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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Anniversary

From the Asia Times, with thanks to Professor Kim:

Regional vultures circling Iraq
By Ashraf Fahim
Mar 21, 2006

If Iraq wasn't on the brink of civil war before last month's bombing of the previously gold-domed Askariya Mosque in Samarra, which is sacred to Shi'ite Muslims, it certainly is now. The attack turned what was a low-intensity sectarian conflict hot, with media reports saying that Baghdad's central morgue alone recorded 1,300 Iraqis dead in four days of reprisal killings after the attack.

That increased violence between Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites has persisted, and fears are growing that civil war could draw Iraq's neighbors further into the conflict, or even spark a wider war. That fear was recently expressed by US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, who warned that if US troops pulled out, a regional conflict could result. Religious extremists could triumph, he said, and use Iraq as a base for expansion, while Persian Gulf oil supplies could be disrupted...

The predominant fear now in the region is the dismemberment of Iraq.

"If the whole state system unravels, if Iraq unravels and everybody has to choose inside Iraq - and there's no nationalist side - then everybody's state is in jeopardy," said Hollis. The neighbors are therefore caught between asserting influence to create a favorable political order and pushing so hard they force it apart. A Sunni-Shi'ite war could make this balancing act unsustainable.

A recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) captured this dilemma: "Should neighboring states conclude either that Shi'ite influence has become a strategic threat or that Iraq's breakup is inevitable, they are likely to take steps that will accelerate the country's disintegration ... a development in which, ironically, they have no interest..."

The Sunni-Shi'ite war in Iraq is a potential catastrophe for US interests in the region. Not only are allies of the United States being threatened and its military being placed under further duress, the symbolic setback civil war presents is profound. Korany of AUC said the US is now facing "complete failure of the objective of establishing a new Iraq, which would have been a showcase, a model of democracy for the region".
"If the Americans leave now," he said, "with the chaos behind them, it is bound to affect American influence - particularly its advice on democracy in the region."

It would seem to me that we did not learn our lessons from Vietnam. Once again the United States finds itself embroiled in a centuries old internal conflict which we will never be able to control. And it looks as though we will be forced to participate in the dismantling of yet another country.

My questions, after reading the article, are these. What does it gain us as a country to stay or to leave? And what do we owe the people of Iraq after we leave?

Understanding the 9/11 was a turning point in our country's history, are we still not done "sending our message"?

The world is no longer insular. But there are peoples and cultures that we simply cannot control. I don't pretend to have the answers. But I find the whole thing deeply disturbing.

(We have reached the third anniversary of the war in Iraq).

Kinja, the weblog guide


Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Yanno what makes me crazy? Every damn thing we warned against before Bush went gi joe is coming to pass.

We knew nothing. I'm not going to pretend like we ignored it. We spoke, they called us unpatriotic.

4:09 PM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

Well, just for the record, I still have the American flag that says United We Stand in my rear car window. But I'm not sure we have not been sent on a fool's errand.

7:08 AM PST  

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