Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Monday, August 22, 2005

Civil War

Juan Cole's blog which I read when I wish to be informed about Iraq and the Middle East in general, had a few words to say this morning about the Iraq War. I can't say as I support his views on this, but he knows the region a lot better than I do. The thing is, this is sounding so much like what we heard as the reasons to stay in Vietnam back in the 60s and 70s. What makes it so true now when it wasn't then? Why would the people of Iraq, all of whom are deprived of real power, choose to fight a genocidal civil war instead of either splitting up or settling for peace under a central government? Why would they choose to mass murder themselves instead?
But anyway, here is the link to Juan Cole's "Informed Comment" blog:
http://www.juancole.com/2005/08/ten-things-congress-could-demand-from.html
A couple of things in the introduction stood out to me:
"All it would take would be for Sunni Arab guerrillas to assassinate Grand Ayatollah Sistani. And, boom. If there is a civil war now that kills a million people, with ethnic cleansing and millions of displaced persons, it will be our fault, or at least the fault of the 75% of Americans who supported the war."
I know, I know, you don't care. I've hear it a million times. But if that did happen, it would be pretty difficult to say that the Americans who did and do support the war were not the enablers.
Then he went on to say:
"And as I have argued before, an Iraq civil war will likely become a regional war, drawing in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. If a regional guerrilla war breaks out among Kurds, Turks, Shiites and Sunni Arabs, the guerrillas could well apply the technique of oil pipeline sabotage to Iran and Saudi Arabia, just as they do now to the Kirkuk pipeline in Iraq. If 20% of the world's petroleum production were taken off-line by such sabotage, the poor of the world would be badly hurt, and the whole world would risk another Great Depression."
I sense that Cole might have written this in response to Howard Dean's stance where it is the responsibility of the White House, not the Senate minority, to have a plan for withdrawal. Cole outlines his plan for troop withdrawal here.
One step in particular that catches my eye...
"9) Congress must rewrite the laws governing US reconstruction aid to Iraq so as to take out provisions that Iraqis must where possible use US companies or materiel. All of the reconstruction money should go directly to Iraqi firms, so as to help jump-start the economy."
I couldn't agree more on that one. Don't jump start the US economy by sending Americans off to their deaths halfway around the world, risking civil and regional war. If we want peace and stability in Iraq, get their economy up and running.

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