October 18, 2006

Neo's Post on Civil War for Iraq

So one thing we can safely say is that the divisions in such wars are murky, and that family ties and long-term interactions don't preclude the explosion of bitter and terrible violence.

But you can use such ties to restrain the war before it goes hot. A lot of Southerners thought the North was bluffing, so they thought that a few skirmishes and everything would be okay. This "illusion" perpetrated during war, due to the fog of war, pulls people down into this pit that they can only get out of with victory or death.

If you could have convinced either side that they were going to LOSe, and lose big or lose more than they would gain, then the civil war would not occur regardless of whatever tensions are going on.

The US has the power, but not the will, to present a convincing case to both Shia and Sunnis that NEITHER will win if they start fighting. A convincing case would be a simple declaration that both sides will be considered by the US as enemies of Iraq, and purged if such a war goes hot. Thereby giving both factions a couple of reasons not to fight each other.

The more Rumsfield talks about "oh, we're just going to stand back and let them fight it out", the more the Al Sadr, Iran Badr Brigades, and Sunni terrorists think that "hey, if we ramp up the sectarian murders, we might get the US out of our way so we can FINALLY take the fight to those no good X, and Ys".

The best way to get more death, is to act like more violence will reward the separate power factions in Iraq.

In addition, some of these civil wars on the list are also proxy international wars, in which foreign powers ally with one segment or other to try to influence matters to the benefit of that foreign power.

Most of the revolutions and guerrila wars in history were engineered and funded by foreign powers intent on getting a slice of the pie.

A bunch of peasants didn't just suddenly start totting military hardware they dug from a mine.

*[Another thing we can quibble about is whether the present violence in Iraq should have been foreseen, and what (if anything) could have been done to nip it in the bud.

We can nip it in the bud right not by getting rid of all those guys in Iraq seeking to carve a piece of territory using intimidation and cruelty. Trying to have a successful revolution without getting rid of the domestic insurgencies, is like the US trying to have a workable government after the Revolutionary War while keeping all those British loyalists in New England instead of shipping them back to England and over to Canada. Not going to work, if you have a bunch of enemies inside your country after a civil war.

in terms of clamping down more harshly on elements such as Sadr, back when he was first consolidating power; the perception of impending anarchy gripped the nation from the first postwar days.

Like I say, since you can't change the past, NONE of that matters. What matters is what they are doing, or NOT doing, right now. And that, is really the problem.

It seems to me to fail on these two counts- for (2), who are the clearly defined ("organized") two groups of combatants?

Sistani vs Al Sadr vs Badr Iran Brigades vs Sunni Al Qaeda vs Sunni Baathists, to name a few in the free for all. And it is a free for all.

You just got through explaining to us how it isn't clear at all.

That is just Neo's style.

People generally talk about a Sunni-Shia civil war, but the government is neither, so how does that pan out.

The Shia Revival, pans it out pretty well, douglas.

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