaders have called for restraint. And I've heard several reports of Sunni and Shia citizens banding together to repel attacks in neighborhoods.

So I don't think we've hit bottom. If it becomes a Hobbesian war of all against all, then I'd agree that there's nothing more that we can do. But I think just up and leaving now leaves "Afghanistan on Steriods" to fester, with the added "bonus" of Iraq being a clearing house for Iranian nastiness.

Posts: 2519 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1