Is civil war in Iraq inevitable?

Is an Iraqi civil war inevitable

Poll closed Dec 21, 2006.
  1. Yes

    33 vote(s)
    55.0%
  2. No

    27 vote(s)
    45.0%
  1. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,529
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    For the sake of the millions of Iraqis caught in the middle of this, I hope and pray that they can see this through. But from the start my perception has been that civil war is inevitable as soon as we leave; no matter when we leave.

    I forget him name, but in the words of one noted military strategist cited in another thread: This can end but one way - with the slaughter of the Sunnis who are outnumbered by two to one. And this was "infinitely forseeable".
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Reilgons can start wars.With that shi`ite site destoryed that would probally get them mad.There's already been shi`ite attacks on sunni mosque.
    I wonder what the U.S. will do if civil war starts that can't take sides that would be aganist the 1st adment and they can't just stay of this civil war because without U.S. occaupation of Iraq it will become potically unstable and Iraq will be divided.
     
  4. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,529
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  5. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    I have an eery feeling that it might happen even before we leave. I guess this is sort of a long-time-coming revenge of an opressed majority. I always felt from day 0 that they all wouldnt be able to just kiss and makeup from all the crap Saddam did.
     
  6. loseyourname

    loseyourname 3,632
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    It's entirely possible that they would have simply slipped into civil war as soon as Saddam croaked or was otherwise deposed regardless of how it occured. It's too bad. I pretty much felt from the beginning that we should just create multiple nations out of this. There is no reason to force people to live together who don't want to and impose the arbitrary British political boundaries that don't reflect social reality.
     
  7. SOS2008

    SOS2008 1,553
    Gold Member

    True. Let's just hope Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc. aren't sucked into this in such a way as to make the situation even more explosive.
     
  8. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    I never thought they would have broken into a civil war upon his removal. I see it as two siblings. When their parents/adults are around (like when the US has full military force there), they don't get too out of control but once the parents and adults go away or aren't paying as much attention (akin to troop reductions), it's all too tempting to get your anger out at that point. The problem would be like what we have in Israel and Palestine however I bet. Both are going to want x city or y oil fields and we might just have another big situation like we do in israel.
     
  9. BobG

    BobG 2,360
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I don't think an all out civil war is inevitable, but it's likelihood sure has increased.

    Early on, I would have felt the worst case scenario would be an all out civil war in Iraq that spread into a regional war and that the chances for a worst case scenario weren't very high.

    Now I'd say the worst case scenario would be World War III - but that World War III won't be quite as gloomy as it would have been during the Cold War. If there's any nuclear weapons used, it will only be a few of them used in the Middle East. (In fact, the only reason I'd go so far to call it a World War is the number of countries involved, the nuclear weapons, and the number of radical changes that would occur in the Middle East as a result - it would be one of those defining moments in history.)

    I'd still say this is an unlikely scenario - just that things have gotten bad enough to consider it a possibility. Besides the problems in Iraq, you have a terrorist organization elected leaders of the Palestine Authority, Iran moving down a path that will surely bring a response from Israel, if not the US, the Catholic Church tossing its opinion into the mix (condemning the cartoons while using the opportunity to bring up Christian persecution in the Middle East), and, most of all, you have mutual cultural ignorance. Bin Laden might get the holy war he hoped for after all.
     
  10. PerennialII

    PerennialII 1,102
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Would hope the inevitability could be avoided by getting both the international community and 'the local players' (Saudi Arabia etc. neighboring counties) realize the extent of the possible explosion and work together to resolve (seems to apply to most ME problems, if the greatest troublemakers could see past their noses). The current course doesn't really seem to lead to any tolerable conclusion.
     
  11. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    ...using what arbitrary boundaries ?

    Easier said than done ! And in my opinion, this would have been a lot harder to achieve and likely less stable even, than the current situation.
     
