Monday, May 16, 2005

The Quagmire of Iraq

Recommended reading: "The Quagmire" (of Iraq) by Robert Dreyfuss.

"Bush says freedom is flowering, but as the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam."

"The war in Iraq has killed more than 100,000 and cost nearly $200 billion--and now the country is on the verge of exploding into full-scale war."

"The three major forces--Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds--are threatening to blow the country apart."

Some important points:

- Bush is lying (surprise, surprise).

- The Shiites, the most powerful force due to large numbers, have many factions, and (surprise) some are rather reactionary fundamentalists a lot like their supportive Shiite neighbors in power in Iran: hardly the type of people the US would want in power in Iraq, you'd think, especially after Bush Sr. abandoned the Iraqi Shiites to the brutality of the Sunni Republican Gaurd after the first Gulf War.

- Many Kurds want an independent Kurdistan in the north, and see multi-ethnic Kirkuk as their "Jerusalem."

- Signs of Kurdish brutality towards minorities, particularly towards Sunni's, ("ethnic cleansing" mentioned in the article) are being reported in the north. Saddam, a Sunni, killed tens of thousands of them, many with a weapon of mass destruction: poison gas.

- If an independent Kurdistan is established, Turkey would feel pushed to invade. Syria and Iran wouldn't be too thrilled either. Violence toward Kurdish Turks has a long history.

- If neighboring Sunni countries see a Shiite takeover, or a growing and violent movement for an independent Kurdistan, they will probably increase or start direct or indirect military support to Sunni fighters.

Bush 4/05: "The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic movement."

Bush 2/05: "Freedom is on the march in Iraq. These are exciting times. We're making progress there."

LBJ, 11/67: "We are inflicting greater losses than we are taking. We are making progress."

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