Well the new year has not begun with the most brilliant start.
Aside from the Tsunami catastrophe, the situation has become worse and worse in Iraq. Anyone who thinks this is going to go away in the next year is either a supreme optimist or a darn fool. The violence is ending anytime soon, well at least not in 2005. Let's just hope 2006 is better.
Violence and killing has continued its momentum, and in fact has increased. Here is why I think the violence is not disappearing shortly:
-There are actually people out there who thinks it is a holy or national duty to fight the Americans. Added to this, thousands off people have been put in a situation with nothing to lose, where the war has directly resulted in their loss of family and jobs. Most see the Americans to blame.
-There are too many parties with vested interest in the fighting, and more importantly, the unrest to continue. One could make the argument that some neighbouring countries and parties see it in their own interest for the fighting to go on. A stable and powerful Iraq might frighten certain forces.
-This, I think is an extremely important point but that is often overlooked. The violence has actually become intrenched in the economy, and has become profitable for some people. This is extremely dangerous, as although religion and ideology might motivate some, money always talks, and it talks to pileload of people. The most dangerous thing, that of the violence being entrenched in the economy, has occured. There are thousands of people out there benefiting from the status quo. On the Iraqi side, other than the insurgents and Baathists, there are ordinary Iraqis who benefit from the insurgeny. Just as there are private companies benefiting from the American sides, there is money to be made from the Insurgents. For example, Insurgents could offer an Iraqi security officer $1000 dollars to lax the security entering into an American base (i.e. perform an inside job), or even more simply they could offer money to a security officer to inform them of a route an American convoy is taking that day in order to set up a bomb. This is not to mention the abductions, which have become a profitable business.
There is also money to be made on the other side. Let's face it, it is in the benefit of private security companies in Iraq for the current situation to continue. A billions dollar industry is set up solely based on the violence. They're not going to be extremely disappointed if the violence does not end soon.
The situation has become pretty desperate with only sunni insurgents doing the main part of the attacks. That does not bode well. What if the other factions start coming in? We saw a prelude to such a scenario earlier in the year when muqtada Al Sadr decided to stand up until he was shut up. What if the shia decide to join the insurgency. Worse yet, what if another Karbalaa bombing occurs and shi3i factions decide to retaliate? A full blown civil war is a worse case scenario, but is not that improbable.
Take the Kurdish situation for example. The media usually presents their situation as the exemplary one, an ideal calm situation that the rest of Iraq should follow. This masks a lot of hidden problems. Their history in the recent past has been riddled with infighting and tribal feuds. In fact, the situation most closely resembles that of Afghanistan, where different warlords have their own army and supporters, and then they fight between each other. Take for example the continuous fighting between Jalal Talebani and Masoud Barzani. The only factor that has been keeping the situation relatively quiet is American support and pressure to behave themselves. What if things spiral out of control? One can only wonder.
The shit has already hit the fan, and it is not going to be blown away any time soon. In fact, a bigger, smellier, darker piece of turd could be on its way flying in. Someone better do a good job of mopping up the mess.