If you would have asked the Bush White House back in February of 2007 if an increase in the number of US troops in Iraq would have sped up or slowed down the ethnic cleansing and partitioning of Iraq I'm sure the Bushies would have said their next big plan would slow down the ethnic cleansing. After all, the ethnic cleansing involves killings and forcing of people to flee from their homes. Yet during the surge the flight of Shias and Sunnis away from each other has accelerated.
BAGHDAD, Aug. 23 — The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.
Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of thousands of additional troops arrived, the studies show.
The UN International Organization for Migration detects a huge acceleration in the rate of displacement. The Iraqi Red Crescent Organization believes the number of displaced has more than doubled to over 1 million so far in 2007.
The latest National Intelligence Estimate of the US government's intelligence agencies finds that areas where ethnic cleansing is most advanced experience less violence.
Population displacement resulting from sectarian violence continues, imposing burdens on provincial governments and some neighboring states and increasing the danger of destabilizing influences spreading across Iraq’s borders over the next six to 12 months. The polarization of communities is most evident in Baghdad, where the Shia are a clear majority in more than half of all neighborhoods and Sunni areas have become surrounded by predominately Shia districts. Where population displacements have led to significant sectarian separation, conflict levels have diminished to some extent because warring communities find it more difficult to penetrate communal enclaves.
No surprise here. Get the 3 big ethnicities away from each other and they'll find it harder to shoot and blow up and generally terrorize each other.
How long will it take the Shiites to drive the rest of the Sunnis out of Baghdad? The Sunni areas have got to be especially crunched on housing since the Sunnis are gradually losing access to all the housing in Baghdad.
The Bush White House and its supporters somehow find ways to look at the unfolding tragedy and see signs of progress toward some goal that will help improve American security. This would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. The Sunnis of Anbar province are not Al Qaeda. The Shias factions fighting each other over who controls the oil and who controls various industries are also not Al Qaeda. Tribal and Muslim sectarian fighting in Iraq is not war over vital US interests.
While I'm at it: the Middle East is running out of oil. Therefore the Middle East is becoming less valuable to us, not more. All the armchair generals rooting for continued US fighting in the Iraq civil war ought to shift their focus to topics that matter for US national security such as how to develop replacements for oil and how we ought to change immigration policy to keep Muslims out of the West.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 August 25 09:41 PM Mideast Iraq Ethnic Cleansing|