Monday, March 17, 2008

Rule, Not Reconciliation

By Dahr Jamail

".....Spring 2004 was perhaps the closest time in the occupation a unified Sunni-Shia front of resistance to the occupation existed. While the U.S. military assaulted the city of Fallujah in April of that year, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was carrying out his first intifada against the occupiers across much of Baghdad and southern Iraq. I witnessed Shia and Sunni demonstrating together against the occupation in the Khadamiya and Adhamiya neighborhoods of Baghdad. When I was in Fallujah there were members of Sadrs’ militia, the Mehdi Army, as well. Later, during Sadr’s second intifada, Sunni mujahedin from Fallujah would cart weapons to Najaf to the Mehdi Army there.

Also during Spring 2004, the U.S. military had supply lines cut, and later admitted to losing control of swaths of Iraq it usually controlled. Thus, a new strategy was needed for the occupiers, because “only through the greatest vigilance and through policies designed to keep their enemies divided could they hope to remain in control of the situation.”

Nearly three years later, the fruits of this strategy are clear.......

The various U.S. military and political strategies in Iraq are the primary cause of the continuing sectarianism. The occupation forces and their methods are dividing Iraqi groups, and rather than promoting reconciliation, are encouraging increases in violence, power struggles, and strife. Thus, the military strategy is actually making the political process more difficult by failing to provide the actors the space needed for any progression towards reconciliation. The ultimate (and tragic) irony, is that this strategy also makes the possibility for a much larger civil war far more likely.

Perhaps this is the “success” and “progress” Bush and others refer to when they reference the so-called surge."

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