  12. I think it all hinges on who is responsible for the initial bombing on the mosque. If it was Zarqawi, then perhaps it could unite the country in the fight against the "terrorists". I certainly remember a strong sense of nationalism after 9-11. This might be what was needed to finally put into perspective the word "terrorists", (who I think most Americans believe we should be fighting), as opposed to the percieved definition as "Muslims".

    I think the U.S. and its' allies have used the correct policy of avoiding religious targets. An attack on a mosque, clearly demonstrates a lack of respect for the Iraqis' religious beliefs. Anyone who resorts to this on its own Muslim people, cannot turn around and say it was justified under Muslim dogma.
     
  13. BobG

    BobG 2,360
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Perhaps, but it was a Shi'ite mosque and Zarqawi operates in the Sunni section of Iraq. There's already plenty of Shi'ites united against Sunnis due to the fact that Hussein and his Baath Party (a predominantly Sunni group) brutally oppressed Shi'ites (especially when the Shi'ite Badr Brigade helped Iranians in the Iraq-Iran war).

    I think you need a scorecard on who's fighting who: Militias and Security Forces in Iraq You have two main Shi'ite groups (that sometimes fight each other) and two main Kurdish groups (they currently get along with each other, since they have a common goal of preventing the civil war from spreading north into their territory). Of course, this article doesn't even try to detail the Sunni groups that are only loosely organized (there's a divide between them caused by Zarqawi's presence - a lot of Sunnis reject him, even if he's fighting the same enemy as them).
     
  14. If that were to happen, we'd be in huge trouble. No matter how hard we try to stay out of it, we'll get sucked in by oil (just as we were sucked into WWI).

    We could use this as a rough guide. Remember that when the French and British drew the boundaries for Iraq, Iran, et al., they were even more arbitrary.
     
  15. Thanks for the link. All that taken into consideration, nothing makes friends of old enemies, than uniting against a common enemy. As long as that common enemy is Zarqawi, it would be good (at least in the "working together to build a free Iraq" aspect.) A little optimistic, I know.
     
  16. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    This is something that lots of people overlook. If we "regionalized" Iraq and allowed each faction local control with a central government, Turkey would probably start attacking the Kurdish state, Iran would side with the Shiites and lay into the Sunnis, and perhaps prompt Syria to throw in with the Sunnis...it's going to be pure hell no matter how we try to disengage. President Cheney and his little Bush yes-man have sold us out and have destined the Iraqis to civil war. There is no war as destructive or as hard to recover from as a civil war, as any US citizen should know, if they bother to study history.
     
  17. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,529
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  18. I doubt that something as major as a civil war would happen. Instead, what I think will happen is a small clash between two groups of Shi'a and Sunnis, but the majority of the population won't get dragged into this. My reasoning is because most Iraqi tribes and families are actually composed of both Sunnis and Shi'a and will most likely not kill their own. In fact I know many Iraqis who have one Sunni and one Shi'a parent and when asked which sect they associate themselves with, they say "neither."

    However, this "small" clash is actually very worrying. It has the possibility of exploding if neighboring countries choose to take part. It will be very unfortunate if Muslims choose to divide and fight.
     
  19. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Based on what I heard yesterday, civil war in Iraq is underway, with Sunnis and Shiites bombing one anothers communities and mosques.

    The activities to form the government have stopped, and fighting is occuring in various communities with local majorities attacking members of the local minorities.

    AP
    The bombing of the Askariya Shrine is a major setback.

    The matter is whether or not the escalating violence will continue or be arrested, and whether or not a stable (and non corrupt) government can be formed.
     
  20. Can somebody tell me the basic definition of a civil war? Besides civilians fighting and killing each other "en masse" what else is needed to fit your theoretical description? Or is it a question of numbers?
     
  21. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    From Merriam Webster online - civil war - "a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country." Then I suppose one must ask - what constitutes a war, as opposed to conflict? Size or scale?

    For me its pretty much the fact that groups of civilians are fighting one another or perhaps the government. I suppose one could exclude feuds from civil war, but according to the definition conflicts between families or clans could be considered civil war.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?