Monday, December 04, 2006

Not a very civil, orderly war

John Robb makes a point that I find quite convincing:
Many in the media/government are still debating whether the conflict in Iraq is a civil war or not. However, the reality of Iraq has already moved well past that terminology, it's worse: it's the perpetual chaos of all against all, or anarchy. Here's what I mean. Despite the depiction of the current strife as a conflict between Sunni and Shia, the reality is much more complex, one much more akin to Europe's 30 years war than modern history. For example, each "side" is composed of dozens of motivationally heterogeneous sub-groups that only nominally cooperate with each other within an open source framework. Each group is relatively small (as opposed to the size necessary to seize control of the government) and we have also seen a substantial number of armed clashes between these supposedly "allied" groups. Finally, it can be maintained that none, including the all the Shia groups, are fully aligned with the needs of the Iraqi state or any single meta level authority.
About 40 days back, I hinted at the same observation.

More later (or at least that's my plan).


Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

I quite like the Thirty Years War parallelism- not least because the Wahhabi Islamists and Neocon fascists of today both resemble in many ways the mad Calvinist preachers of early 17th century Europe with their destructive Pentateuch-based world view!

Thank Yahweh, the “pragmatic” Lutheran and Catholic princes of Germany and France eventually prevailed: let’s hope a coalition of Republican realists à la Robert Gates and Jim Webb-style “New Democrats” can do the same today e.g. by reinstating secular Sunni nationalists in Mossul, Baghdad and Tickrit as a bulwark against Iranian and Saudi Islamic fundamentalism...

8:20 AM  

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