Civil war in Iraq?
- 03-16-2006, 12:33 PM
- 03-16-2006, 01:06 PM
Don't see it happening. I much rather trust the people that live in Iraq and are going doing some studies here, than political figures... the majority of the people just want peace.. but they are finding that they will prob, be like the problems ireland. Majorty of the Iraqi "states" for lack of a better word, are in peace. less than 10 are hot
03-16-2006, 01:28 PM
By most objective measures, Iraq is already in a state of civil war. I would refer you to this chart showing deaths in Iraq in just thr month of January 2006 alone http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/20...Q_GRAPHIC.htmlOriginally Posted by MaynardMeek
While "most" of the Country is peaceful, that's because most of the country is uninhabited (It's like pointing out how few carjackings there are in the middle of the Mojave desert). Every area of the Country that actually has population centers is experiencing brutal sectarian violence. The Interior Ministry is running secret torture prisons and death squads (according to the US Military which is trying to stop it). The army is infiltrated and largely controlled by sectarian forces. Private armies exist outside the control of the state. This is bad bad bad. The only reason it hasn't descended into full-scale warfare is that the US is propping up the central government making it more profitable for the Shiites to work within this puppet government structure to achieve their ends than outside of it.
03-16-2006, 02:10 PM
Unsure. Arguments for and against based on the current facts. I'm leaning towards the strong possibility that it will probably collapse if we begin troop withdrawals anytime soon. That said, Iraq will be nothing like Ireland. Have you ever had middle eastern liquor/beer? Horrible. Thought somehow the troops can still get ahold of pork sausage there sometimes, so there's hope. They might be doing better had they some decent Guinness too.
03-16-2006, 02:32 PM
then northern ireland is also in a civil war. Civil war is a state of mind, and no matter how badly the NY times and other left leaning papers hope against all hopes for there to be a civil war (because they have invested too much in America losing this war).. it just isn't happening. Damn right there is going to problems, and there will be here and there for the next 20 years..
Iraqi army is good. They are working out very well, but yes, are slow to come around. This past military action had them as the spot light and they did very very well.. the biggest problem facing Iraq are its police. From what i understand, the people want united states forces to conduct house searches etc.. because they are fair. Iraqi police are being shot up there with mexican police. Just not good.
The future of Iraq is beholding to Iran. But Iran's wishes to start a civil war are not working as well as they hoped. They fail to take into account that humanity, though quick to start a war, gets sick of living in one, and will end up finding peace.......thru war.... then there will be a hippy like backlash in iraq, much like what happens in other nations who go to war for a while... they put people's emotions, and smiles ahead of anything else... which them allows another none happy nation to build up to start the cycle all over again..... and the united states will be there with their army that its people choose to join... unless the left gets their way and brings the draft back
EDIT:ever had middle eastern liquor/beer? Horrible.
OH MY GOD you are right.. PULL OUT NOW!!!! ;-)
03-16-2006, 03:21 PM
What are you talking about? The troubles in Northern Ireland were largely a war for independence from a colonial occupier with some citizens staying loyal to the crown much like what happened in the American war for indepndence. In many ways it WAS a civil war but that war has been over more or less since the Good Friday Peace Accords. The IRA has been certified to have put their weapons "beyond operational use" and most of the loyalist paramilitaries have disarmed as well.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...aqi-army_x.htmOriginally Posted by MaynardMeek
The Pentagon just certified that ZERO Iraqi army batallions are capable of fighting on their own. This isn't my definition of good.
The Iraqi police are running death squads and secret torture prisons.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
"March 8 — Iraqi police units, often infiltrated and even dominated by members of sectarian militias, continue to be linked to arbitrary arrests and to the torture, rapes and sometimes deaths of detainees, the State Department reported today"
No, Iran doesn't want a civil war in Iraq. Iran wants a Shiite dominated government in Iraq which is what we delivered to them. The problem is that the Sunni insurgency and the Kurds are refusing to go a long with Shiite domination.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
I respect your right to hold your opinions but they seem to run counter to the facts.
