Allawi: This is Civil War
35 Killed in Sectarian Violence
Iyad Allawi, the former interim prime minister of Iraq, said Sunday that Iraq is in a civil war.
‘ “It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more.
“If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.” . . .
Iraq is moving towards the “point of no return”, he said, when the country would fragment.
“It will not only fall apart but sectarianism will spread throughout the region, and even Europe and the US will not be spared the violence that results…,” he said.
Makes it kind of hard for Rumsfeld and Bush to spin Iraq as a veritable Palm Springs Resort, when even old CIA assets like Allawi are speaking bluntly about the actual situation.
35 Iraqis were killed in the low-intensity civil war on Sunday. 14 bodies were discovered in Baghdad, some of them at the water treatment plant. Ugh.
Sunni fundamentalist leader Harith al-Dhari, according to al-Zaman, also said that the thought Iraq is on the precipice of a civil war.
Of course, all this begs the question of what a civil war is. There have been lots of conflict that we call a civil war in history that were not as bad as what is going on in Iraq now. Indeed, some conflicts that bulked large in our consciousnesses here in the US, such as the troubles in Northern Ireland, were in comparison minor affairs. Altogether some 3,000 people were killed over the three decades of that conflict. That would be two months in Iraq.
For Bush administration officials like Rumsfeld to say that the new Iraqi military is responsible now for much of the country is highly misleading. There isn’t much going on in a solidly Shiite province such as Diwaniyah, so so what if it is patrolled by the new Iraqi army (consisting mostly of Shiite and Kurdish troops)? The seven “hot” provinces where much of the violence takes place are not controlled by the new army, and won’t be for years if ever. The Kurds won’t even let the federal troops step foot on their soil. And as Congressman Murtha pointed out on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Operation swarmer is obviously mainly an American operation.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was roundly criticized Sunday for saying that to withdraw from Iraq would be as though the US had turned Germany back over to the Nazis after WW II. If Rumsfeld considers Saddam to be the analogue of the Nazis here, then his statement is odd. It is completely incredible that Saddam could ever come back to power. Nor can the Baath. Nor can the few hundred foreign fighters take over Iraq in the name of Zarqawi. For the Americans to get out of Iraq would be like any other hand-over by a colonial power of governance to local people. It would be like the French handing Algeria to the National Liberation Front, or like the British handing India to the Congress Party (it could be very much like that, since in the course of the hand-over, India and Pakistan split). For the US to try to keep its ground troops in Iraq will just create a long-term guerrilla insurgency of the sort the Portuguese fought in Angola and Mozambique. Those are non winnable in an age of the political and social mobilization of the people.
The political factions in Iraq have agreed on the formation of a “national security council” drawn from the leading parties in parliament. It will oversee security policy, but will have a Shiite majority and can be over-ruled by the prime minister or president if it is felt that the NSC has encroached on constitutionally granted executive powers. The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance signed off on the plan, which is extra-constitutional and intended to reassure Sunni Arabs and Kurds that the prime minister, who will likely generally be a Shiite, will not walk all over them. The UIA candidate for post of prime minister, Ibrahim Jaafari, did not attend the meeting at the house of president Jalal Talabani that signed off on the plan, This absence is a very bad sign if it indicates that the Dawa Party opposes this NSC.
Al-Zaman says that Iyad Allawi warned that despite this political development, we should have no illusions about the dangers that continue to face Iraq. He said he had been against the dissolution of the army in 2003.
It has been proven over and over again that the political process is not relevant to the guerrilla war, and it does not matter if they form a government or not– the guerrillas will go on blowing things up.
The massive Shiite pilgrimage to Karbala is a big security problem, since the guerrillas would love to engage in some mayhem there.
Meanwhile, it turns out that when we weren’t looking, the American Republic was ended by a small clique of power-hungry men, who unilaterally abrogated the fourth amendment of the US Constitution and authorized warrantless black bag searches.