Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Iraq Headed for Civil War?

Did you know the vice president of Iraq has fled the country and been convicted of murder? Odds are the answer is no. The media is paying little to no attention to a potentially explosive situation that’s getting worse by the day.

The BBC reported today (linked below) states that Tariq al-Hashemi, the Iraqi VP, was recently convicted of murder and sentenced to death in absentia. At first glance, it sounds legit. The court had plenty of witnesses and evidence against him. He ran from justice. Pretty cut and dry, right?

As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Remember how the Sunnis and Shias hated one another back in the old days? Remember when Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, slaughtered thousands of Shias after the 1991 Gulf War when they rose against him in anticipation of American support that never came? The Shias, who are the religious majority in Iraq and Iran, were pinned under Saddam’s boot for decades until the U.S. toppled the dictator in 2003. The same goes for the ethnic Kurds in the north.

Iraq’s new president is Shia. So is most of the new government. And it looks like payback is on the way.

Vice President Hashemi is Sunni. He claims that he’s been framed and can’t get a fair trial in Iraq. He says he’s being punished for pointing out that the new government is corrupt and being heavily influenced by Iran. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. The Iranians had their hands in Iraq when I was there in 2005. Even then, they were providing material, technology, and manpower to Shia insurgents. One of our sister units even captured a member of the Iranian Foreign Service (In other words, a spy) near the Iranian border. Iraqi Sunnis are now wondering if the other shoe is about to fall…across their necks.

The fact that Hashemi was briefly given sanctuary by the Kurds tells me they may not be digging what’s going on either. The whole situation looks disturbingly similar to the Balkans after the Soviet Union collapsed. The country is a tinderbox and has been for decades. Smoldering ethnic and religious hatreds only need the right spark to flash into a firestorm dwarfing Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

After everything our country has sacrificed to bring justice and freedom to Iraq, why are these developments being largely ignored by the U.S. media? The BBC indicates that it’s due to the pending presidential election. I hope that’s not the case. If so, it seems we are becoming more like Iraq than they are us.

Here is the link to the BBC article:

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