03-18-2006, 02:32 AM
The Iranian's influence in Iraq is constrained by the fact that they are Iranians and the Iraqis are Arabs. Iranians have a thousand year track record of brutalizing Arabs. In that part of the world, memory lives long.
03-18-2006, 02:45 AM
It's a civil war, plain and simple. The key players just have to be cautious about how they engage..ie make sure the Americans aren't around. If we were not there..it'd be way more out in the open than it currently is.
Iran is lovin it.
03-18-2006, 10:14 AM
I use the Ireland example because the violance is out of a small amount of the counties... in Iraq's case.. only 2 out of the 18 are causing issues... and if you wish to say who they are loyal too.. much like England... they are to Iran.. but not to the country of iran.. to the ideas of iran.
This past operation may have been the most successfull ever to take place in Iraq. They have been flushing out those terrorists ( or as some of you view them as.. Patriots) and we are catching them as they leave the cities to flee into the desert. The Iraqi army just EFFED up any sort of controlled leadership of these loyalists, or iranian interest fighters.
No matter how you feel about this war... for it.. or against it.. remember nothing of what anyone says on this side of it ( meaning at home) means jack. We have a government in place that is refusing to change the situation because they see a long term good from it. The democrats scream and yell to bring everyone home... but when they get to vote on it.. they vote to stay...South Park said it best... two parties is great.. you can go out and say you hate someone.. and still do it anyway. It make me laugh that we get all caught up in all of this... trying to say who is wrong and who is right.. when the ones we should be mad at.. want the same thing.. but yet.. want us to bicker and argue so the world can see.
03-18-2006, 12:30 PM
This is a completely flawed analogy. Most of Ireland is peaceful because it WON its independence from the colonial occupiers (Britain) in 1920 when the Irish Free State (independent) and Northern Ireland (still part of United Kingdom) were created as part of a peace treaty between the IRA and Great Britain.. Thus, fighting ended in most of Ireland because they achieved the goals of their fighting. Fighting has continued in Northern Ireland because Irish Nationalists continued to fight to free Northern Ireland from colonial domination with Unionists fighting to stay within the UK. In contrast, most of Iraq is peaceful because it is uninhabited desert. In the areas where people live, fighting is non-stop (even the Kurdish areas in the north and Shia area in the south experience regular bombings and assasinations. Whenever you see a politician caliming that "most of Iraq" is peaceful, know that they are lying to you through deception. It's like claiming that crime is nonexistent in most of Alaska. True, but what matters is the part of Alaska where people live. They are counting on the fact that most Americans don't know anything about the geography and population distribution patterns of Iraq.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
As to loyalty, you appear to have this backward as well. The Sunni insurgents in Iraq are HOSTILE towards Iran. The Shiite Iraqis work in coalition with the Iranian Shiites and the Sunni insurgents fear this. The Iraqis who are loyal to Iran are the ones now in charge of the iraq government.
This is nonsense. Operation Swarmer, the largest air operation since the invasion using 1500 troops....accomplished what? We captured 40 suspected insurgents (releasing 17 of them within hours) and found a few minor weapons caches. This latest operation was a fiasco. The only good thing that came from it is that no Americans died during it.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4816710.stmOriginally Posted by MaynardMeek
Moreover, I don't understand why you keep thinking that the insurgents SUPPORT Iran. The insurgents, HATE Iran and the Shiite Iraqis who are alligned with them. You seem to have the facts exactly backwards. Yes, there are militias in Iraq who are loyal to Iran (The Badr Brigade comes to mind) but they are FIGHTING the insurgents, not fighting with the insurgents.
No, the only vote that the Republican leadership would allow to come to the floor was a vote to withdraw all troops within 24 hours. They framed it this way because they knew it was so silly all the Democrats would have to vote against it (and they did) AND because they knew it would confuse Americans (who weren't paying close attention) into thinking just what you thought.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
03-18-2006, 11:12 PM
The vote was to either make people put up or shut up.. and.. they shut up. You don't hear much from anyone about pulling out now.. except for far left wing non democrat liberals who are willing to bow down to the word of any terrorist. As the vote was taking place I actually thought it was a bad move via republicans... from what i was getting from democrats is that all of them were very much in favour of pulling out NOW...but then i see after the vote murtha etc going back and saying.. i didn't mean now now, i meant a soon now bla bla... but i really really thought we would be out of iraq that day..
