Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Daddy, What Side Were You On in the Iraq Civil War?

More of that progress in Iraq:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Snipers held rooftop positions as masked Sunni Arab insurgents said they were gearing up for another open street battle with pro-government Shi'ite militiamen in Baghdad's Adhamiya district on Tuesday.

The Arab Sunni stronghold is still feeling ripples from overnight clashes on Monday that appeared to be the closest yet to all-out sectarian fighting.

It's a reality that has Washington scrambling to avert civil war as Iraqi politicians struggle to form a government four months after parliamentary elections.

A U.S. military spokesman said 50 insurgents attacked Iraqi forces in the middle of the night in a seven-hour battle that killed five rebels and wounded an Iraqi soldier.
Fighting was so fierce that U.S. reinforcements were brought in to the northern district, home to some of Iraq's most hardcore Sunni guerrillas and the Abu Hanifa mosque, near where Saddam Hussein was last seen in public before going into hiding.



That last sentence holds the key.

As it becomes clearer that much of the Iraqi "forces" are actually Shiite militias looking to exterminate Sunnis, every time the US comes to the aid of said "forces," it essentially is choosing one side against the other in that country's civil war. Given that most of the Middle Eastern muslims are Sunnis, this could have explosive ramifications for the US's presence there.

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