Is civil war in Iraq inevitable?

Is an Iraqi civil war inevitable

• No

• Total voters
60
• Poll closed .
Staff Emeritus
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".

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Reilgons can start wars.With that shiite site destoryed that would probally get them mad.There's already been shiite 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.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Here is the source of the quote. It is a great discussion and worth the watch.

...and an inspired title for a thread I thought...

Edit: Here
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec05/iraq_11-21.html# [Broken]

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Pengwuino
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.

loseyourname
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.

SOS2008
Gold Member
loseyourname said:
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.
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.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
loseyourname said:
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.

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.

BobG
Homework Helper
SOS2008 said:
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.
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.

PerennialII
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.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
loseyourname said:
I pretty much felt from the beginning that we should just create multiple nations out of this.
...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.

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.

BobG
Homework Helper
RVBUCKEYE said:
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.
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: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11389233/ [Broken] 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).

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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.
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).

...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.
We could use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Iraq_demography.jpg [Broken] as a rough guide. Remember that when the French and British drew the boundaries for Iraq, Iran, et al., they were even more arbitrary.

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BobG said:
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: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11389233/ [Broken] 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).

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.

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turbo
Gold Member
SOS2008 said:
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.
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.

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.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Ivan Seeking said:
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".
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.

A 24-hour vehicular ban remained in effect in Baghdad and its suburbs as authorities tried to halt the violence that has killed nearly 200 people since the Shiite Askariya shrine was destroyed Wednesday in Samarra. But traffic restrictions were lifted in the strife-prone provinces of Diyala, Babil and Salahuddin, where the shrine was located.
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.

Ortelius
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?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Ortelius said:
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?
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.

Ortelius
Thanks,
It's such a reassurance knowing what to be killed for.
Religious fanatism.
Fascist Baatism.
American naivism.
Sectarian activism.
Pure Barbarism.
And change our tie for every occasion.

Anyone have an update on who was responsible for the Askariya shrine attack? Usually that is determined in a day or two. I wonder what the hold-up is.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Civil War Looms With 66 Killed in Baghdad
Associated Press said:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A series of suicide attacks, car bombs and mortar barrages rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 66 people and wounding scores as Iraq teetered on the brink of sectarian civil war. President Bush decried the violence and said Iraqis must choose between "chaos or unity."

Iraqis have suffered through days of reprisal killings and attacks on Sunni mosques since bombers blew apart the gold dome of the revered Shiite Askariya shrine in Samarra on Wednesday. The Iraqi Cabinet said at least 379 people had been killed and 458 wounded in reprisal attacks.

In the latest attacks, two explosions hit Shiite targets in northern Baghdad after sundown, killing at least 15 people and wounding 72.
This seems indicative of civil war, or do people want to call it a conflict or civil strife. That is like using euphemisms for war, such as 'Police Action' or 'Peace Keeping'. :grumpy:

Art
Astronuc said:
Civil War Looms With 66 Killed in Baghdad
This seems indicative of civil war, or do people want to call it a conflict or civil strife. That is like using euphemisms for war, such as 'Police Action' or 'Peace Keeping'. :grumpy:
It seems the Iraqi gov't is understandably trying to downplay the number of casualties to try and stop the pot from boiling over meanwhile Bush claims it's all Iran's doing

At least 60 die on another day of sectarian killing
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 01 March 2006
Sectarian violence continued to wreak havoc in Iraq as a series of car bombs, suicide attacks and mortar barrages killed at least 60 people. At the same time it was claimed that up to 1,300 people may have died in sectarian violence triggered by last week's destruction of one of the country's holiest Shia shrines, although the government put out a statement to insist that the death toll was much lower.

It was reported that 1,300 people were killed by the violence triggered by the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra. Officials at Baghdad's morgue said it had dealt with hundreds of corpses. The figure of 1,300 is at least three times higher than reported by the US military and was disputed by the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, which issued a statement saying that 379 people had been killed over six days. It denied reports in the Washington Post that the death toll had passed 1,000. The bombings underline the failure of Iraqi security forces and US troops to provide security for ordinary people. Last week the outgoing head of the UN's human rights mission in Iraq, John Pace, said that up to three-quarters of bodies in Baghdad's mortuary had been executed or showed signs of torture. He blamed death squads controlled by the Interior Ministry.

Mr Pace said the lack of security was part of a vicious circle that helped to feed sectarian violence. In the absence of any other security forces, ordinary citizens were looking to extremist groups to offer protection.

President George Bush side-stepped questions about plans for a troop withdrawal from Iraq, as a poll showed that nearly one in four Americans believed the US soldiers should pull out. He also said nothing of US responsibility for maintaining order. Instead he suggested that Iran was behind much of the latest violence and said people had a choice between "chaos or unity".

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador in Iraq, warned that further flare-ups were possible and said that Iraq had reached "the brink of civil war". The apparently co-ordinated attacks have scotched all hopes of the early formation of a national unity government that would bring the Shia community into a cabinet with the minority Sunnites.

MONDAY Government lifts curfew amid relative lull in fighting but more than 20 people die in clashes. Baghdad morgue officials say up to 1,300 have died in recent fighting.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article348414.ece [Broken]

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