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View Diary: Iraq FUBAR thread (268 comments)

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  •  Shiites (none)
    have been enormously patient.  While Sunnis have done everything possible to goad the Shias into civil war they've shown remarkable restraint.  The bombing of the mosque has now shattered that desire to find a political solution to the country's future path.

    Guess who is now caught in the middle?

    •  Well they aren't stupid (none)
      The Sunnis, being able to count just how badly they are outnumbered and not being suicidal, aren't the ones goading the Shia into civil war.  

      That would be Al-Zarqawi and his boys,  who A) consider the Shia's infidels who will have to be dealt with sooner or later anyway  and B) benefit enormously from the chaos created by an open war between the factions.

      Most of the Senior Shia know this, and don't want to play the puppet for anyone.   However they are being pushed toward that end anyway because the outrage of the Shia in the street is growing with every attack and it is being focused on tangible targets like local Sunnis, rather than shadowy theoretical ones

      Like far too many wars in history, none of the People in power really want this one, and yet the all know they are essentially powerless to stop it.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:32:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Sunnis (none)
        don't care if they are smaller in numbers, remember that Saddam was able to gain power and he was a Sunni.  The bottom line is who is willing to put up the fight for the right to control Iraq, and history (up to this point) has shown that in Iraq the Sunnis have been better able to organize and take over the government.  
      •  The notion the Sunnis can't win (none)
        or at least, "hold their own" is seriously misguided.

        The shi'ah have absolute numbers.  But the Sunni insurgents have advanced military training (they are run by the Iraqi Army officer corps) access to adequate weaponry (again, thanks to the former Iraqi Army) and an intact and increasingly unified command structure.  Also, 20% of the population is more than enough to wage a successful guerrilla campaign, unless the shi'ah attempt wholesale genocide.  Which will not be easy given the Sunni insurgents tactical and strategic advantages.

        The shi'ah paramilitaries (which is all they really have, even the new Iraqi army is a patchwork of paramilitaries) have little in the way of advanced training and lack any kind of combat hardening.  They are good at death squads, and that's it.  

        Numbers do not trump military training.  Indeed, the opposite is true.

        Long term, will the shi'ah win?  It's likely, but the cost the insurgent forces will inflict will probably make the loss a hollow one.

        Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

        by Cheez Whiz on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:46:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ^"victory a hollow one" (none)
          nt

          Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

          by Cheez Whiz on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:47:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good points (none)
          Also the Sunni are backed by well armed and trained foreign nationals from organizations like Al-Qaeda.
          •  But that has to be balanced by (none)
            the fact that the Shia have the backing of the Militant factions who control Iran's armed forces.   This gives them a steady supply line, access to very advanced weaponry and Iranian military training (which admittedly was never top notch to begin with, which is why the Iran-Iraq war became a bloody stalemate)

            Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

            by Magorn on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:10:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the (none)
              the sunni have syria, and the shia have Iran. Thats why this will escalate out of control fast.
              •  Syria is more complicated than that (none)
                Syria is the mirror image of Iraq. The Allawites (a sect related to the Shia) dominate the country despite being 11% of the pop.

                Sunnis are the majority and the Kurds are a minority in the north.

                its more likely the Iraqi Sunnis will get help from Suadi Arabia than Syria. though they could very well topple Pres. Assad and the Allawites.

                I agree with Bush. Mccain is too angry to be President.(why wont D's recycle R attack ads? They work)

                by PoliMorf on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:26:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  AND (none)
                The Saudis and the Gulf states will laugh their asses all the way to the bank with their major oil competitors taken out.
                •  I don't think so (none)
                  The Saudi royals and establishment must be feeling like they are sitting on a powder keg. They have an oppressed shia minority too and they happen to largely live in the oil patch. Plus they are religious followers of no other than ayatollah al-Sistani.

                  Meanwhile the extremist wahhabi clerics are pushing the poor sunni to express their frustration in Iraq, not within the kingdom. That too could change.

              •  You know what really sucks about that? (none)
                Until we forced their  hand with all our PNAC saber-rattling,Syria was supressing these radical Salafist Sunnis not supporting them.   However, once we started making noises about invading them too, they opened thier borders and made common cause with the radical clerics they'd previously been jailing.

                I think the  strategy was to keep us so bogged down in Iraq we had no stomach for moving against Syria; and it worked.

                Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

                by Magorn on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:30:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Heh. (none)
          Fighting an insurgency against the US is one thing.  Fighting an insurgency against an enemy that doesn't care how many of your civilians he hast to kill to get you is different.

          Open war between the factions, all sunna would be either dead or out of the country in short order.

        •  funny (none)
          this is a pretty funny discussion right here. all the talk about training and tactics, numbers and weaponry. sunni or shia?

          when the US went in, we had weaponry, tactics, training, skill, size, everything.

          nothing means nothing until the event occurs. anything also means nothing until the event occurs. that's why they play the game...

          Judyneric is Extraordinary.

          by judyneric on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 01:36:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't hard to be patient (none)
      when you have your foot on the other guy's neck.

      The Sunnis are like this because they are being heavily marginalized, and not of their own doing.

      Read the Constitution they came up with.  It leaves the Sunnis NOWHERE.  Read the Transitional Administration Laws.  Same thing.

      The Kurds come out of the whole thing with their own country and the Shi'ites get to band with Iran against the Sunnis.  Kurds get Kirkuk, Shi'ites get the rest of the oil.  Baghdad gets marginalized and treated like second class citizens.  Doesn't sound like it would be acceptable to me if I were a Sunni from Iraq.

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