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Old 06-26-2005, 11:59 AM   #16
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Yes, indeed, Hiphop. It was a classic, textbook case of groupthink, which is what happens when the leadership is any org. creates an atmosphere of demanding (I'll put it kindly) loyalty.

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Old 06-26-2005, 01:19 PM   #17
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I remember the stuff about the predicted civil war. This motivated me to attend a protest with a fever in February of 2003. I am not at all sorry I attended protests. I was protesting nonsense like the claims that we'd be met with roses and candy. We ended up with this mess on our hands.

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Old 07-26-2005, 02:47 PM   #18
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I think everyone should read this by Peter Galbraith:

Great insight on why Iraq is so set up for a prolonged civil war (and not just an "Iraqis vs insurgents" civil war...more of a Sunni vs Shiite vs Kurds civil war).

"There is, in fact, no Iraqi insurgency. There is a Sunni Arab insurgency. And it cannot win. Neither the al-Qaeda terrorists nor the former Baathists can win. Even if the US withdrew tomorrow, neither insurgents nor terrorists would be knocking down the gates to Iraq's Presidential Palace in Baghdad.

"Basically, the military equation in Iraq comes down to demographics. Sunni Arabs are no more than 20 percent of Iraq's population. Even in Baghdad—once the seat of Sunni Arab power—Sunni Arabs are a minority. To succeed, the insurgency would have to win support from Iraq's other major communities—the Kurds at 20 percent and the Shiites at between 55 and 60 percent. This cannot happen.

"While the Kurds are mostly Sunni Muslims, they have a history of repression at the hands of Sunni Arabs. A few dozen Kurds have been involved in terrorist acts, but al-Qaeda and its allies have no support in the Kurdistan population, which is one reason Kurdistan has largely been spared the violence that has wracked Arab Iraq.

"The Shiites are completely immune to any appeal by insurgents. Sunni fundamentalists consider Shiites as apostates, and possibly a more dangerous enemy than even the Americans. (The Americans, they know, will leave. The apostates want to rule.) For the last two years, Sunni Arab insurgents have targeted Shiite mosques, clerics, religious celebrations, and pilgrims—with a toll in the thousands. The insurgent goal is to provoke sectarian war, and they seem to be succeeding. In spite of calls for restraint by Shiite leaders, there are growing numbers of retaliatory killings of Sunni Arabs by Shiites."
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:21 PM   #19
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And I thought this commentary by a Brit on Galbraith's points was intriguing (it's at

"The Sunni insurgency has two components: secular Sunni ex-Baathists whose programme is more or less (a) "Bring back Saddam (or another Sunni Arab secular strongman), lording it over Kurds and Shia" and Sunni jihadis who want (b) "drive the infidel Americans out", and (unclearly) (c) "set up a Sunni theocracy. lording it over Kurds and Shia".

"Thought experiment: if the USA just quit tomorrow, what would the insurgents do? The jihadis would have achieved aim (b); since aim (c) is suicidally impossible, they would most likely declare victory and move on. That would leave the secular Baathists. The Kurds would stand on the sidelines while the Shia militias crushed them with Iranian help. Ethnic cleansing of defeated Sunnis would be a possibility. End-state: de facto partition of Iraq into two (think Belgium or Bosnia), with an ongoing low-level Sunni terrorist movement (think ETA, IRA) preventing economic recovery in the Arab part but not strong enough to change the regime. US bases? Privileged access to oil? Cosy reconstruction contracts? Forget it. More likely demands for rendition of Abu Ghraib players to face trial on torture charges.

"Second, minor thought: what is keeping British forces in Basra? They are only being seriously attacked, and then occasionally, by Sunni insurgents who have to travel down, without the local support needed to be effective. The net contribution of British forces to the security of the inhabitants of Basra province is probably negligible. So they are there to try to hold back Iranian influence, a hopeless task, and of course to fly the tattered figleaf of the "coalition". A waste of time, money and lives.

"In all the blogerfuffle over the Downing Street Memos, nobody seems to have asked the question why top-secret inner British Cabinet documents were leaked in the first place. Someone at the heart of the British security establishment is angry enough to break serious confidences, in a much more secretive administrative culture than Washington's. It's just posible it was done by a Brown ally to undermine Blair: but that would have been very dangerous if Blair had discovered this and reacted vengefully. More likely, it's just a step in the disintegration of the "special relationship".

"Subtext: We were used; never again. "
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Old 07-26-2005, 05:50 PM   #20
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I wonder what effect the finishing of the Constitution will have on the situation there...obviously certain elements will not so easily "go away," but we'd all like to hope that a constitution could successfully unify the country. I'm anxious to see what the Sunni religious leaders have to say about it, and I hope they realize that to some extent they hold the country's future in their hands. It'd be terrible if it went the way of civil war.
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:52 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Sherry Darling
Every day I get more outraged by the willfull blindness of those who still support this war. An those of us who were always against it need to NOT back down! We need to remind folks at every turn that the civil war beginning in Iraq was not only predictable, it was predicted.

I feel your anger and frustration Sherry. I really want that bush to come out and tell us the truth of everything about the war, it will make us feel better.

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