One of the biggest reasons I gave for not invading Iraq was the potential to trigger a series of event that cascaded beyond any control and resulted in open warfare region wide. A few of the conflicts that were easy to spot were the Turks and Kurds, the Shiite and Sunni, the Shiite and Shiite, the Kurds and Iran, Iran and the Sunni and Syria.
Well, this last weekend clearly indicated that to many of these conflicts were warming up.
In the south of Iraq as the British draw down, the Shiite factions are making their moves.
Rival Shiite militias are engaged in grabs for power in the oil-rich south of the country, as British forces are drawing down.
What is interesting is we make it clear that we have taken sides in this conflict and are assisting one faction against the other.
In the north the Kurds are still pressing the Turkish forces. To date Turkey has displayed great restraint. This restraint will likely fade when Turkey finds a target inside Iraq that is juicy enough to warrant attack.
As an aside: One justification for attacking Iraq was Saddam's sheltering of terrorist. Since we now have effective responsibility for the lands that compose the nations of Iraq, and since the Kurdish 'terrorist' attacking Turkey are sheltering in Iraq; Are we now guilty of shelter terrorist, and if we are what punishment is appropriate for our leaders?
and in Syria the welcome mat has been pulled up.
Long the only welcoming country in the region for Iraqi refugees, Syria has closed its borders to all but a small group of Iraqis and imposed new visa rules that will legally require the 1.5 million Iraqis currently in Syria to return to Iraq.
The potential for an explosive response in the attempt to relocate 1,500,000 people who have no place it relocate is imposable to understate. If Syria follows through with this both Syria and Iraq will be at risk for massive unrest.
Of course, we also have the other areas of conflict that have existed for 4 years, but it is ominously clear that the effects of this unilateral attack by the US have not been contained, and the risk of a much wider conflict is as great as I feared.