Thursday, February 23, 2006

Peace-Making in Iraq

About 20 minutes ago, the lead paragraph of a Reuters' article by Lin Noueihed and Mussab Al-Khairalla read: “More than 130 people, including dozens who joined a demonstration against sectarian violence, were killed in bloodshed across Iraq despite calls for calm on Thursday from leaders fearful of civil war.”

In my blog a few days ago on the PBS Frontline investigative report, The Insurgency, I wrote that the only positive reason I had yet heard for the U.S.-lead Coalition to remain in Iraq was to prevent such bloodshed. As one Iraqi military commander predicted, should the Coalition with draw now, a gruesome civil war would ensue: Sunni would kill Shi'a, Shi'a would kill Sunni, Christian would kill Muslim, and Muslim would kill Christian. The events of the past twenty-four hours since February 22 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra seem to confirm that foresight.

I agree—uniquely—with the observation spoke by President Bush: “This senseless crime is an affront to people of faith throughout the world… Violence will only contribute to what the terrorists sought to achieve by this act.”

I agree with those who commented on my The Insurgency post: with Jody, who wishes that her borther who is serving in the U.S. military in Iraq would come home; with ; with JD’s Rose, for whom the topic opens up “a whole can of worms”; with Milkmaid who sees the whole process in Iraq as too slow (“So much death during such a SLOW process”); with Kylee who sees the situation as sad and wishes that” everyone could come home safely.”

As the rather amusing and imprecise online personality test that I took yesterday that equated me with the “people loving Macedonian Dwarf" might indicate, I much prefer peace-making to war-making. This is the role—peace-making—that I now see for the U.S.-Lead Coalition. However, I also wonder if that role might not be better filled by a United Nations peace-keeping force made up of troops from Muslim nations? I am not forgetting the existence of a Christian minority living in Iraq or the precarious position of the Kurds who have been denied a nation of their own since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. However, a civil war in Iraq would seem to be primarily between Muslims and perhaps Muslims could better deal with it than military from primarily Christian nations. If, of course, they only would.


  1. They have merrily killing each other for over 1,500 years. Why would anyone think they would stop now?

  2. I doubt the Muslim forces would be able to do any better. One of the biggest problems in Iraq, if not the biggest, is the divide between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. It's like Belfast but with more weapons and less restraint.

  3. The Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Russians, possibly the Iraqi's, just about everybody in sub-sahara Africa and a lot of other folks as well just are not suited for a peaceful democracy. This is the 21st century. If they are not ready now, they never will be. This is a bitter pill, but the truth is the truth. Three quarters of the world are heathen savages and that is all they will ever be. Sooner or later, we are going to have to acknowledge this and figure out how to deal with it. It isn't going to be pleasant.

  4. I don’t know if it would work. UN peacekeepers haven’t the greatest record.

  5. Nick....It's difficult for me to comment about the situation in iraq, sitting here in Bangalore, which hasn't seen a war of that scale for as long as one can remember. But i'm clear about two things. One, Bush was goddamned wrong in sending troops to Iraq. And two, he's screwing up things by not withdrawing troops, and trying to cover his ass.
    Whether the withdrawal will cause a civil war-- i'm not sure of this. Your suggestion might work--- a U.N peace keeping force, consisting of mainly the muslim troops from the middle east might have a better effect than the U.S presence over there.
    This entire episode is just so goddamned sickening.

  6. i just want my brother to come home.

  7. Your Best Man—That’s true; of course, Europeans having doing the same.

    Limpy—I agree. Iraq has numerous ethnic and religious groups, including the Kurds, who have been promised a Kurdish nation since the end of World War I plus a not insignificant Christian population. My idea of using Muslim troops as peacekeepers is that the West is a major target of the insurrectionists.

    Retired FBI Guy—I am unsure what your mean by “peaceful democracy.” If you are referring to us in the United States, you forget our history: we are a very violent nation.

    Azsonofagun—I don’t know if it would work, either.

    Vishwa—I agree. The Bush administration was not justified in invading Iraq. Bush had his own agenda that was not influenced by any outside elements: he wanted to finish "Daddy's War" and get back at Saddam for sending assassins to kill his father. He was looking for a raison d'être to invade Iraq.

    That's not saying that the Baath regime wasn't brutal and evil. But the United States has supported such regimes in the past and we supported Saddam up to his invasion of Kuwait. If you remember, he even asked our ambassador what the U.S. would do if he invaded Kuwait before the invasion. I concur with those who believe that her non-response was the green light that Saddam wanted to begin the invasion.

    Jody—I really want your brother to come home from Iraq, too.

  8. I am spun out by the lovely Mr Bush actually making a comment that is relevant and accurate. I have to wonder though... who did he pay and how much did he pay them to come up with that?!

  9. I agree with Your Best Man, it's been going on forever- it probably always will.
    Forcing our beliefs on them will not change their wiring.

  10. I do not think Arab peacekeepers would do the job. They would probably be Sunnis and just join in the killing of the Shiites.

  11. I am afraid that nothing will work there. There seem to be people who just want to kill and destroy like they see no value in life. I wish we had never gotten into this mess.

  12. ex-Louisville Guy Retired in TucsonSunday, February 26, 2006 11:09:00 AM

    The Bush administration would never turn power over to the United Nations. As with all bullies, they want to be in control.

  13. I think it is a great idea.