Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who Couldn't See This Coming

Fighting breaks out in
BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi forces clashed with Shiite militias in the
southern oil hub of Basra on Tuesday as a security plan to clamp down on
violence between rival factions vying for power in the region began. Rival factions from Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority and criminal gangs have been
competing for control of Basra.

AP Television News video showed smoke from explosions rising over the city and
Iraqi soldiers exchanging gunfire with militia members.

A couple of points to remember when you consider this. The Shia actually control the government, yet factions of this group don't want them in charge. The strongest and most militant militias are either currently aligned with the government or observing a truce. The government is admitting they don't control the second largest city in Iraq, and this city was the most stable of all the major Iraqi cities.

It is very unlikely that this flare up will do much, in-fact it feels like a practice or trial run. But, it is a safe bet that this is just a small taste of where we are headed if we follow the path we are on.



The Blue South said...

But where's the solution? As much as we lament actually starting the war, how do we go about finishing it? You're right that this should have been expected as the surge draws down, but that seems to bolster the argument for continued, if not increased US involvement. I guess the only way to tow the withdrawal line is to recognize the surge as a band-aid over a gaping wound that we opened.

If we completely withdraw I think the power vacuum in Iraq will open completely and whomever has the most guns will take power after a bloody struggle that will leave the country in ruins. It is truly an intractable situation for those of us who want to preserve some shred of moral high ground for our country after this affair, but the ending that I suggested above seems more and more inevitable.

I guess, then, the best thing to do is leave Iraq, let nature take its course, and learn from our mistakes. I just can't bring myself to be comfortable with that outcome.

John said...

The smart thing to do would be to get some form of trusted govenrment in place, train them and arm them well, and then back away.

The trouble is, there is not one group in Iraq that is interested in leaading an Iraq composed of a diverse society, so they do all they can to protect their own, and to heck with the rest.

And, I can see nothing we can do about it.

Silence Dogood said...

Blue, you should look at Joe Biden's ideas on this. I am one who still thinks the 3 state solution is the only workable idea; Yes I realize the very unpalatable idea of the population exchange, but with the money we are already spending there daily, we could probably foster this to be much less harsh than it otherwise would be. Furthermore, considering the loss of life Iraqi's have already dealt with in our misconcieved experiement on democracy (i.e. about the equivalent to them of a Sept. 11 every week for 5-6 years using the lowest estimate - proporational to population) then this idea is not as bad as it may seem at first. Biden's ideas on this were different from usual campaign rhetoric in the fact that they were pretty substantive and well thought out as he has studied it about as much as anyone - particularly the state dept. who seems to have just watched and watched and watched the whole thing like and unfolding train wreck and just gasping "oh my God! somebody shoudl do something" every so often.

John said...

I think the multi state option is the only viable one. BUT I think the Saudi's, Turkey and Syria will fight it every step of the way, and the fighting between the various factions over the oil will be a sight to see.

sexy said...