The question we must seriously ask ourselves at this juncture is whether a Sunni-Shia civil war would help or harm U.S. interests. To understand the answer to that question, we must first define our national interests as separate and distinct from the interest of the “Iraqi people.” And we must wonder, are we wasting ourselves in a futile effort to prevent the inevitable? From Reuters:
LONDON – Iraq is in a state of civil war and is nearing the point of no return when the country”s sectarian violence will spill over throughout the Middle East, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said on Sunday.
Three years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraq is in turmoil with a raging insurgency and a surge in sectarian bloodletting between Sunni Arabs and majority Shiite Muslims.
“It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp.
There are 133,000 U.S. troops and 8,000 British soldiers in Iraq trying to maintain security and train local security forces to keep a lid on the violence. Both countries reject claims Iraq has already slid into civil war.
“Iraq is in the middle of a crisis. Maybe we have not reached the point of no return yet. But we are moving towards this point. We are in a terrible civil conflict now,” Allawi said…
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rebuts the above assessment in the Bandar Beacon aka the Washington Post:
…Consider that if we retreat now, there is every reason to believe Saddamists and terrorists will fill the vacuum — and the free world might not have the will to face them again. Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis. It would be as great a disgrace as if we had asked the liberated nations of Eastern Europe to return to Soviet domination because it was too hard or too tough or we didn’t have the patience to work with them as they built free countries…
George Will weighs in via Townhall:
…Three years ago the administration had a theory: Democratic institutions do not just spring from a hospitable culture, they can also create such a culture. That theory has been a casualty of the war that began three years ago today.