February 23, 2006
Civil War In Iraq? Not So!
I never like reporting bad news. But we must face this serious situation in Iraq. In the last 48 hours, already 130 Iraqis have been killed and numerous Sunni mosques bombed. This wave of violence was sparked by the al Qaeda bombing and destruction of the holiest Shiite shrine in Iraq. It seems that Many Shia -- though not necessarily ordinary Shia -- decided to take law in their own hands.
President Talabani condemned attacks on both sides and invited the political leaders of the Iraq factions to attend a meeting; but so far, Sunnis are boycotting:
The U.N. envoy also stepped in, asking Iraqi leaders to join him in a meeting: "I have invited political, religious and civil leaders to discuss confidence-building measures to ensure the situation remains under control," Ashraf Qazi told Reuters.
But the main Sunni political group said it had pulled out of U.S.-backed talks on forming a coalition following December's parliamentary election and leading clerics traded unusually frank sectarian criticisms that may do little to calm passions.
The iraqi government officially declared a curfew from 8pm to 6pm. Shiite leaders are calling for restraint, but to little effect. Mohammed of "Iraq the Model describes the situation in his neighborhood:
In our neighborhood the Sadr militias seized the local mosque and broadcast Shia religious mourning songs from the mosques loudspeakers. In several other cases, worshippers were turned away by "gunmen in black" who surrounded the closed mosques. Other mosques are encircled by razor-wire to stop anyone from approaching them.
So, is this a beginnig of a civi war? Is al-Qaeda's three year campaign finally going to pay off?
Not so fast, I say. To quote Dennis Prager's favorite expression, let's "think a second time." Mohammed continues:
The sense in the streets and the statements given by some Shia clerics suggest that retaliation attacks are organized and under control and are focusing on mosques frequented by Salafi and Wahabi groups and not those of ordinary Sunnis.
Looking at the geographic distribution of the attacked mosques, I found they were mostly in areas adjacent to Sadr city forming a line that extends from the New Baghdad district in the southeast to al-Hussayniya in the northeast.
The Association of Muslim Scholars is accusing the Sadrists in particular, actually it's not only the Association that accuses the Sadrists, most people here in Baghdad point out the role of Mehdi army of Sadr in carrying out most of the attacks.
The Association is trying to remind Sadr of the their times of solidarity during the battles in Najaf and Fallujah yet they are condemning his message to his followers in which he called for keeping up and escalating the "protests".
So, this is Sadr once again. The ever opportunistic Muqtada Sadr and his al Mahdi "army" are taking advantage of the situation. I always thought letting Sadr go after the Najaf offensive was a mistake; this man and his militia must be dealt with once and for all.
If Iraqi citizens are to have any trust in the new government, they must punish Shia as well as Sunni. The Iraqi government must punish Sadr and his militia. They should treat these men the same way they treat al Queda terrorists and Sunni insurgents. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that law and order applies to every Iraqi.
The encouraging thing is that Shiite leaders are condemning these acts of violence. Sadr is not getting any support from ordinary Shia. Even Sunni insurgents are not responding with violence, at least so far.
Bill Roggio of the Fourth Rail has an important set of criteria that would signal a full blown civil war in Iraq:
By all indications, the situation in Iraq is tense, and the threat of continued violence is real. The possibility of a full-scale civil war is quite real as emotions are running high over the destruction of the revered Shiite shrine and the retaliation against Sunni mosques.
But the media has not asked or answered the following question: what exactly are the leading indicators for a full blown civil war - meaning the political leadership of the main Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties no longer wish cooperate, and an open and organized battle between the parties ensues?
The following list contains the main lead indicators a full scale civil War in Iraq is underway....
[Long list omitted; you really should read Roggio's post.]
Iraq has yet to encounter any of the problems stated above. [Emphasis added]
This is a terrible test for all Iraqis: if they are to survive as a democratic country, they are going to have to solve this cricis in a firm but restrained and civilized manner, just as Bush calls for in the Reuters article linked above:
"The voices of reason from all aspects of Iraqi life understand that this bombing is intended to create civil strife," Bush said as the military reported seven more U.S. soldiers had been killed in two separate attacks on Wednesday and American forces in Baghdad adopted a low profile.
Let us pray that Iraqi people will continue to respond with reason and the extraordinary patience they've shown so far.
