Off to the civil war
Off to the civil war
These last few days have been truly frightening. The air in Baghdad feels charged in a way that scares me. Everyone can feel the tension and it has been a strain on the nerves. It's not so much what's been going on in the streets- riots, shootings, bombings and raids- but it's the possibility of what may lie ahead. We've been keeping the kids home from school, and my cousin's wife learned that many parents were doing the same- especially the parents who need to drive their kids to school.
We've been avoiding discussing the possibilities of this last week's developments… the rioting and violence. We don't often talk about the possibility of civil war because conferring about it somehow makes it more of a reality. When we do talk about it, it's usually done in hushed tones with an overhanging air of consternation. Is it possible? Will it happen?
Sunnis and Shi'a have always lived in harmony in Iraq and we still do, so far. I'm from a family that is about half Shi'a and half Sunni. We have never had problems as the majority of civilized people don't discriminate between the two. The thing that seems to be triggering a lot of antagonism on all sides is the counterinsurgency militia being cultivated by the CPA and GC which will include Chalabi's thugs, SCIRI extremists and some Kurdish Bayshmarga.
The popular and incorrect belief seems to be that if you are a Kurd or Shi'a, this step is a positive one. Actually, the majority of moderate Kurds and Shi'a are just as exasperated as Sunnis about this new group of soldiers/spies that is going to be let loose on the population. It's just going to mean more hostility and suspicion in all directions, and if the new Iraqi force intends to be as indiscriminate with the detentions and raids as the troops, there's going to be a lot of bloodshed too.
I once said that I hoped, and believed, Iraqis were above the horrors of civil war and the slaughter of innocents, and I'm clinging to that belief with the sheer strength of desperation these days. I remember hearing the stories about Lebanon from people who were actually living there during the fighting and a constant question arose when they talked about the grief and horrors- what led up to it? What were the signs? How did it happen? And most importantly… did anyone see it coming
God, this sucks. It just sucks. Incompetence and indifference leading to civil war.
posted by Steve @ 2:34:00 AM