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  • Southern Iraqi Status

    The media is finally paying attention to Southern Iraq. Can't tell you how many times I read articles that say we should try to calm the central portion of Iraq, "Like it is in the southern provinces". This article mentions that it's gotten bad in the last few months. It was messed up in Jun 2005 when I got there, it was messed up in May 2006 when I left.

    For a CNN article this goes into to some depth, surprising.....

    Some excerpts:
    • Story Highlights
    • Analyst cites "struggle for power" among Shiite groups in Iraq's south
    • Central government not as important as guns and money, analyst says
    • "Anti-coalition sentiments" attract support of many on the street
    By Joe Sterling
    CNN
    (CNN) -- The fight between U.S.-led forces and militants in and near Baghdad and the sectarian civil war raging in the capital has overshadowed another grim wartime reality -- the factional strife in Iraq's southern Shiite heartland.
    Experts who study the region attribute the instability to turf battles among "warlords" and their fighters in an unstable political and social environment that is coming to resemble a failed state.
    "Iraqi politicians are progressively turning into warlords," Peter Harling, senior analyst with the Middle East Program of the Brussels, Belgium-based International Crisis Group. What has been unfolding in the south, he says, is a "very crude struggle over power and resources."
    "Violence has become the routine means of interacting with the local population," Harling says of the militias, which have filled the power vacuum after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
    "They see no interest in seeing a functional state emerge."
    The major movements in the south are the Sadrists; the Supreme Islamic Council in Iraq, the longtime Shiite group led by Iraqi politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim; the Dawa Islamic Party, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki; and the Fadhila Party, which holds great power in Basra.
    This factionalism goes against the notion that Shiite communities are united, says Jon B. Alterman, director and senior fellow of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies' Middle East Program.
    "They are unified when confronted with Sunni or Kurdish power, but within the Shia community there are a variety of parties, with a range of different leaderships, all competing for power and influence."
    Alterman says he sees the emergence of "warlords" who "are staking out their claims to different parts of Iraq."
    The government is dominated by the Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance, which includes the Dawa, the Sadrists and the SICI. Fadhila is represented in parliament by a separate political movement.
    But on the ground, Alterman says, "the central government is not central to how politics works anymore. What matters are guns and money and access to resources."
    Link to the entire Article:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...uth/index.html
    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
    Of cabbages—and kings—
    And why the sea is boiling hot—
    And whether pigs have wings.”
    ― Lewis Carroll

  • #2
    While religous fundementalist will flourish in this enviroment don't forget about those Macchiavellian cut-throats who are out just to make a buck. A mobsters dream come true.

    What is stronger: religous beliefs or the dollar bill?
    "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

    Frederic Bastiat

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kurt Steiner View Post
      While religous fundementalist will flourish in this enviroment don't forget about those Macchiavellian cut-throats who are out just to make a buck. A mobsters dream come true.

      What is stronger: religous beliefs or the dollar bill?
      It is mob (as in organized crime) rule. The four southern most provinces are 95%+ Shia. Which party people support and/or belong to is largely determined by family,clan, tribe instead of religion. This is pure power politics for personal gain. The best way to describe it is the Hollywood Gangland Chicago movies come to life....with different vocals....
      “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
      Of cabbages—and kings—
      And why the sea is boiling hot—
      And whether pigs have wings.”
      ― Lewis Carroll

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Combatengineer View Post
        It is mob (as in organized crime) rule. The four southern most provinces are 95%+ Shia. Which party people support and/or belong to is largely determined by family,clan, tribe instead of religion. This is pure power politics for personal gain. The best way to describe it is the Hollywood Gangland Chicago movies come to life....with different vocals....
        Exactly. The idea that the conflict in Iraq is between nationilist and foreign Al-Quaeda insurgents is just wacky.

        Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.
        -Mao
        "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

        Frederic Bastiat

        Comment

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