Friday, March 30, 2007

Religious Civil War

One of the problems Americans have reconciling the daily news and photos from Iraq with the political rhetoric is that the most basic description of this war has been 'spun' by professionals to be anything but what it truly is. It is now a RELIGIOUS CIVIL WAR for control of of billions of barrels of oil reserves and vast natural resources not to mention the lives and future of 25,000,000 Iraqis.

The players include Iran (Persian Shiites) and most Arab nations in the region (Sunni's) in addition to the US and our few remaining partners.

Over 1,440 days ago the President declared Mission Accomplished in Iraq. Since then, the inevitable civil breakdown that James Baker and Bush's father had predicted and warned against has taken place. It was predictable, inevitable and unavoidable. Numerous examples of our inability to stop this civil war exist. One of the latest is the town of Tal Afar which had been occupied and pacified by the US for several years but once we left, resumed extreme levels of violence and bloodshed. A Sunni martyr giving away a truck load of free flour blew up a crowd of 80 civilians. In retaliation, Shiite government police or militia raided Sunni homes during the night, executing over 60 Sunnis. We are powerless to stop it except in a few isolated areas and then only temporarily. John McCain put it best when he called this situation a gruesome game of 'whack-a-mole'. Ironically, McCain has reversed his view and now supports continuing this futile strategy.

Tal Afar is but a preview of what will happen in Baghdad, when we inevitably leave. All out religious warfare (the worst possible kind) will continue until one group nearly exterminates the other and takes total control of the government and the country or some portion of it.

ALL parties have contributed hundreds of $Billions of dollars worth of war materials over the past four years to influence the outcome. The US is spending $12.5 million a MINUTE in Iraq, supporting our troops and the Shiite dominated government we helped establish. Iran funds the Shiite militias which at 1 million strong constitute the largest military force in Iraq, by far. Saudi Arabia and it's allies have been supporting the former ruling Sunni's who are natural allies with al-Qaeda but together are still losing ground and limited to extensive acts of terrorism. US taxpayers are spending 100's of times more than any of these groups but because of crooked US politicians and contractors are not getting much bang for our bucks.

Only Iran and wealthy Arab oil sheiks could afford to conduct warfare on this scale for over four years. Cheney knows this and was recently summoned to Riyadh to be told in person that Arab nations would not allow Iran (through it's Shiite militias) to take control of Iraq, whatever the cost. Expect a new commitment by Arab nations of arms and maybe even troops to prevent a clear Shiite takeover. This could be our brief opportunity to extract America from this conflict. If we wait and try to leave later, Iraq will explode into open regional warfare. Perhaps it is already too late.

Considering the stakes for all in the region, total victory can't be allowed, so the likely result will be a division of the country into at least three defensible areas. The Kurds in the North have wanted independence all along and will try to take and hold the oil fields around Mosul while establishing a Kurdish state, if we help them. If we won't help them, they will be destroyed by Iranian or Shiite fighters. The Sunni's still control Western Iraq, but will likely lose the valuable oil fields and Persian Gulf access in the South to Iran-backed Shiite's who have both legitimate and purely numerical claims to the government and most of Iraq. Baghdad will become another Beirut, shelled into a virtual ghost town. The battle for Baghdad will never stop. Baghdad will never recover it's former glory or prosperity. America has nothing to gain by staying in Iraq. We've already lost far more than we have gained by destabilizing this country and the entire region. If we don't pull out soon reducing the scope of this battle to a regional conflict, the entire Middle East could explode into a Third World War that will spread across Europe beginning the End Days, as many believe was foretold in the Bible.

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