28 November, 2006


A beast is congealing from the clouds of acrid smoke in Iraq. It is the automaton horror-baby of American policy. Before March 19, 2003, no one was sure which badness would be conjured when the U.S. destroyed Iraq. Now, if the reporters on the ground are to be believed, we can see its shape: Religion-based genocide.

"There are already signs of what technically could be declared ethnic cleansing." -CNN

"Iraq's Sunni minority [is] "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority." -Washington Post, citing a Marine Corps memo

"These are electric drill-holes... Those accused of supporting this daily carnage are the same people America has put in power to shape the future of Iraq... A group of MPs showed up at one of Saddam's prisons that should have been closed. But the police had taken it over unofficially. Inside they found several hundred men, all Sunnis. Almost none of them had ever been charged with any crime." -U.K. Channel 4 (Link to the full video killed by Mr. Google.)

"M., a childhood friend, came to say goodbye before leaving the country. She walked into the house, complaining of the heat and the roads, her brother following closely behind. It took me to the end of the visit for the peculiarity of the situation to hit me. She was getting ready to leave before the sun set, and she picked up the beige headscarf folded neatly by her side. As she told me about one of her neighbors being shot, she opened up the scarf with a flourish, set it on her head like a pro, and pinned it snuggly under her chin with the precision of a seasoned hijab-wearer. All this without a mirror- like she had done it a hundred times over… Which would be fine, except that M. is Christian." -Riverbend

"In some mixed neighborhoods, Shiites provided shelter to Sunnis targeted by Shiite militiamen, even though they risked being branded as collaborators. Others took care of Sunni children or bought groceries for Sunni neighbors who feared walking to the local market.

Outside their houses, the revenge attacks raged on. Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms rounded up 21 men, including a 12-year-old boy, from two Shiite homes in the village of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province. On Saturday morning, their bodies were found, all handcuffed, blindfolded and shot to death, said Bahaa al-Sodani, a provincial police official. The attacks were in apparent retaliation for assaults by Shiite militiamen on Sunni mosques in Baghdad and Baqubah the previous day...

As Sammaraie watched from his front gate, two militiamen stopped a Sunni man who worked in an electrical shop. A local informant looked at him and nodded. One of the gunmen shot him dead and left. Two weeks ago, the electrician had complained loudly when Shiite gunmen attacked a nearby Sunni mosque." -Washington Post

"Sheathed in powder-blue body bags are the remains of 72 men, many of them bearing signs of terrible torture--holes in the skull made by power drills, mutilated genitals, burns. They are the signature of the shadowy Shi'ite groups that have been kidnapping and murdering hundreds of men and boys, most of them Sunnis, in a campaign that has terrorized Baghdad's neighborhoods." -Time

(Later) I was about to update with this word of hope from Nir Rosen:
The only source of hope is that both the Shia militia members and the indigenous Sunni, who constitute the majority of the resistance, are fierce Iraqi nationalists. They have come together before to assert their Iraqi identity, and their leaders are sure to rein their forces in eventually. The best way for the Americans to support this constructive outcome is to withdraw quickly-even to begin the withdrawal now. It is encouragng that the Sunni resistance has shown an increased willingness to negotiate, and former Sunni and Shia rejectionist leaders, observing the government's composition and the drafting of the new constitution and feeling left out, have decided to participate in politics and the government, even if they have not relinquished their arms. Once the Americans leave and Sunnis are taking part in the government, which they will no longer view as collaborationist, they will have no common cause with foreign mujahideen, only a conflict of interests that will be quickly and violent solved, resulting in no more foreign fighters enjoying Iraqi hospitality.

Then I noticed it was dated from this time last year. His latest interview shows a bit less hope:
AMY GOODMAN: And what would happen if the US just withdrew troops?

NIR ROSEN: The same thing happening now, the civil war would continue. At some point Shias will make a move, a large move against the Sunnis in Baghdad. You’ll find a day when there are no Sunnis left in Baghdad. Saudi Arabia and Jordan are of course panicking about this, and they are hoping that the US will in some way arm or support Sunni militias. It’s hard for me to imagine that Sunni nations in the region will stand by and watch Sunnis pushed out of Baghdad. And Baghdad becoming really a Shia city. Because there is this Sunni terror of the Shia threat. So you'll see greater support from Saudi Arabia, from Jordan, perhaps from Yemin, from Egypt, for Sunni militias. Funding, things like that. And the civil war will spread and become a regional one. And I think Jordan will cease to exist as it does now. Eventually, because you'll have the Anbar Province of Iraq joining somehow--you already have one million Iraqi’s in Jordan at least. You walk down the streets of Jordan, you hear Iraqi Arabic as much as any other kind.


not that we have the resources there to do this securely but are we or is anybody imagining evacuating people from baghdad? declaring it a disaster area? oh wait. that's a bootstraps kind of thing to these guys.

ha, when you websearch it, you get vietnamish stories from just before the invasion. 

Posted by hibiscus

And I think Jordan will cease to exist as it does now. 

Oh great, now that's really good for Israel. Good job, friends of Israel! Way to destabilize the only remotely harmonious Arab country around! What we reallly need are millions of angry refugee Sunnis fleeing to the East Bank. That will really bring stability and peace to the Middle East.

Of course this is all so infuriating I'm picking at the tiniest scab of it.

Posted by Saheli

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?