Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

A couple of interesting stories in today's Guardian. First, an official report from USAid details the worsening situation in Iraq:

The picture it paints is not only darker than the optimistic accounts from the White House and the Pentagon, it also gives a more complex profile of the insurgency than the straightforward "rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists" described by George Bush.

The USAid analysis talks of an "internecine conflict" involving religious, ethnic, criminal and tribal groups. "It is increasingly common for tribesmen to 'turn in' to the authorities enemies as insurgents - this as a form of tribal revenge," the paper says, casting doubt on the efficacy of counter-insurgent sweeps by coalition and Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, foreign jihadist groups are growing in strength, the report said.

"External fighters and organisations such as al-Qaida and the Iraqi offshoot led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are gaining in number and notoriety as significant actors," USAid's assessment said. "Recruitment into the ranks of these organisations takes place throughout the Sunni Muslim world, with most suicide bombers coming from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region."

If you don't want to be further depressed, then do not read about the plight of women in Darfur.

In Darfur, where close to 400,000 people have been killed as part of a government-sponsored program of ethnic cleansing, the brutal rape of women and children has become a weapon of war.

Sexual violence is now an integral and devastating part of the conflict aimed at breaking the will of the local people, humiliating them so that they will abandon their lands and weakening tribal ethnic lines.

Every day women in Darfur face the prospect of being raped and beaten when they leave their homes to find food or search for firewood. They face this prospect even though the international community claims that it is protecting them.

1 comment:

Albatross said...

Regarding the "Iraq picture:" anyone with any understanding of history could predict that eliminating Saddam would take the lid off the pressure-cooker of schismatic conflicts. It's what happens every time a heavy-handed oppressor is removed from power - Tito, for one example.

Anybody with the least understanding of history knows that any kind of occupation is extremely high risk, and only works when one works very hard to integrate the local leaders into the process to help build a successful independent society.

And anybody with a friggin' clue knows that combining the two situations - an occupation of a newly-overthrown tyranny - would have challenged the greatest military minds that ever lived.

But these traitors running our government were too self-delusional and ideological to face reality, so they sent our soldiers to die for their self-aggrandizement and egotism.