Tuesday, April 06, 2004

strong>Bushwhackin' Ayat-allahs

Its really late. I just finished catching up on the news.

Excellent article by Naomi Klein (NO LOGO) on the Guardian website. Its a worthwhile read for perspective on the worsening situation in Iraq.

I should have said something a long time ago. It was apparent from the beginning of the war, that stability among the Shia was vital to any level of success. Well, at risk of sounding like a doomsayer, it seems that a bad situation is getting worse. It is hard to tell at this point just how persistent a nag al-Sadr will be. However, the fact that al-Sistani has hitherto refrained from an outright condemnation is troublesome. It seems that al-Sadr is here to stay. In fact, perhaps the only people at this point who can effectively deal with him are individuals like the elder shiite leaders who yield broad support. In the meantime, the occupation will now have to deal with both shia militias and sunni holdouts.

Concerning civil war: The occupation forces are put in an increasingly compromised position. Persistent violence can only be met in kind, and that is hardly going to have the effect of creating the type of stability required to adapt and develop democratic institutions. With what seems like the resumption of military operations, the administration will have to deal with a crisis of great proportion. That crisis stems increasingly from the insistence of the turnover date of 30 June. That means you have to pacify a country where the enemies seem to be increasing rather than the opposite, and then hope that the apparatus you constructed for governance actually has not only the means, but the will and the mandate to keep various factions from disintegrating the national fabric.

Recipe for disaster seems an understatement. Of course, I shouldn't make too many predictions. Yet it seems unlikely that the distrust felt among many Iraqis at this point vis-a-vis the CPA will suddenly disappear when the governing council takes over. What is more likely, is that the natural schisms that already exist within the governing council will increasingly come to reflect the population at large. Sistani is key in all this, as his continued moderate stance constitutes the single hope of preventing a full scale shia uprising.

Didn't anybody think of any of this before we started dropping bombs?

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