Robert Dreyfus of TomPaine.com smacks us in the face with a little reality about the recently forgotten war — CIVIL WAR — in Iraq:
This time, it’s the simmering battle between two Shiite paramilitary armies: the forces of the Badr Brigade, the 20,000-strong force controlled by the Iranian-supported Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and the Mahdi Army, the thousands-strong force that worships the fanatical Muqtada Al Sadr. The battle, which might flare into a Shiite-Shiite civil war in advance of the October 15 referendum on Iraq’s divisive, rigged constitution, could put the final nail in the coffin of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy.
It shouldn’t be a news flash that neither one of these Shiite forces is led by “good guys.” It’s a mafia-style war between two descendants of Iraq’s leading ayatollah-led families, the Sadrs and the Hakims, who don’t exactly express affection for each other. Beginning in the 1950s, with the overthrow of the king of Iraq in 1958, the Sadr and Hakim clans mobilized Iraq’s Shiites in a struggle against Iraqi nationalists, the Baath Party, and the communists. It was then that the Sadr-Hakim mafia founded Al Dawa, the militant, terrorist-included theocratic party which still exists, out of which Prime Minister Jaafari emerged. In more recent years, the Sadr faction and the Hakim faction became like Hatfields and McCoys, feuding—with guns.
When I was in college, I had a particularly brilliant political science professor, Dr. Cheryl Wilf, who, during the lead-up to the first Gulf War predicted this outcome almost to the word. She was wrong only in that it happened in this time around and not the first pass. So how did such a bloodsoaked debacle occur without the Bushies or their parrots in the press predicting it? Sorry. Loaded question with obvious answers.
Now it’s a full-blown Civil War with named armies and no end in sight. We can be pretty sure that the Iraqi votes are rigged by American intelligence operatives. The constitutional process is mockery. And there are still delusional people in this country who believe what we’re doing is the right thing to do. What needs to happen to get us out of there? The Center for American Progress has released an admirable redeployment strategy which will probably be ignored by the Democrats.
It’s a disgrace — one which historians, filmmakers, and future generations will study as one of many black (or blood red) marks on the American record.