Iraq Chaos

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Juan Cole has a commentary in Salon on the divisions between the Shiite community in Iraq;

“Sadly, not even the man once considered the Shiites' great peacemaker has been able to stop the violence. The decline in influence of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, once a revered voice of calm and unity, underlines the fragmentation of the Shiite south. When his call to stop a Shiite-on-Shiite skirmish in mid-August went unheeded, Sistani was reportedly so discouraged that he was said to be contemplating a complete withdrawal from politics. Sistani had earlier been a key architect of Shiite unity, cobbling the various religious parties into the United Iraqi Alliance, which has more or less won both parliamentary elections. But his influence has waned as he has continued to preach social harmony and avoidance of reprisals against Sunnis, a message the Shiite masses no longer want to hear.

The military position of the United States and Britain in Iraq is already fragile. Coalition forces seem barely able to keep a lid on the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement in Ramadi, Samarra, Mosul and even Baghdad. The Pentagon admitted in its recent quarterly report that violence was up 15 percent in May through July over the previous quarter. July was the most violent month in terms of civilian fatalities since the fall of Saddam. Some 90 percent of the dead are simply found in the street - bullet in the brain, hands tied, signs of torture. For the most part such violence has been a dirty war conducted by Sunni and Shiite militias against one another. If Shiite-on-Shiite violence spreads, at a time when even Grand Ayatollah Sistani has been helpless to intervene, it is difficult to see how the American and British militaries can remain viable in Iraq.”

Related:

Iraq Country Analysis- Energy Information Administration

Cordesman: Civil War Can Break Out Anytime In Iraq

Iraq, Terrorism, and U.S. Politics

Fact Sheet: The President's National Strategy for Combating Terrorism

Saddam 'had no link to al-Qaeda' ; Senate's Intelligence Committee report

PortAl Iraq

The Official Website of the Multi-National Force in Iraq

After the Guns of August- Saad Eddin Ibrahim;

"President George W. Bush has been short on neither initiatives nor catchy slogans and acronyms. Recent years are littered with them: “Global War on Terror” (GWOT), “Road Map,” “Middle East Partnership Initiative “ (MEPI), “Broader Middle East and North Africa” (BMENA) – originally “Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) – Democracy Assisted Dialogue (DAD), and so on. His latest reverie, envisioned in the thick of the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, was the New Middle East (NME), with US clients Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia serving as the pillars of regional order."

Watchdog criticises US-run Radio Sawa, Alhurra TV; The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also found that Sawa and the Alhurra satellite television network were falling short in measuring the quality of their programmes, which the stations say reach nearly 36 million people.

Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq- Quarterly Reports

The Iraqi Conflict- miscellaneous links on Iragi history

Talking to Terrorists (podcast)
"This is a conversation with Rick Welch, a lawyer from McConnelsville, Ohio, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army reserve. For 18 months, from late 2003 until the middle of last year, Rick was the civil-military advisor to the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Taskforce Baghdad, and a major part of his job was to sit down with key figures in the insurgency"

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 9, 2006 10:37 PM.

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