Will Iraq Degenerate Into Civil War?
Following the February 22, 2006 attack on the mosque in Samarra, Iraq, many doomsayers have been speaking of the possible eruption of all-out civil war, primarily between Sunnis and Shi'ites. So far, full-blown civil war has not erupted, but whether or not it will is not yet definitive. And maybe the situation in Iraq is not as dire as first seems.
Nevertheless, many believe that an internal conflict in Iraq would be a disaster and a clear indication that U.S. efforts there have failed. Daniel Pipes takes a different view.
From a February 28, 2006 article entitled "Civil War in Iraq?":
"...Dazzled by the examples of post-World War II Germany and Japan – whose transformations in retrospect increasingly appear to have been one-time achievements – [President Bush]committed troops in the pursuit of creating a 'free and democratic Iraq.' This noble aim was inspired by the best of America's idealism.In his article, Mr. Pipes discusses the implications of civil war in Iraq. Read the entire article, and decide for yourself if his points are valid.
"But nobility of purpose did not suffice for rehabilitating Iraq, as I predicted already in April 2003. Iraqis, a predominantly Muslim population newly liberated from their totalitarian dungeon, were disinclined to follow the American example; for their part, the American people lacked a deep interest in the welfare of Iraq. This combination of forces guarantees the coalition cannot impose its will on 26 million Iraqis.
"...I cheer the goal of a 'free and democratic Iraq,' but the time has come to acknowledge that the coalition's achievement will be limited to destroying tyranny, not sponsoring its replacement. There is nothing ignoble about this limited achievement, which remains a landmark of international sanitation. It would be especially unfortunate if aiming too high spoils that attainment and thereby renders future interventions less likely. The benefits of eliminating Saddam's rule must not be forgotten in the distress of not creating a successful new Iraq....
"Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one."