Newsweek: Shi'ites have ethnically cleansed Baghdad

I’m gonna do a BG here, because I just don’t have much to add:

Now if someone can do the same in Kirkuk, Iraq will be all ready for ethnic partition. :rolleyes:

When I was growing up in northern tribal Pakistan, I learned this motto:

Me against my brother.
Me and my brother against the family.
Me and my family against the tribe.
Me and my tribe against the world.

Well-intentioned or not, world conspiracy or not, the US presence in Iraq temporarily let the Islamic zealots in the area (and there are a lot of them) unite against the Great Satan. As the US withdraws from the fray sectarian violence will increase…

60 years after the bloody Partition of India into two countries (and the further partition of East and West Pakistan into two countries) there is widespread distrust, which is at some root level is based on sectarian fanatacism. There is nevertheless peace of a sort.

“Peace” will only come to Iraq when Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds have their own fiefdoms staked out, and even that peace will be as unstable as the rest of the Islamic world. Islam needs at least another few generations to figure out that it’s OK to have a personal religion and let the rest of society meld together. Leaders such as Mr Bush, ignorant of history and dangerously zealous in their own personal beliefs, are going to continue to create instability no matter how well-intentioned their actions.

Actually, no. Leaving aside for the moment the inaccuracy of your thread title, let’s look at what your article says: Half the neighborhoods are now Shiite, so we would presume that about half the rest are Sunni (with perhaps a few other ethnic or sectarian groups as well). They are not, however a contiguous area that could be partitioned, let alone partitioned in such a way as to be attached to a larger “Sunni Iraq” and “Shiite Iraq”, respectively. If they do that in Kirkuk, you won’t be able to partition it, either.

Unfortunately, partition is going to take much, much more bloodshed than has already occurred. And I suspect that if Iraq is partitioned, especially by an external force, that external force will have to stay there to maintain the partition-- it won’t be stable, as all three sides* will want more than what they end up with. Not to mention the fact that you might see further sub-partitioning as Shiites fight Shiites and Sunnis fight Sunnis for control of their new areas. It’s the tribal alliances that matter most, and there are literally hundreds of tribes in Iraq.

*ignoring for the moment that there are other groups besides Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.

OK, let’s check the article:

You think that’s a stable situation? That will last about as long as we are willing to protect the remaining Sunni enclaves with a significant military presence.

Baghdad is already effectively part of Shiastan.

How do you know? Baghdad was easily the most significant obstacle to a partition of Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines, and it has been all but ‘solved.’

Who’s talking about external forces? They’re doing it all by themselves. The current role of the U.S. with respect to partition is to keep the remaining Sunni enclaves from being ‘cleansed.’

Besides, that really was a throwaway line on my part - hence the rolleyes.

No kidding - I was saying that back during the run-up to war, four and a half years ago, as an argument against invading.

More to the point is our utter ineffectiveness at accomplishing anything useful by staying. If civilian casualties in Baghdad have been declining, the fact that the Shi’ites have either driven the Sunnis into fortified enclaves, or out of the city altogether, demonstrates that this is an indication of failure, not success, on our part. Our efforts in Iraq have been focused on Baghdad since last June, when Operation Together Forward commenced; the surge was simply the new, improved version. Yet most of the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad has apparently taken place during the lifetime of those two operations.

The fact from the beginning has been that we needed ~500,000 troops in country to pacify Iraq. But we don’t have enough troops to sustain even the ~160K strength of the surge. Bush’s alternatives have been to either (a) institute a draft (riiiight), or (b) try to win this war on the cheap, by asking the impossible of the ground forces we’ve got. He’s gone with (b), of course, and it’s never worked, it isn’t working now, and it isn’t going to work. What more is there to say?

Let’s be realistic. Nasty as ethnic cleansing is (and it is) in can be preferable to what might happen in the alternative, which might well be genocide.

I do not wish to make light of the numberless refugee crises around the world, all of which are genuine humanitarian disasters. But given the choice - not that we often have one - I’d rather have a Cyprus than a Rwanda.

Hmmm…how about: Don’t launch immoral wars of aggression and/or conquest. That helps in my day to day life.

Mr. Moto, that’s a handy sales pitch you’ve got there. You mind if I make it a little more catchy?

Iraq: Better Than Genocide

Maybe that should be the title of the “Petraeus” report.

Sure. I’ll go you one further. The Northern No Fly Zone and the Kurdish enclave it protected was better than genocide, and the Southern No Fly Zone and the Shiite enclave it protected was better than genocide. Neither of these were ideal, and these created a de facto political division of the country and separation of the population even before our invasion, but yeah, better than genocide.

And since your position on the war was that these measures were sufficient, I guess you would agree with that, wouldn’t you?

Hard to argue the alternative, I’ll concede, as nothing is worse than genocide, or as bad as it.

You would argue, then, that the only thing the no-fly zones were better than was genocide?

Because, y’know, ISTM that the no-fly zones were better than a whole bunch of lesser evils than genocide as well.

Let me add the following:

My point was that you were arguing that the current situation in Baghdad was better than genocide - and if that’s the best you can say for it, that’s faint praise indeed for a situation we brought about, and have been spilling lots of American blood trying to prevent.

Didn’t think that really needed to be spelled out.

C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S, oh no…

In other news, all the Shi’ites in Djibouti live around Lake Asal.