Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Pacific News Service > News > Killing of Ayatollah Is Start of Iraqi Civil War

Pacific News Service > News > Killing of Ayatollah Is Start of Iraqi Civil War: "Killing of Ayatollah Is Start of Iraqi Civil War
Commentary, William O. Beeman,
Pacific News Service, Aug 29, 2003
The bombing of one of Islam's holiest shrines not only killed an important Shi'a leader, it also signals the first shot in an Iraqi civil war that Middle East experts warned would ensue if Saddam were removed without careful planning.Traducci�n al espa�ol

The assassination of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim in Najaf on August 28 is the opening volley in the coming Iraqi Civil War. The United States will reap the whirlwind.

One of the most consistent and ominous prewar warnings to the Bush administration by Middle East experts was that removal of Saddam Hussein without the most careful political and social engineering would result in the breaking apart of Iraq into warring factions that would battle each other for decades.

The hawks in the White House would not listen. They were so wedded to the fantasy scenario that the removal of Saddam in an act of 'creative destruction' would result in the automatic emergence of democracy. They brushed aside all warnings.

Present-day Iraq was three provinces of the Ottoman Empire before World War I. It was cobbled together by the British for their own convenience after that conflict. The British installed a king, the Hashemite son of the chief religious official of Mecca (Faisal, of Lawrence of Arabia Fame) and glued the whole mess together with the resident British Army.

The three regions were incompatible in ethnicity, religious confession and interests. The Sunni Muslim Kurds occupied the north. The Sunni Arab Bedouins occupied the center and Southwest. The Shi'a Arab and Persian population occupied the South and Southe"

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