Sounds like Yon was right about the civil war. The violence started ramping up after the demolition of the dome on the Askariya shrine. Now the insurgents have their civil war but their timing is lousy: no allies, Zarqawi dead, and they are going to lose. Is this good? It will no doubt settle that part of the insurgency, but the problem of controlling the Shia militias is going to get worse. In the short term the US gets to watch while it all goes down -- combat dead are at 14 so far this month -- but in the long term I am not clear on the consequences.
Saddam is not on trial for killing 148 people, he is on trial for killing hundreds of thousands.But, if the Iraqis prefer I guess they can let him out and he can clean things up for them. Put a million or so in mass graves and settle things down. After all this is the ME.But then again, there are about 6 million people in Baghdad and the truth is it might not be a bad idea of some of them did leave for awhile. The militias are a problem and will continue to be until they are either absorbed or destroyed. They should never have let Sadr back in the country.
This is more or less the same situation Iraq the Model posted about a week ago. Is this "melting down"? I doubt things will get to the melting point. I think it provides an acid test for the Iraqi government and security forces. If they can't handle this, they have a long way to go.
morgan:You read my mind I was just going to post on iraq the model as well. He has some interesting remarks about the Israeli/Lebanon situation and makes it plain he blames Iran and Syria for most of the problems in Iraq. When I think of people leaving en masse I guess I think of caravans on highways, if they are flying out that means they have money.His remark about 100 million dollars in the hands of the militias is very true.
I believe things will get better in the long run. Give them time to settle down.az
This is going to get much worse.This is not, and never has been, a war against the West. It's a sunni/shia war and the non-muslims have simply gotten in their way.If Israel were full of Christians instead of Jews, the situation would be the same.I still believe that in the end the muslim world will figure things out and decide it's better to reject extremism than to die with it.But it's going to take longer than I had hoped.I do not regret the Iraq war. I do not regret trying. And I haven't given up. It's just going take more time and blood.A wrinkle I see for the immediate future is the refugees fleeing Baghdad and Lebanon mostly converging on Damascus.
Syl:Well if iran would stop funding Sadr it would help. I remember when ElSalvador had the death squads. That is better now, but it had to run its own course.I got the impression from Iraq the Model that a lot of the folks that are leaving Baghdad are staying in Iraq, they are just going to the provinces.I heard that a lot of the people with money are going to Jordan.
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