As for Ireland.. there is peace because they are tired of fighting. They didn't win jack.. and thusly gave up because no respected nation would help the IRA, or free Ireland. They backed Nazi germany, and the PLO.. nations with world pull wont touch that. So.
Operation Swarmer was not a fiasco.. the job did what it was suppose to do. The people putting together these road side bombs are not a platoon sized army.. they are small groups of people hiding amongst another group of people either scared or unwilling to do anything about their current situation in life.. because all they are use to is... nothing....do they support iran.. no.. but Iran supports them and that is all that matters. Americans did not support the French in the idea that we would fall under their rule.. but we still took the troops, guns and ships to kick out the english.
Operation swarmer was also put together to be one of the first true iraqi lead missions. And it worked in that aspect as well.
Most of Iraq is a desert... yes.. but also know that almost all of the midwest.. Kansas to give an example was also said to not be fit to live in... but over time, areas like that are now turning out to be the new hubs for buisnes.. sure all this takes time.. but as long as the world is spinning and a common idea of peace through a global market is a alive.. we have all the time we need.
03-19-2006, 02:11 AM
Most of the Kurdish and Sh1te regions are peaceful. The violent is mostly in the Sunni and Sh1te mixed regions.
Terrorists cannot move about freely in areas controlled by the Kurdish and Sh1te militias. Northen Iraq ruled by the Kurds, is so peaceful that it is the favourite resort destiny in Iraq. The notion that Iraq is up in smoke is simply a delusion created by Al Jazeera.
The Sunnis cannot possibly wage a civil war. That is just a delusion. They are only 20% of the population and they no longer control any military apparatus. The table has turned completely against them. They may demand the withdrawal of the Americans, but they will rue the day when the Americans are gone. The Kurds and the Sh1tes have been nagging the Americans to let them use their militias to put down the insurgency. What is holding them back from a wholesale slaughter of the Sunnis who have oppressed, brutalized and mass murdered the Kurds and Sh1ts for decades, is the American military presence.
03-19-2006, 03:20 AM
Um, no. The rigged vote was a scheme to cut off any true debate. By only allowing one question to come to a vote (remove all troops within 24 hours), they created a fasle impression of unity.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
Um, no. They drove their colinial occupiers out of 95% of their country, establsihed an independent nation, and then dismantled the apartheid-like restrictions in the remaining 5% still ruled by Britain. Then they turned their arms over to control of clerics from Protestant and Catholic churches without ever surrendering or disbanding their army. That's called victory.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
No again. If you look at the original pronouncements at the start of the Operation the Pentagon was predicting a repeat of Fallujah. Instead, not a shot has been fired....and a handful of people have been arrested with no indication that they were any sort of badguys.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
This is simply not true and I challenge you to find a single citation. On this point, you simply have your facts backwards. Iran is interfering in Iraq but NOT by supporting the Sunni insurgents. Iraq is supporting the Shia militias which SUPPORT the government. Iran LIKES the government we put in place....many of whom CAME FROM IRAN where they lived in Exile during the Hussein years. Heck, the supreme cleric in Iraq (Al Sistani) IS Iranian himself. The Iranians and the Shia Iraqis are different ethnic groups (Persians and Arabs) but they are united by the Shia faith which is a discriminated-upon minority in the Isalmic world.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
This mission wasn't Iraqi lead at all. Once again, I challeneg you to find a single citation for this assertion. This was an American mission with Iraqis riding around in our helicopters. Would the Iraqis have performed well if this mission had actually engaged in combat, I don't know. The Pentagon recently certified that ZERO Iraqi brigades are capable of fighting on their own so I'm suspecting that their performance wouldn't be all that great even with our troops holding their hands.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
You've gone off on a tangent. You kept saying that "most" of Iraq was peaceful as if this was evidence that things are actually going well in Iraq. I pointed out that most of Iraq is unihabited desert, so of course it is peaceful. To see how things are going you have to look at where the people live.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
03-19-2006, 10:44 AM
there was no true debate. True debate is the exchange of ideas and ways to solve problems. All the talk was how much they hate the war in Iraq with no better way to run it. Move over to Iraq.. our boys and girls here that and say.. "man.. our own government doesn't like us here" If non constructive comments keep being made THAT is what will make us lose this war. The best way to avoid a war with Iran, is to win this war in Iraq..