Hatched by Sachi on this day, February 23, 2006, at the time of 5:03 PM
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» Civil Peace In Iraq - More of the Story from Big Lizards
As an update of sorts to Sachi's post, Civil War In Iraq? Not So!, we draw your attention to this Power Line entry by Scott Johnson. With the day-and-night curfew imposed by the government, the violence has by and large... [Read More]
Tracked on February 24, 2006 6:51 PM
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
America needs to move back, to a remote part of Iraq, and let the Iraqis go at it against each other, and anyone else who is willing to join in.
When Iraq's Government needs help, they ask for it, and our Troops step in. Changing diapers for unhappy Iraqis is not America's problem.
130 Iraqis have been killed and numerous Sunni mosques bombed
Well, according to those reports, more mosques are being killed than Iraqis. i suspect that the reporting is way off, and heard such today.
Step back, and let them go at each other, if any of them are willing to go against their own elected Government.
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at February 23, 2006 7:03 PM
The following hissed in response by: Mescalero
I have no sympathy for those gangsters who enjoy blowing up religious shrines. It is all to easy to blame Abu Musab-Zarqawi for this latest example of religious bigotry. From where I stand, I would be more than willing to entertain that the Iranian/Hezbollah gangsters had something to do with this ghastly attack against decency. I truly hope that the truly nationalist Iraqui patriots look beyond this incident and look for those who would most benefit from this incident. Everything points to the ayotollahs of Iran!!
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
Anybody see a link here?
Al-Mahdi Army / Active Religious Seminary / Al-Sadr's Group
Hujjat al-Islam Muqtada al-Sadr says that the Mahdi would soon return, in Iraq. This rumor, touching the core of Shi'i faith and eschatology, is being spread by Sadr's preachers. In the Shia tradition, the Mahdi is the 12th Imam, who is in occultation. Muktada al-Sadr says the Americans were aware of the impending reappearance, and that the Americans invaded Iraq to seize and kill the Mahdi. His supporters chant Sadr's name at rallies to imply that he is the "son of the Mahdi." Sadr has stated that the army "belongs to the Mahdi" as an explanation of why he cannot disband it, as has been required of other private militias. Although the reappearance of the Mahdi central to Shia thought, it is unusual to raise claims of the imminence of this event, and other Shiite clerics have avoided the messianic ecstasy that such claims can induce.
Ahmadinejad Awaits the Hidden Imam
January 25th, 2006
At the end of his speech at the United Nations in the fall of 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an invocation to Allah to bring about the speedy reappearance of the Hidden Imam. The media and, sad to say, many academic persons were at a loss to explain this eschatological reference. The situation was complicated by later interviews in which Ahmadinejad reported that many of his co-religionists claimed that while he was making those remarks, they could see about him an aura of light. He recalled that he too was aware of a celestial light at that time. He also pointed to the fact that the "leaders of the world" were watching him at that time with a fixed gaze, apparently unable to look away.
Now unlike the Sunni caliph, the Shi'a Imam inherited from Muhammad not just his civil rule over the umma but also his prerogative of interpreting the Quran, his infallibility, and his sinlessness (that connotation of impeccability seems far lost today). The eleventh Imam, al-Hassan al-Askari, died in 874. He was succeeded by the twelfth Imam, the youthful Muhammad, who "disappeared" in 274/878 in the cave of the great mosque at Samarra without leaving progeny.
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Dafydd, I think you'd like my related post, "Not Sunni Not Shiite….one national unity". I'll be adding a link to your post in a little while.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at February 23, 2006 10:47 PM
The following hissed in response by: Sachi
"Step back, and let them go at each other, if any of them are willing to go against their own elected Government. "
That would be the worst thing I can think of. we did not topple Sadam's regime only to see Iraqis kill each other. That is exactly what al-Qaeda wants. Why did we go to war in the first place? To fight against terrorists that's what. If we let al-Qaeda terrorists what they want, all we have done so far would go down the drain. We cannot let that happen.
The above hissed in response by: Sachi at February 23, 2006 11:07 PM
The following hissed in response by: Cowgirl
al-Sadr again. Big surprise.
obvious Iranian instigation again. Big surprise.
Let's hope the Iraqi people can connect the dots.
The above hissed in response by: Cowgirl at February 24, 2006 4:53 AM
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