Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Pain of Iraqi Life

On top of everything else, they have this:

Three days of a virtually round-the-clock curfew, imposed Friday to quell unprecedented Shiite-Sunni clashes in Iraq, have left families running short of food in Baghdad and three other provinces. Store shelves are going bare and, at some hospitals, officials said patients were dying for lack of medicine and supplies.


"Life is a mess in Iraq now," said Abbas, who was wearing tracksuit pajamas in midafternoon. "It will be worse than before when they lift the curfew. When there is a curfew they hide, and when it is lifted they go to the streets with their car bombs."


"We are having deaths because we don't have the necessary medicine and supplies," said Muhammed Ayash Kubaisi, manager of a hospital in the northerncity of Tikrit.

Curfews are not the answer. The violence will return, even if at lower levels, once the curfew is lifted. And in the meantime, the curfew itself obviously brings its own problems.

One hates to say it, but it may be that the only answer is for the US to get out of the way, let Iraq have its civil war, then be ready to help with the cleanup. Otherwise, the Iraqi government, with US assistance, is doing the equivalent of bandaging an open sore. At some point, the sore becomes a raging infection, one which threatens to kill the patient.


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