Don't get me wrong when it comes to Iran. It doesn't matter who they support.. what matters is that they support unrest.. they support disorder.. and they will fund any group that will cause that. Iran may or may not be fond of the style of democacy the Iraqi people have voted in.. but its not the ends that count in this case.. its the act that brought the ends... The act of a true vote.. that will bring down the current leadership of Iran. That is what is uncomfortable with Iran and why they will do anything to not have it last.
Iraqi and Coalition troops continue Operation Swarmer northeast of Samarra, while the third anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom approaches.
Soldiers from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) assisted the 4th Iraqi Army have detained 60 suspected insurgents and found 11 caches in the operation covering 100-square miles of Salah ad Din province.
An IED damaged one Coalition vehicle, but no troops were injured in the attack. In fact, as of 6 p.m. Iraqi time March 18, neither Iraqi nor Coalition forces experienced casualties as a result of the operation.
Operation Swarmer has yielded significant amounts of weapons and IED-making materials, as well as terrorist training materials. Caches include rockets and mortar rounds of varying sizes, rocket-propelled grenades, SA-7 surface-to-air missile components, hand grenades, machine guns, assault rifles and nearly 2,000 rounds of armor-piercing rifle ammunition.
Troops also discovered more than 500-feet of detonating cord, blasting caps, artillery rounds packed with plastic explosive, and remote initiation devices such as cordless phone base stations and washing machine timers – materials all used to make IEDs.
Other terrorist supplies included training publications, Iraqi Army uniforms, and video tapes. The tapes show U.S. troop locations in Iraq, the rigging and detonation of a car bomb, a suicide bomber and equipment taken from Iraqi Police.
Operation Swarmer is expected to continue until perhaps Monday, March 20, a day which marks the third anniversary of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the operation began, the people of Iraq have been liberated from the rule of a tyrant, participated in free elections and participated in the rebuilding of domestic security and police forces.
In his weekly radio address from the White House March 18, U.S. President George W. Bush commended the Iraqi people: ”By their courage, the Iraqi people have spoken and made their intentions clear: They want to live in a democracy and shape their own destiny,” said the President.
In a television interview March 17, the Deputy Chief of Mission , U.S. Embassy Baghdad, David Satterfield explained the value of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It was worth it to have the opportunity to do what they're doing . . . working together – Kurds, Arabs, Shias, Sunnis, the representatives of the people of Iraq – to form a government that can speak for all of them, that can accomplish the national goals all Iraqis are seeking, and in doing that, help to make this country a stable place for the future. And that is an important goal to the American people."
U.S. and Coalition Forces began standing up Iraqi army in August of 2003, starting with about a thousand recruits. Today there is an Iraqi military of about 127,000 people. More than one-hundred thousand of them are members of the Iraqi Army itself; the rest make up the Iraqi Navy and the newly-formed Iraqi Air Force.
Currently, two Iraqi Army Divisions, 13 Iraqi Brigades, and 49 Iraqi Battalions control their own battle space, reflecting the commitment of the Iraqi military and its leadership. If current projections are accurate, 80 percent of the Iraqi Army’s divisions should control their own battlespace in Iraq by the fall of 2006.
The Iraqi Police have also made significant progress, increasing their numbers while standing up training institutions and border patrols. “In `03, there was only one training academy for the Iraqi police,” said Multi-National Forces Iraq Spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch. “Today there (are) 12. In `03, there wasn't a Department of Border Enforcement. There weren't Iraqi border guards; today (they are) 20,000 strong working out of 258 border forts around Iraq. So we've seen a marked improvement in the last three years in the capability of the Iraqi security forces.”
