War in Iraq

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 17thfabn, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. You raise a very interesting point, 17th, and I think you encapsulate the underlying problem rather succinctly . We talk and act as if Iraq were a single nation with a single identity, when in fact it is not. As you point out, we are dealing with three discrete "nations" within one geographic country--the Shites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds--yet we persist in assuming they are in fact one. What exacerbates the situation even more is that the three nations that do exist are not based upon ethnicity, but on religious belief. Religious belief is a powerful force indeed, and as a motivater of zealotry it has no equal. Ultimately, I think, only one of two outcomes is possible: either some agreement is reached that will allow a true sharing of power (and I think this unlikely), or one and only one faction will emerge as the ruling force, with the other two either destroyed or essentially enslaved. Either way, it means civil war and bloodshed on a scale we have only begun to see.
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    A slight "beg to differ" here PS.

    While the Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'ites are Arabs, the Kurds are not. The Kurds are of their own ethnic group and range from Turkey, thru Iraq, and into Iran.

    And while the Kurds are also Muslim, they tend to be far more moderate in their religion than either the Sunnis or Shi'ites.

    However, I do agree with most of what you say about this whole mess.

  3. You are, of course, quite correct in an ethno-demographic sense, X. What I intended to emphasize in my comment, however, was that much of the difference between the three groups is based largely on nuances of Islamic theological belief rather than existing as a pure ethnic conflict. This is certainly true with regard to the Sunni/Shi'ite conflict, but perhaps only to a somewhat lesser extent true with regard to the Kurds. In many ways, the Kurds remind me of the Scotts in their long struggle with the English. The Kurds are a people who speak a language (Kurdish) that is not Arabic based and they have a very long history of seeking to govern themselves independently. It is worthy of note, I think, that the Kurds have not been heavily involved in the strife we see going on in Iraq right now. They seem content to sit back and await developments for the time being. I strongly suspect, however, that any attempt to reimpose control on northern Iraq by either the Sunni or Shi'ite factions would result in a very different and far more violent reaction.
  4. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    South Central Texas
    I think one problem is this country was founded in diversity and our leaders seem to think is not a problem. when we started out it was a case of "have to" because no one group could get job done.
    This won't work else where because their not in a "have to" situation. Each group thinks they can do it themselves and don't need or want the other groups interferance.
    I see this beginning to happen here as our country in splitting along lines of political and ethnic differances. I hope I'm wrong, but I am becoming a pessimist.
  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Absolutely, PS. And, if whomever prevails in the Southern portion of Iraq, either Sunni or Shi'ite, should attempt to bring the Kurds into their sphere by force.....they'll get their heads handed to them on a platter.

    The Kurds don't have a milita......they have an army. A cohesive force that's been arming itself and training since long before the current conflict.....since Bush (the 1st) imposed the "No Fly Zone" on Saddam.

    I think "Kurdistan" would be a very tough nut to crack.

    And Nighthawk.....an astute observation, and I agree completely.
  6. Yes, it would indeed, X. It might be suggested that a united Iraq was an impossible goal from the very outset of the conflict. All the politicians, both American and Iraqi, seem to have rejected the whole idea of partition, but I wonder if that would not be the best possible solution in the long term. It seems clear that the Shi'ites will never again accept a situation in which the minority Sunnis have effective control over Iraq as they did when Saddam was in power. Likewise, the Sunnis fear retribution by the Shi'ite majority and effective disenfranchisement if elections are held and the voting goes, as it likely would, based on respective percentages of population. The Kurds, once again, simply want self-determination in the north. A partition of the country into three discrete sections, each with its own leader and governing body might work. Of course, there will still be the question of how the oil revenues should be assigned, and that would have to be determined by some sort of agreement. All three want a piece of that pie, preferably the largest piece! On the other hand, with the Iranis involved stirring the pot, along with Al Queda, a partition could end up being an open invitation to internecine warfare between the sections. I think we need to face the fact that no compromise in the American tradition between the opposing forces is likely to happen. With them, it seems, it's all or nothing.
  7. Light Coat

    Light Coat New Member

    If you really want to get to the bottom of things concerning Iraq; you must recognize a few points about it. Iraq did not exist prior to the 1920's; prior to that it was several "territories" of the Ottoman Empire. The international community lumped together Kurds, Shi'ites, Sunni and Christians into a neat economic package. Britain took on the protectorate and raked oil out of the country giving little or nothing back. If you are a fan of British imperialism; this is a text book case of their abuses of colonial areas. We have, for the past 80 odd years, forged their weapon called oil. Since the earliest history of the world the region has been a hotbed of violence and strife.

    To truly win against the region; one must make their oil as valuable as their sand.
  8. Given the alleged changes in tactics and policy we've been hearing about for the last several days, I have to wonder if the changes are a precursor to a graceful pullout from Iraq, a policy that might actually work, or if what we're really doing is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. :rolleyes:
  9. Light Coat

    Light Coat New Member

    Ahem, sir we need to put the chairs on the shuffleboard for the time being.
  10. All I'm saying, Light, is that we must either treat the situation as a war and do what must be done militarily to win, no matter how many politicians have a coronary, or pull the troops out and let the idiot ragheads kill each other until they settle it themselves.
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