Friday, February 24, 2006

Civil War in Iraq? Maybe Not...

Why do I have the feeling that the last people the Iraqis blame (despite the claims of Iranian President Ahmadinejad ) for the mosque bombing is the United States? And why do I believe that they could not be happier to have American troops their to help keep the peace? Reuters:

Some 130,000 U.S. troops were standing by as the largely untried, U.S.-trained Iraqi army and police went on the highest alert, with all leave canceled; the heavily armed Americans may have to intervene if large-scale violence increases, however.
"The issue hangs on the next few days. Either the gates of hell open onto a civil war or the Shi'ites will take more power," said Baghdad political science professor Hazim al-Naimi.
"Only the U.S. military is preventing war in some areas."

The Iraqi governemnt is acting quickly, attempting to defuse the situation, and it appears things may be calming down...via the AP:

Shiite and Sunni leaders again appealed for calm Thursday following the wave of attacks on Sunni mosques, and the number of violent incidents appeared to decline after the government extended the curfew...

A Western official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said discussions were under way to rebuild the shrine as quickly as possible because the shattered structure would serve as a "lasting provocation" until it was reconstructed. Italy announced Thursday it was offering to rebuild the dome to help battle "fanaticism."
Despite strident comments from various Iraqi leaders, U.S. officials said they believed mainstream politicians understood the grave danger facing the country and would try to prevent civil war.

"We're not seeing civil war igniting in Iraq" Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for the U.S. command, told reporters.

A turning of the tide, perhaps? If this settles down peacefully, is this proof that a democratically elected Arab government, acting in the name of its majority, can quell sectarian violence ? Watching the struggling birth of Iraqi democracy, one can only pray for its success, to shine as a beacon of hope in a strife-torn region.

Even with the horrors that are accompanying this transformation, it is still a wonder, a marvet to behold...

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