In operations throughout the country, Iraqi and Coalition troops continue to deny the enemy resources of equipment and manpower. Soldiers from the 2nd Iraqi Army Division found a cache of five rocket-propelled grenades, four AK-47’s, one RPG launcher, one hand grenade, 10 weapon magazines, and ammunition in Mosul March 17. The cash was hidden in a white truck. An Iraqi Army explosive ordnance disposal team secured the cache for disposal.
Also on March 17 Soldiers of the 172nd Stryker Brigade detained 16 insurgents after a tip led them to a house full of insurgents and weapons in Humera. The cache included AK-47 assault rifles, magazines, ammunition, and IED-making materiel. All of the detainees tested positive for traces of explosive substances and were taken to the Mosul Detention Facility for further questioning.
Senna Walsh, the leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann ended the military aspect of the Ireland drive to be free at 4PM july 29, 2005. The IRA was beat down into submission by their own acts and thusly gave in. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever. Just because the guns are down, doesn't mean there is peace. There is no peace unless through war..be it a war that is won.. or a war that ends after a 36 year blood bath.. with no true winner. It is human nature to be at war.. just as it is human nature to hate it.. but peace has never been made over a table. Our drive to have our own space, needs, is too great.
The style of fighting by the IRA is the same as what those in Iraq are doing. No battle lines, no ranks, just bombs in cars, bombs on the roads, bombs on persons. That is what our forces have to deal with and why England has been teaching us how to deal with such actions.. from their understanding of how to fight back in light of these situations....
03-20-2006, 12:34 AM
".....Iran is interfering in Iraq but NOT by supporting the Sunni insurgents....."
Actually the diehard Iranians are supporting some of the Sunni/AlQaeda insurgents. They are blinded by their hatred for the US. Hence they are willing to support the Sunni terrorists that are also butchering the Sh1tes. The Iranians are just too eager to kill Americans, and are willing to work with the devils if the devils would kill Americans. Obviously, that does not sit well with the Sh1tes, given that they are being massacred daily by the Sunni terrorists. When the Sh1te mosque in Samara was destroyed by the Sunni/Al-qaeda terrorists, Iran blamed it on the Jews and the Americans, when every Sh1te knew who did it. Things are not as straight forward as it may appears.
03-20-2006, 08:41 PM
Hey YeahRight.. i think you and i agree on the powell aspect of war... but did you see the articles found.. actually by a more leftist orginization that proffessed the main reason we "lost" vietnam is because we used such a great amount of troops for a style of war that doesn't call for such... I found it but lost it... said something that when the british went in.. they learned from the US's mistakes and only did a small amount.. Maybe you can have better luck in finding what i am talking about
03-21-2006, 09:57 AM
That seems to be the Democrat's biggest problem. Most of them won't out andout join the antiwar crowd, but then they're faced with the problem that the bush administration is persuing a reasonable policy. There might be alternatives to it that are also reasonable, but I haven't heard one come from a Democrat's mouth yet.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
03-21-2006, 10:01 AM
We have perhaps less to learn from the British in that sense and more to learn from the British occupation of Iraq that took place from 1920-32. The rhetorical war at home was virtually the same, their goal was virtually the same as ours is now, and even after 12 years the place was a cluster **** that went to hell almost as soon as they pulled out.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
03-21-2006, 10:29 AM
Definition for a civil war
A war between factions of the same country; there are five criteria for international recognition of this status: the contestants must control territory, both have a functioning government, enjoy some foreign recognition, have identifiable regular armed forces, and engage in major military operations.
03-22-2006, 08:33 AM
I really hope there isnt, but I expect there will be fighting and violence in Iraq for a long time to come. Come to think of it, I cant think of any advanced nation that hasnt gone through some period of internal conflict before it stabilizes. Look at the US, for example: Merciless slaughter of this land's native people, slavery, and a horrible civil war before we were a truly 'united' collective of states.
Anyone who thought Iraq was going to be a cakewalk is/was a fool...the president says the US will have troops there through 2008, I say give it until 2018 or later if they really want to Iraq to emerge as a peaceful democratic nation. There's too many wack-job religious crazies over there influencing people through fear and violence.
