Thursday, December 28, 2006

An uncivil civil war

From today's New York Times: "The car parked outside was almost certainly a tool of the Sunni insurgency. It was pocked with bullet holes and bore fake license plates. The trunk had cases of unused sniper bullets and a notice to a Shiite family telling them to abandon their home. “Otherwise, your rotten heads will be cut off,” the note read.

The soldiers who came upon the car in a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad were part of a joint American and Iraqi patrol, and the Americans were ready to take action. The Iraqi commander, however, taking orders by cellphone from the office of a top Sunni politician, said to back off: the car’s owner was known and protected at a high level.

For Maj. William Voorhies, the American commander of the military training unit at the scene, the moment encapsulated his increasingly frustrating task — trying to build up Iraqi security forces who themselves are being used as proxies in a spreading sectarian war. This time, it was a Sunni politician — Vice Prime Minister Salam al-Zubaie — but the more powerful Shiites interfered even more often.

“I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting,” Major Voorhies said."

I'd promote Major Voorhies to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or maybe Secretary of Defense. For telling it like it is, for dealing in the world of reality he'll probably be sent to the front. But wait, he's already at the front. Maybe they'll send him to the front of the front. (paraphrasing M*A*S*H) Maybe they'll send out one of the infamous Republican chickenhawks to call him a "Liberal" or a voter for Kerry or Gore. The sad truth is our troops are in the crossfire of a civil war. An uncivil civil war to be honest. Sending more troops into Baghdad won't prevent what is happening in Iraq. We are all watching a country tear itself apart from the inside out and with a committment that only religious fundamentalism can create. And while Maj. Voorhies has to worry about whether the Iraqi security forces he works with are really militias, President Bush worries about how it will look to the enemy if we get out of the way of the civil war that's anything but civil. How do you think it looks to the enemy if we don't get out of the way? Like target practice.

Sometimes you have to let people look into the abyss before they help themselves. The faster we start to leave Iraq the more they'll look into the abyss. Right now 140,000 American troops are standing at the bottom of that abyss. That's a bad place to stand without a way out and with more troops on the way it's going to get really crowded down there.


Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Well said. That belongs in an op-ed section of a newspaper.

11:28 AM  

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