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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Civil war in Iraq

Wednesday, at dawn, the Golden Mosque in Samarra was bombed. Since that attack on the sacred Shiite site, more-and-more analysts (and Iraqis) have worried that this could event could trigger the civil war in Iraq that many have long feared.

Sectarian violence and reprisals have apparently escalated all over the country since the attack, curfews have been imposed, and the Iraqi government is contemplating something akin to martial law.

The historical analogies being tossed about are not hopeful:
"Iraq is in a Weimar period like Germany in the 1920s which will either end with the country disintegrating or in an authoritarian government taking power," said Ghassan Atiyyah, an Iraqi political commentator.
This Reuters report includes some additional scary quotes:
Iraq's most prominent Sunni cleric, blaming Shiite police for attacking his home, said live on pan-Arab television during the gunbattle: "This is civil war declared by one side."
"If there is a civil war in this country it will never end," Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi, a minority Sunni Muslim in the Shiite-led interim government, told a news conference.

"We are ready to fill the streets with armoured vehicles."
Events on the ground might now be out of America's power to control them.

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