03-22-2006, 10:16 AM
03-22-2006, 11:55 PM
True, as is the point about how long it takes a nation to stabilize. Doesn't say anything about whether or not it's a good idea though. Kind of like pointing out falling test levels are normal in older men. That it's normal doesn't make it a good thing.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
03-23-2006, 12:34 AM
For it to be 'civil war', it would have to be among civilians of THAT population. The people killing other people are largely from Syria, Iran, etc...NOT Iraq.Originally Posted by yeahright
03-23-2006, 12:37 AM
Yeah...they've been downright detrimental to the war. Its disgusting really. But, if the shoe were on the other foot, I honestly believe the Republicans would do the same thing. I see almost no difference between the two parties other than the bases who support them.Originally Posted by CDB
03-23-2006, 10:51 AM
No doubt. But me being generally conservative I have more fun pointing out the foibles of Democrats than Republicans.Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
03-23-2006, 11:01 AM
You mean the media is mistaken?? No way. They would never state "civil war" mistakenly. Their political beliefs never conlfict with the actual situation. Funny, I was speaking to 2 veterans in the airport the other day. CNN was on. They were laughin yet angry at the same time.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
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03-23-2006, 02:44 PM
this is just the media trying to find bad stuff. when the insurgents (terrorists) were looking strong, they say "We;re losing!!!" when the terrorists just blindly kill people with no possible strategy to win, they say, "Its a civil war!"
03-25-2006, 10:06 PM
March 26, 2006
Bound, Blindfolded and Dead: The Face of Atrocity in Baghdad
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 25 — Mohannad al-Azawi had just finished sprinkling food in his bird cages at his pet shop in southern Baghdad, when three carloads of gunmen pulled up.
In front of a crowd, he was grabbed by his shirt and driven off.
Mr. Azawi was among the few Sunni Arabs on the block, and, according to witnesses, when a Shiite friend tried to intervene, a gunman stuck a pistol to his head and said, "You want us to blow your brains out, too?"
Mr. Azawi's body was found the next morning at a sewage treatment plant. A slight man who raised nightingales, he had been hogtied, drilled with power tools and shot.
In the last month, hundreds of men have been kidnapped, tortured and executed in Baghdad. As Iraqi and American leaders struggle to avert a civil war, the bodies keep piling up. The city's homicide rate has tripled from 11 to 33 a day, military officials said. The period from March 7 to March 21 was typically brutal: at least 191 bodies, many mutilated, surfaced in garbage bins, drainage ditches, minibuses and pickup trucks.
There were the four Duleimi brothers, Khalid, Tarek, Taleb and Salaam, seized from their home in front of their wives. And Achmed Abdulsalam, last seen at a checkpoint in his freshly painted BMW and found dead under a bridge two days later. And Mushtak al-Nidawi, a law student nicknamed Titanic for his Leonardo DiCaprio good looks, whose body was returned to his family with his skull chopped in half.
What frightens Iraqis most about these gangland-style killings is the impunity. According to reports filed by family members and more than a dozen interviews, many men were taken in daylight, in public, with witnesses all around. Few cases, if any, have been investigated.
Part of the reason may be that most victims are Sunnis, and there is growing suspicion that they were killed by Shiite death squads backed by government forces in a cycle of sectarian revenge. That allegation has been circulating in Baghdad for months, and as more Sunnis turn up dead, more people are inclined to believe it.
"This is sectarian cleansing," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of Parliament, who has maintained a degree of neutrality between Shiites and Sunnis.
Mr. Othman said there were atrocities on each side. "But what is different is when Shiites get killed by suicide bombs, everyone comes together to fight the Sunni terrorists," he said. "When Shiites kill Sunnis, there is no response, because much of this killing is done by militias connected to the government."
The imbalance of killing, and the suspicion the government may be involved, is deepening the Shiite-Sunni divide, just as American officials are urging Sunni and Shiite leaders to form an inclusive government, hoping that such a show of unity will prevent a full-scale civil war.
The pressure is increasing on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, but few expect him to crack down, partly because he needs the support of the Shiite militias to stay in power.
