A Darker Take on Iraq
While I've decided not to post do my own political-social commentary, I'll probably link things I find interesting now and then (like Zakaria before).
This caught my eye, by Nir Rosen, freelancer connected to through The WashingtonNote and New America.
Click here for Rosen's site: WARNING--SOME GRAPHIC IMAGERY ON SITE
If you would rather skip the photos and go straight to his articles,
Here and here.
The first is entitled: Once the Americans leave, Sunnis will have no common cause with foreign mujahideen’
The second, very famous is from The Atlantic Monthly, entitled: If America Left Iraq
The case for cutting and running
He has more contacts, lingustic facility and connections on the ground; he gives a viewpoint on the issue that you will not find in the mainstream press, either liberal or conservative.
The basic point he makes is that US presence is not what it is preventing a Civil War. By all definitions of a Civil War--people from within the same country warring against each other--then there HAS been a Civil War in Iraq going on for the last 3 yrs.
For Rosen, the US presence is the cause of the Civil War.
I think both sides on this have it maybe half-right. I would say the US is the primary cause of the FORM in which the Resistance/Insurgency/Civil War (pick your term) is taking, but is not the primary cause of the hatred, violence, sectarian schism per se. So if the US did leave--and I'm not convinced that Rosen is right on this point--I think those he criticizes (Barry Posen for example--I know Rosen and Posen, not the easiest to remember) are right that things would get much worse. The Posen-types are wrong to say a Civil War would start (Rosen is right its been going on and continues to do so), but they are right that it would likely explode in a way that even now it has not.
But what Rosen mentions that it is the most disturbing is the de-centralization of violence that has occured in the vacuum created when Saddam--then monopolizer of violence--was pushed out. Kurds ejecting Arabs who had been sent there in the 1980s during the Saddmist Arabization program from Kurdistan; Kurds being forced out of neighboring Arab lands; Shia and Sunni fighting in Baghdad; the insurgent campaign against the Shia; the Shia controlling the ministry of the interior and using their "legitimation" to carry out vendetta killings and secret torture prisons.
It ain't pretty. And while I'm in favor of moves towards connecting the Near East, Arab, and larger Muslim world to the community of nations, the global economy, the lack of post-war planning by the Bush Administration qualifies in my mind as nothing less than criminally negligent.
Its very hard to predict where this is all headed.