STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Iraq Readies for Civil War?
By Staff News & Analysis - May 03, 2013

'The civil war in Iraq has already begun': Politician claims conflict… will be 'worse than Syria' … The Sunni rise again: Uprising in Syria emboldens Iraq's minority community Iraqi army losing hold on north to Sunni and Kurdish rebels as troops desert Iraq's Prime Minister fights off attempt to push him out of office … Iraqi leaders fear that the country is sliding rapidly into a new civil war which "will be worse than Syria". Baghdad residents are stocking up on rice, vegetables and other foodstuffs in case they are prevented from getting to the shops by fighting or curfews. "It is wrong to say we are getting close to a civil war," said a senior Iraqi politician. "The civil war has already started." – The Independent

Dominant Social Theme: Iraq has settled down now and become a peaceful society.

Free-Market Analysis: From an investment and business standpoint this is bad news. We were led to believe by the US government itself and supporters in Iraq that the new government would increase peace throughout the region. But now the cracks are beginning to show.

Iraq's Sunni minority population was powerful under Saddam Hussein but now is the minority in terms of power as well as population. But empowering the Shia population has not proven to be any kind of panacea. According to this article, a subdued civil war is already being prosecuted.

One is left pondering the reasons for why the US decided to invade Iraq. None of the reasons make sense and the destabilization in the country is sure to haunt the West for years to come. Here's more on this disturbing development:

The situation has suddenly deteriorated since the killing of at least 36 Sunni Arab protesters at a sit-in in Hawijah on 23 April. An observer in Baghdad, who did not want to be named, said "ever since, Hawijah people are frightened of a return to the massacres of 2006". She added that Sunni and Shia were avoiding going into each others' areas. Signs of deteriorating security are everywhere. Al-Qa'ida showed its reach on Monday when five car bombs blew up in overwhelmingly Shia southern Iraq, leaving 21 dead.

The Sunni fundamentalist group, which had a resurgence in 2012, is responsible for killing a majority of the almost 1,500 Iraqis who have died in political violence so far this year … The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is floundering in its response. In dealing with the four-month-old protest movement by the Sunni Arabs, a fifth of Iraq's population, who say they are treated as second-class citizens, he varies between denouncing them as terrorists and admitting that they have real grievances. The government has closed the main road from Iraq to Jordan, which the Sunni say is a collective punishment for their community. Overall, Mr Maliki has badly miscalculated in believing that, if he played for time, the Sunni protests would die away and he could divide the Sunni leadership with promises of money and jobs.

"The current situation in Iraq is worrying and a reminder of the formidable challenges Iraq continues to face. US officials in Washington and Baghdad have been in constant contact with a wide range of senior Iraqi leaders to help resolve ongoing political and sectarian tensions. These talks have focused on specific steps to avoid further violence and resolve key issues peacefully through constructive engagement and the political process.

… The United States continues to support an Iraq that is federal, unified, democratic, stable, and secure. We urge all parties to continue working together toward that objective through Iraq's democratic institutions, consistent with the rule of law and the Iraqi constitution."

It sounds like US officials are optimistic about the changes that have occurred in Iraq, but one is left with a queasy sensation that the entire Middle East more unsettled now than it was in pre-war Iraq.

Not only that, but as we have reported in these pages, Northern Africa has been purposefully destabilized by the West as well, via various youth movements. Tunisia, Mali, the Ivory Coast, the Congo, Egypt and Libya have all come under attack and often regime change.

Syria is the latest hot spot and now Iraq is verging on a new civil war. In fact, it is as if Western leaders have actively pursued a destabilization of a huge mass containing over one billion people.

After Thoughts

The question is why – and what is to be the end result of these simmering conflicts. They are continuing and strengthening and presumably the consequences will be grave.

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