Friday, November 24, 2006


photo by Atef Hassan for Reuters

Those of you who enjoy (?) the challenges of parenthood, have encountered many a conflict between two children (or more) in which one party blames their action on the other. Or better put, re-action. "Well, HE/SHE started IT!", they'll inevitably protest, and once again (and again and again) we'll say, it doesn't matter WHO started it, you a)know better, b)were told not to do such and such if they started such and such, and c)two wrongs do not make a right.
Well, and creative variations on those themes.
So the latest gruesome reports tell us that 6 Iraqis were grabbed after friday's prayer at their mosque and burned alive:
Mr Maliki, a moderate Shia, faced the dilemma as the cycle of killings reached new levels of savagery. Yesterday, there were reports that at least 60 Sunnis had died in revenge killings and suicide attacks, including one episode in which Shia militiamen seized six Sunnis as they were leaving a mosque, doused them with petrol and set them alight, while soldiers reportedly stood by. In another attack, gunmen burned mosques and killed more than 30 Sunnis in Baghdad's Hurriya district before US forces intervened.

Apparently, this cycle of violence can only stop if the following happens according to Moqtada al-Sadr;
Appealing directly to Harith al-Dari, the leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a radical Sunni organisation which has always denounced the US occupation, Mr Sadr told the congregation: "He has to release a fatwa prohibiting the killing of Shias so as to preserve Muslim blood and must prohibit membership of al-Qaida or any other organisation that has made Shias their enemies."

There is a point, when one has to stop blaming others for their own conduct. Yes, this was a powder keg that was unleashed by unpreparedness and hubris of the Bush administration. You know my feelings about them. And yes, this conflict goes back further than we can understand. But at some point, there has to come and end to this, whether the US troops disengage from Iraq or not. Will all of this violence stop then? I am not so sure. There is a primal vengefull atmosphere in Iraq with so many wounded and dead that only by sheer will and desire of the parties on both sides a reconciliation can be foreseen. Only Muslims in the rest of the world can probably understand this deep hatred and distrust and prejudices between Sunnis and Shias, but even a parent, you have to say, stop already. Fights can go on and on and at one point, if no one intervenes or decides to stop on their own, no one will know what the origine of the conflict was all about.
Yes, let's have the troops pull out of Iraq but don't keep blaming others for the cycle of violence that keeps being perpetuated.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, yes, I do agree - let's pull the troops out. But it will not happen. The stakes are too high. There is no US Saudi base to speak of anymore. The only place in the Middle East left is Iraq. That was the bet ... and the curse. There is no return now now matter the outcome of recent elections in the US. This turns out to be worse than the nightmare of Vietnam for America.
It sure is not a pretty sight to watch an empire like the US bleed to death.

They (the US) should have never gone after Saddam. Very clever in hindsight for me to say ... but I have to say it again nevertheless (not that I didn't say it before...).
To simplify it, Iraq resembles Tito's former Yugoslavia. Once the tyrant died hell broke loose and genocide was abound. That was then, now is now.
Since the toppling of Saddam's statue somewhere in Baghdad more people have died in three years than under Saddams regime during a similar time span.
And now it gets even worse. Nobody knows what to do anymore while the killings continue between Sunis and Shias rise.

Yes, I think the US should leave tomorrow!
But it will not happen, not even in a year from now.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Cyberotter said...

I think the civil war has morphed into genocide and Iraq will make Darfur look like an excesize in killing by the end.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Zee, you correctly observe,

Iraq resembles Tito's former Yugoslavia. Once the tyrant died hell broke loose and genocide was abound. That was then, now is now.

Let's recall that it isn't that Bush and Cheney weren't warned before hand; this is all about they're not wanting to heed the advice of adults.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Ingrid, I think we are looking at a new Yugoslavia in Iraq. The invasion and debaathification collapsed civil society in Iraq. We now have tribalism.

It may be too late to prevent a bloodbath. The violence is not centrally controlled - its family against family, neighborhood against neighborhood, tribe against tribe, Shia against Sunni. If Sadr tried to pull his people back now, they would probably turn on him. He is making the most political hay he can by trying to ride the violence that has been unleashed - but I doubt ultimately he has much control.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Zee, Mash, that's exactly what I have been thinking about. Of course as a European, you'd think about that country and the implications of Yugoslavia. Here in the US, the majority of people will never think or know about that and think ahead. Cyberotter, scary, but you might be true. How would we measure that? In terms of numbers? Although the one difference is that in Dafur, it's one 'tribe' killing another. In Iraq, it's as Mash said, person against person reprisals from both sides.
Vigilante, welcome. I think I've seen you around but probably on someone else's blog. I'll have to revisit yours because you're involved with a few blogs I saw.
And so the world keeps turning..

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone of you got it in school when the teacher explained "chain reaction" in nuclear fusion? Well I didn't - I am trying to read up on my lost physics comprehension.
But what I understood of Iraq so far, is that a "chain reaction" is happening, beyond the control of the Americas or the "leaders" in charge of that country.
The outcome will be devastating no matter what.
That's what I blame the Bush administration for, exiting a domino effect of "nuclear proportions".
So where do we go from here?
I fucking don't know because the damage has already been done.

10:05 PM  

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