Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. -- Winston Churchill

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -- Galileo Galilei

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell. -- Harry Truman

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shiites Waste No Time In Reprisal Attacks

Looks like the bombing of that Sammara Shiite mosque succeeded. Already the AP is reporting more than 90 attacks on Sunni mosques with automatics weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. "We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq's unity," said President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd. "We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war."

The U.S. Ambassador is being blamed by at least one Shiite leader. How you may wonder, did he arrive at that conclusion? The Ambassador has been blunt this week in telling the government that the U.S. will not support them if they continued to allow sectarian militia's to run amuck.

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the former commander of its militia said, “These statements ... gave green lights to terrorist groups. And, therefore, he shares in part of the responsibility." So apparently calling for stopping sectarian violence is an invitation to such violence. Shooting the messenger is still a time honored tradition, even when you have to turn the message on it's head to justify it.

What would happen if full-scale civil war breaks out? Sunnis and the Shiites would start killing each other en masse while Jihadist insurgents egg them on and cheer. Americans would likely find themselves ducking bullets from all three. Kurds in the north would likely see it as the time to make their bid to declare independence. That might trigger Turkey to get involved, who has feared that would happen all along. Iran would do their best to incite all the trouble they can get away with, and Syria would likely throw some rocks as well.

In other words chaos, killing, and disintegration of American efforts for a stable, unified, democratic Iraq. Who benefits from that is obvious. Keeping a lid on things to prevent this just got a lot harder. Whether it turns out to be a big bump in the road, or the end of the road, should become clear in a week or two.

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