Friday, December 09, 2005

Thoughts On Iraq

What we call the Iraq War is actually at least two wars laid on top of each other:

  1. United States and allies vs. Islamic jihadists, not confined to Iraq.
  2. Sunnis vs. Shiite, not confined to Iraq.

Yes I leave out the Kurdish people...they play a murkier role.

Bottom line: only the Iraqis can end these wars inside Iraq.

  1. The United States cannot win the war with Islamic jihadists inside the nation of Iraq because they are a loose network that depends on safe haven from local populations. The Iraqis have to stop tolerating them, simple as that. And they won't, because of our role in the second war.
  2. The removal of Saddam Hussein left a vacuum of power and identity that is being filled along old sectarian lines. The Sunni/Shiite split has been around for centuries. But in Iraq, where the Sunnis held power and have lost it in large chunks to the Shiites, we are seen by the Sunnis as backers of the Shiia. We are being absorbed into this second war. The agitation this causes among the Sunnis and the other rejectionists provides fertile ground for al'Qaeda and other trans-national terror groups.

The Iraqis have to form a new national identity. And they have to become tired of fighting each other. Otherwise, the second war will continue to burn, fueling the first.

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