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Iraq: it is civil war « Previous | |Next »
April 8, 2004

Juan Cole puts it simply: "A two-front struggle against radical Sunnis and Shiites has arrived." What was potential a few day ago is now actual. the Wall Street Journal. says that it is crunch time in Iraq, says What is needed is a "reassertion of U.S. resolve". The US announces US that its resolve was "unshakable" and that it will "prevail."


How will the emerging civil war play out? Juan Cole says:

"It seems inevitable to me that the US military will pursue a war to the death with the Army of the Mahdi, the Sadrist movement, and Muqtada al-Sadr himself. They will of course win this struggle on the surface and in the short term, because of their massive firepower. But the Sadrists will simply go underground and mount a longterm guerrilla insurgency similar to that in the Sunni areas."

As the Americans move to crush the forces of Muqtada al-Sadr the Shiite insurgency will have tacit popular support.

As an editorial in The Ashai Shimbum says:

"The demonstrators who turned on members of the occupation forces were ordinary citizens, not members of al-Qaida nor holdovers of the Saddam Hussein lump repeated attacks on the occupation forces and new Iraqi police stations as acts committed by particular groups of terrorists seems to defy logic. Rather, these attacks should be understood in the context of anti-American and anti-occupation sentiment on the part of a wider public. "

Hence the analogy with Vietnam suggested by Mark Latham in his speech to the Lowy Institute.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:57 AM | | Comments (0)