Monday, August 13, 2007

Why Iraq Is Falling Apart

Who Is IOZ?: Bref
In the 1920s, following the first World War and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the British took over territorial Iraq under a League of Nations Mandate, imposed a Sunni Hashemite monarchy, dropped white phosphorous on the Kurds, and enacted a series of land reforms that allowed Sunni tribal leaders to consolidate property, wealth, and political power. For the next fifty years, Iraq was governed by a Sunni monarchy, a Sunni-dominated pseudo-republican military regime, a Sunni-dominated technocratic elite, and finally a Sunni strongman in the form of Saddam Hussein.

Five years ago, the United States invaded Iraq, deposed its Sunni dictator, stripped the Sunni minority of its sinecures in goverment and largely of its right to participate in government, and, bowing to pressure from a now-empowered Shi'ite majority, sponsored parliamentary elections which, unsurprisingly, resulted in a Shia-dominated goverment. The Shi'ite government naturally allied itself with the coreligionist government of neighboring Iran. The remnants of the Sunni government and military apparatus began an insurgent campaign. Shia groups organized militias and began to exact revenge for past repressions as well as to enact their own repressions of the remaining Sunni population. A variety of terrorist groups, some with ties to major Iraqi factions, others loyal to more radical, less nationalistic agendas filtered into the cracks and began blowing shit up.

The United States, fixated on Iran as its next great enemy, began to identify Shia groups with Iranian affinities as its principle enemy in Iraq. The Shi'ite government with its many ties to both Iran and to Shia militias, began supporting the idea that terrorists were the principle enemy in Iraq. The Sunni insurgents, seeking to arm themselves against their Shia masters, began cooperating with the Americans in combating "al Qaeda" in order to gain weapons and funds. The Americans, reacting to domestic political opposition to the idea of refereeing a civil war between Sunni and Shia acceeded to the idea that it was "al Qaeda" and "foreign fighters" causing the most damange in Iraq. This had the added benefit of allowing American politicians to blame perpetual bogeyman Iran. Iran, after all, is foreign to both America and Iraq. Who cares if the terrorists are or are not separated from the Iranian government by a thousand-year-old religious schism? America, in any event, gave everybody even more guns than they already had. This, my friends, is the strategy.
All of the above is objectively true (except for the last sentence, which is so well-documented an assertion as to almost be textbook factual).

Please! Will some Iraq hawk tell us what the "plan for victory" is here?


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