Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Appointment in Samarra

Astonishingly, Iranian terrorists have seized a foothold in New York City, using a blitzkreig form of attack. Skillfully deploying light tanks and fighters on motorcycles , they maneuver their way to the middle of the city. Their goal is unclear: they do not take territory, but they move through the city as if with a purpose. They use shotguns and grenades as anti-crowd weapons, causing New Yorkers on every street to flee for their lives in an utter panic. The New York Police fight bravely. They make the invaders pay for every block, but the local police are completely outmanned, outgunned, and underarmored. In the wake of the fighters, there are only dead bodies, empty streets, and the smell of cordite. Blood is everywhere.

The New York National Guard has barely made their way to 66th street by the time the invaders reach their target, 460 Madison. Fighters rush into through all five entrances of the building, machine gunning the priests and worshipers where they stand. After filming their defiling the interior with explosives and excrement, the invaders make a final televised stand. They pledge eternal jihad to the infidels, and they pledge their lives to Allah.

Then they detonate the explosives inside, killing themselves and atomizing the former St. Patrick's Cathedral. Hundreds more die as two of the surrounding buildings partially collapse. Thousands have died in the lightning attack.

Sickened? Angry? Ready to fight?

Then consider yourself a shiite after hearing about the destruction of the Askariya temple in Samarra. This is the first step of Iraq's civil war. Look at what these people have destroyed.

Invading Iraq made no more sense than whacking a hornets nest with a rake. America's leaders are idiots, and we will all pay a bitterly high price for their mistakes. We have created a fighting mad theocracy.

Juan Cole has a reader who writes:
An hour ago [my Iraqi Shiite fried] recieved a call from Najaf. You know the Najaf boys are losing their heads over what happened.

No wonder. 80 years or so ago their relatives bought some land up there [at Samarra] and established Shia communities around the mosque and in Samarra. So the boys had been working there living there from time to time and some really settled down for good. A month or two ago lots of Shia were expelled, thrown out of town or scared off.

And now this.

They told B. how the demolition was carried out. You see, it was nothing like a hipshot sneaking up bombing by night. It was meticulous, skilful piece of work, taking a lot of time, the guards knowing all about what was going on. At least that´s what they told him today.

So now they all gather downtown Nejef rallying, preparing a gruesome revenge. Sistani tries hard to stop them, they told him, but the boys won´t listen. They're heading for Samarra.


Anonymous Alan said...

Well, I have to say you were right. You said last Thanksgiving that Iraq was doomed to civil war.
I said it was only a possibility, that there was hope for a a good outcome.
This is the beginning of the end of a unified Iraq.

I wonder if Turkey will get involved militarily, to crush a burgeoning Kudistan in N. Iraq?
Or maybe Iran will invade after we pull out? Or even during a pull out?

:( :(

Thursday, 23 February, 2006  
Anonymous wrd said...

So this is what happens when you put a dummy (surrounded by maniacal jerks and creeps) in charge: the world is on fire.

Thursday, 23 February, 2006  
Blogger travis said...

Good question about Turkey. They're highly motivated to avoid an actual Kurdistan from being created, and of course, there's all that oil in the north. The pesh merga are fantastic soldiers, but they could not defeat a full show of force.

As for Iran, they would also deeply covet Iraq's assets, but I don't see how they could be invited in. The Iraqis are fiercely nationalistic still, and if you're a shiite militant leader like al-Sadr, well, it's better to reign in hell than serve in heav'n. Iran would be stoutly resisted. I believe Juan Cole also said Iran in Iraq would be impossible, but I cannot give you a cite. At the moment, Iran can probably get more bang for the buck by funding assorting subversive groups and supplying them with small arms and explosives. This is the identical role they've played in the entire region for years, and it obviously is an advantageous position: they get most of the power without taking any of the heat. Sort of like Cheney without the paralytic smirk or occasional gunning down of friends.

Also, for both countries, they face the identical problem of full-scale involvement as a state government. They have economic assets that can be targeted; and most importantly, they have real, valuable targets that the US can bomb into smithereens.

Thursday, 23 February, 2006  
Anonymous Alan said...

"Iran can probably get more bang for the buck by funding assorting subversive groups "..etc
Good point about Iran. But it doesn't seem Turkey's style. And after we pull out, would we bomb the Turks to turn back an invasion??
They have said repeatedly they will not stand for an independant Kurd nation in N. Iraq.
The question is, what will they do to stop it? And what would NATO do to stop them?

Maybe the Kurds will have an alliance of convenience with the Shi'ia to hold off the Turks, and the Sunni's will get W. Iraq (after many, many deaths.)

You know, of course I'm no expert, but I read a couple of books about the war, Plan of Attack and also The Iraq War by some Brit military journalist.
The British author gave a nice summary of Iraq's history, and he mentions that the Turks in the Ottoman Empire ruled what became modern Iraq as 3 seperate provinces, playing them off against one another (a standard tactic of empires--the Chinese were masters at it.) This went on for centuries. Then Saddam made his minority ethnic group the Sunnis the masters of Iraq.

For Christ's sake, it doesn't take any brainpower to see that when Saddam was removed, all of that hate would rise up in the 3 groups, and rebellion and/or civil war was highly probable. Exactly the same thing happened when Yugoslavia collapsed, and we saw the Serbs murdering the Bosnians, Croats killing Serbs etc etc, settling centuries-old scores when there was a power vaccum.

So why did the administration spout out this unbelievable pre-war Pollyanish BS about no rebellion or civil war?? It defies logic, history, and common sense. :(
Hell, they said much the same after the war, when the terrorist rebellion was in full swing. Liars and morons.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Blogger travis said...

So why did the administration spout out this unbelievable pre-war Pollyanish BS about no rebellion or civil war?? It defies logic, history, and common sense. :(
Hell, they said much the same after the war, when the terrorist rebellion was in full swing. Liars and morons.

"Why?" is the best, unanswered question.

Did Cheney's secret energy lobbyist meetings assume they could divide up the oil without difficulty? Reports much later did have them poring over oil field maps for Iraq.

Did Chalabi convince the vulcans that the Iraqi rabble would gratefully accept him as the US-friendly strongman? We know that he said things that only merit a spit-take, such as he would turn Iraq into an Israeli-friendly country. In a dozen different ways, he was the clear choice of the administration and the neocons before the war.

Did the success in Afghanistan convince them that the US army was unstoppable in every context? Perhaps not, since we know they were planning this from the first week of the administration.

I think one reasonable answer is: it's all Cheney. He persuaded Bush; he installed his lieutenants in every relevant planning meeting; he worked closely with his good pal of three decades, Rumsfeld. If there was an obstacle to the war, such as that pentagon insurgency expert, he simply had the obstacle removed. So, judging by his actions, he was heading into Iraq headlong.

But ultimately, I don't know. like you, I'm no regional expert, but I knew this plan was deeply fucked back in 2002: how do you stop the religious battles, and the centuries-old hatreds?

You also asked about Turkey, and how far they would go. I don't know! I just don't know they absolutely cannot have part of their own terrority carved off into Kurdistan, and Iran would agree with them for their kurds. That's the only bottom line I'm aware of.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Anonymous Alan said...

The PBS Newshour just had some comments tonight that Powell and the State Dept. did fear another Yugoslavia...too bad Powell was so marginalized.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  

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