Sectarian violence is returning to Iraq in a big way. 62-deaths from bombings in the past day. Three American soldiers killed. A dozen Iraqi policemen eliminated.
Blame Obama. After all, there's a lot of political hay to be made out of this and the Republican stable has been going without lately.
Yes, violence is returning with the drawdown of US forces but to blame it on that is facile. To do that is to ignore the real problems that beset the nation of Iraq that remain pretty much as they were when Saddam was overthrown.
There's an unresolved Arab versus Kurd problem. A Sunni versus Shia problem. There's even a rift between the nationalist Shiite movement of al Sadr and the pro-Iranian Shiite movement headed by Maliki. These chasms have a cumulative effect. Tensions on one front tend to magnify strains on the others. When the Arabs are divided, it offers the Kurds little incentive to forego their quasi autonomy. When Maliki's Shia can't close a deal with the Sunni or the Kurds, it gives Sadr's Shia opportunities to exploit. When Maliki shuns the Sunni and balks on the promises of reconciliation, it shuts down the Awakening Councils and sends their members back into the old Sunni resistance. And guess what? Al Qaeda in Iraq is staging a comeback and it has nothing to do with Barack Obama either.
Initially these sectarian divide was a boon for Americans and now that they exploited it to the hilt it is becoming a liability and main hurdle. It is like Saddam was CIA man helped US for decades including getting even with Iran, a decade long war, for embassy hostages and then he became an enemy who needed to be hung. Al-Queda and Taliban was the creation of US to fight Soviets and we know the rest. Where are we going with all this?
Actually, Sunni-dominated Iraq goes back to the Brits who, after carving Iraq to suit their needs thought the Sunni would be able to keep the Kurds and Shia under control. And, not to be picky, but the Talibs only came into existence well after the Sovs had been driven out and, by then, America had lost interest. The Talibs were hatched by Pakistan's ISI if anyone.
But the thrust of your point is well taken. The Americans were indeed hoping for a secular, Shia-dominated state. Unfortunately neither Shiite bunch comes in "secular." Which, of course, inadvertently empowers Iran and on and on and on.
You know, LD, at times I wonder if the Americans could have screwed this up any worse if they'd actually tried.
Mound, you're quite right. However, I will point out that beginning of the Taliban was there when US trained and supported Jihadist to fight Soviets. Name may have come later.
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