Tuesday, July 07, 2009

WWB: Sectarian strife

WHAT WAR BRINGS: sectarian strife

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, there was no recent history of violence or aggression between Sunnis and Shia’s of Iraq. Instead, there was multiple intermarriages, several tribes being mixed with both sects, and a government that was composed of both sects.

The original ‘deck of cards’ that the occupying forces issued was reportedly 40% Shia’s, even though the narrative turned (rather quickly) to the belief that it was only the Sunnis who were in power under Saddam, and only the Sunnis who benefited under him.

That, of course, is hogwash.

The last time there was significant sectarian strife in Iraq was under the British occupation, back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. And as soon as the Iraqi people fled to Jordan or Syria during the American occupation, all sectarian strife vanished.

As this opinion piece in the Toronto Star points out, it was occupation itself that brought on sectarian strife:

America plunged Iraq into chaos, shattered the infrastructure and destroyed the society, reducing human beings to their basest instincts. They turned on each other and found safety only in family, tribe, clan and sect. Shiites and Sunnis, who had lived together for ages, ethnically cleansed each other's neighbourhoods, which to this day remain separated by barricades, walls and checkpoints.

Having unleashed the forces that put Iraq's three main communities at war with each other, the U.S. toyed with the idea of dividing the country into the Kurdish north, a Sunni centre and a Shiite south, much like the British had divided India in two in 1947.

Having created the chaos, violence and jihadism, the U.S. said, in colonial fashion, it had to stay to curb the chaos, violence and jihadism. Having crippled the state, it had no choice but to prolong the occupation until the natives were ready to govern themselves.

Iraq exhausted America more than the 1917-32 British invasion and occupation sapped the British. It also created killing fields on a vast scale.

From what I have read on Iraq since 2003 – and it has been extensive – the Iraqi people do feel that the presence of occupation troops in their country has been the root cause of the sectarian strife. And recently, the Iraqi parliament ruled out any “help” from Americans in reconciliation between the various sects and their warring fractions.

Iraq declines offer of US help with reconciliation

Iraq on Saturday ruled out foreign involvement in its efforts to reconcile rival factions, just after visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged Iraqis to do more to bury grievances and stave off renewed conflict.

Biden, on a three-day visit, offered U.S. help in what he said was a long road ahead in uniting a country deeply split by years of sectarian war and riven by violence.

But Iraq has been forcefully asserting a newfound sovereignty in the week U.S. combat troops pulled out of city centres, a milestone that was feted by flowers and dancing.

"We made it clear that national reconciliation is an Iraqi issue and involvement of a non-Iraqi party won't make it more successful," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh.

Boy, he got that right. Any “help” from Biden is a clear path to further instability and possible disintegration of the country. Biden once proposed that Iraq should be split up into three sections. Look what this idiot said recently, in the same Reuters article:

During his meetings with Maliki on Friday, Biden warned resurgent sectarian or ethnic violence in Iraq was "not something that would make it likely that we'd stay engaged," a U.S. official told reporters.

He added in Washington, there is no longer "any appetite to put Humpty Dumpty back together again", should Iraq fall apart.

There never was any ‘appetite’ to help Iraq. There was only an appetite to destroy and dominate, with one of the main tactics being DIVIDE AND CONQUER. And the US getting DISENGAGED would be the best thing for Iraq right now, and is exactly what the majority of Iraqis want.

I hope to god that the US does not stay ‘engaged’ in Iraq – those poor people need to RECOVER from the occupation’s destructiveness and from our politician’s enormous stupidity.

A friend from Iraq recently visited me, and she says that most Iraqis felt the US was behind the bombing of the shrine in Samarra in 2006. It was that incident that plunged Iraq into a hell of sectarian violence. Today, entire neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed, and the US put up concrete walls to separate the various neighborhoods.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: sectarian strife, which results in violence, chaos and death.

Lessons learned from Vietnam?


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