Haidar al-Ibadi, Mr. Jaafari's spokesman, acknowledged that "some of the police forces have been infiltrated." But he said "outsiders," rather than Iraqis, were to blame.
Now many Sunnis, who used to be the most anti-American community in Iraq, are asking for American help.
"If the Americans leave, we are finished," said Hassan al-Azawi, whose brother was taken from the pet shop.
He thought for a moment more.
"We may be finished already."
The human rights office of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a mostly Sunni group, has cataloged more than 540 cases of Sunni men and a few of Sunni women who were kidnapped and killed since Feb. 22, when a Shiite shrine in Samarra was destroyed, unleashing a wave of sectarian fury.
As the case of Mr. Azawi shows, some were easy targets.
Mr. Azawi was the youngest of five brothers. He was 27 and lived with his parents. He loved birds since he was a boy. Nightingales were his favorite. Then canaries, pigeons and doves.
During Saddam Hussein's reign, he was drafted into the army, but he deserted.
"He was crazy about birds," said a Shiite neighbor, Ibrahim Muhammad.
A few years ago, Mr. Azawi opened a small pet shop in Dawra, a rough-and-tumble, mostly Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad.
Friends said that Mr. Azawi was not interested in politics or religion. He never went to the Sunni mosque, though his brothers did. He did not pay attention to news or watch television. That characteristic might have cost him his life.
On Feb. 22, the Askariya Shrine in Samarra was attacked at 7 a.m. But Mr. Azawi did not know what had happened until 4 p.m., his friends said. He was in his own little world, tending his birds, when a Shiite shopkeeper broke the news and told him to close. He stayed in his house for three days after that. His friends said he was terrified.
The day of the shrine attack, Shiite mobs began rampaging through Baghdad, burning Sunni mosques and slaughtering Sunni residents. Some Sunnis struck back and killed Shiites. The mayhem claimed hundreds of lives and exposed tensions that until then had been bubbling just beneath the surface.
Two Shiite militias, the Badr Organization, which once trained in Iran, and the Mahdi Army, the foot soldiers of a young, firebrand Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, were blamed for much of the bloodshed. Mr. Sadr's men often wear all-black uniforms, and many of the relatives of kidnapped people said men in black uniforms had taken them. Many people also said the men in black arrived with the police.
Around 9 on the night of the shrine bombing, a mob of black-clad men surrounded the Duleimi brothers, family members said.
The brothers lived in New Baghdad, a working-class neighborhood that is mostly Shiite. They were all gardeners and religious men who prayed five times a day. They had relatives in Falluja, in the heart of Sunni territory.
Where a family hails from in Iraq often reveals whether it is Sunni or Shiite. Nowadays, because of the sectarian friction, people are increasingly aware of the slight regional differences in accent, dress and name. Some first names, like Omar for Sunnis, or Haidar for Shiites, are clear giveaways. Others, like Khalid, are not. Tribal names can also be a sign.
A cousin of the Duleimi brothers, who identified himself as Khalaf, said the four men were taken at gunpoint from the small house they shared. The next day, their bodies turned up in a drainage ditch near Sadr City, a stronghold of the Mahdi Army. All their fingers and toes had been sawed off.
That same day Mushtak al-Nidawi, 20, was kidnapped. According to an aunt, Aliah al-Bakr, he was chatting on his cellphone outside his home in Bayah when a squad of Mahdi militiamen marched up the street, shouting, "We're coming after you, Sunnis!"
Ms. Bakr said they snatched Mr. Nidawi while his mother stood at the door. His body surfaced on the streets seven days later, his skin a map of bruises, his handsome face burned by acid, his fingernails pulled out.
"I told his mother he was shot," Ms. Bakr said.
Sheik Kamal al-Araji, a spokesman for Mr. Sadr, said "the Mahdi Army does not commit such crimes."
He also said the militiamen would soon change their uniforms so they would no longer be confused with thugs.
The question of who exactly is behind these collective assassinations has become a delicate political issue. So has the disparity in the killings.
Many Sunni politicians, including secular ones like Methal al-Alusi, accuse the Shiite-led government of backing a campaign to wipe out Sunnis. Many Shiite leaders, including Prime Minister Jaafari, blame "foreign terrorists," without being more specific. It seems that Shiite militias, unable to strike back against the presumably Sunni suicide bombers who kill Shiite civilians, are now victimizing Sunni civilians. There is no evidence that the Sunnis who have been kidnapped and killed are connected to terrorists.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador, is now saying that militias are Iraq's No. 1 security threat. But he has been careful to paint the problem in broad strokes, implying both sides are at fault.
There are a few Shiite victims, like Mohammed Jabbar Hussein, who lived in a mostly Sunni area west of Baghdad. He disappeared on Feb. 26 and was found four days later, shot in the head.
But the militias under the greatest suspicion, and the ones with the strongest ties to the government, are Shiite. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for the American military, said Shiite militias have played a role in the killings and "the government of Iraq has to take action."
Then there is the question of prosecution. While countless Sunni insurgents have been arrested and tried on murder charges, very few Shiite militiamen have been apprehended.
Thamir al-Janabi, who is in charge of the Interior Ministry's criminal investigation department, declined to comment. So did several other Interior Ministry officials.
A new round of revenge attacks began March 12, around 6 p.m., when a string of car bombs exploded in Sadr City, killing nearly 50 civilians. Most security officials, Shiite and Sunni, blamed Sunni terrorists.
An hour and a half later, half a dozen gunmen arrived at Mr. Azawi's pet shop.
Wisam Saad Nawaf was playing pool across the street. He said that a man wearing a ski mask arrived with the gunmen, who were not wearing masks, and that when they grabbed Mr. Azawi, the masked man nodded. "He must have been an informant from the neighborhood," Mr. Nawaf explained.
Mr. Azawi got into a car. The gunmen closed the doors. The next morning Mr. Azawi's body was found at the sewage plant. Autopsy photos showed how badly he had been abused. His skin was covered with purple welts. His legs and face had drill holes in them. Both shoulders had been broken.
His brother Hassan carries the autopsy photos with him, along with a pistol. "I cannot live without vengeance," he said.
Hassan said there were a few Shiites at his brother's funeral, which he took as a grim speck of hope.
One week later, on March 20, the body of Mr. Abdulsalam, another Sunni, was found under a bridge. Mr. Abdulsalam, 21, worked with his father in a real estate office. His family said he was last seen in his BMW, stopped at a Mahdi Army checkpoint.
03-25-2006, 10:18 PM
You're referring to the compare and contrast between the US war in Vietnam and the British war in Malaysia.Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
Many scholars argue that the British defeated the communist insurgency in Malaysia because (after initially fighting the war like the US fought Vietanm), the British adopted a strategy of essentially using only special forces for combat roles, building up support among the peasants an starving the insurgency of the support it needed to survive. The argument goes on to state that American tactics in Vietnam constantly created new recruits for the insurgency.
One big difference between Malaysia and Vietnam not adequately addressed is the extreme nationist history of the Vietnam conflict. The communist forces in Vietnam began by fighting the French colonial occupiers. They then fought the Japanese occupiers. They then fought (and defeated) the French after WWII. When we came in, we slipped neatly into this pattern of foreign armies trying to impose our will upon a people who had been actively fighting foreign armies for 50 years. Big picture, we never differentiated ourselves from these other occupiers in the minds of the people.
03-25-2006, 10:27 PM
Where did you get this definition? This is a very conservative definition of civil war which would exclude almost all conflicts that historians and international law experts consider civil wars. The more generally accepted definition is something like this wikipedia entry:Originally Posted by MaynardMeek
"A civil war is a war in which parties within the same country or empire struggle for national control of state power. As in any war, the conflict may be over other matters such as religion, ethnicity, or distribution of wealth. Some civil wars are also categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict."
The key distinction in my mind is whether the parties engaged in violence are actually fighting for control of territory or the control over the levers of power of the state. There are lots of places int he world that are incredibly violent but which are not engage din civil war because the parties are not in conflict over the powers traditionally exercised by the state.
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