Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bring Pot To Slow Boil

For the past two weeks, the country of Iraq has been experiencing what might be described as small-scale violence: bombings, killings, and political fighting. There is no structured attacks from what those on the ground can detect, yet there is a notion that it is one side versus the other - Sunnis against Shi'as.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Nash speaks about what is currently going on, and said, "We're in a civil war now; it's just that not everybody's joined in." At this moment, it would be wise policy to fully understand and acknowledge what is transpiring in Iraq. Accessing the situation as a low-intensity civil war appears to be the conclusion of most analysts. One of the important aspects of this phase of Iraq's "development" may very well be the lack of security within the country provided by the United States, or rather, the destabilizing force that America provides the country. The citizens are left to pick a side, and hope for the best.

Yet, even when things are turning quite sour for the citizenry of Iraq, the Administration seeks to reassure Americans that things are alright. General Pace made an appearance on the Sunday news program "Meet the Press" and had fairly optimistic news on the situation:

GEN. PACE: I’d say they’re going well. I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they’re going very, very well from everything you look at, whether it be on the political side where they’ve had three elections, they’ve written their own constitution, they’re forming their government. You look at the military side where this time last year there were just a handful of battalions in the field, Iraqi battalions in the field. Now there are over 100 battalions in the field. They had no brigades—that’s about 3,000 men each. Now they’ve got about 31 brigades. No matter where you look at their military, their police, their society, things are much better this year than they were last.

The General would not go so far as putting a "big smiley face" on the situation, but he does go far enough to put on a sunny, grinning, cheerful face in its place. One might be tempted to place a successful stamp on the most recent election, but even the results were reported as sectarian in nature and would further foment discontent. The government has not formed as of yet, and this is three months removed from the election that would decide the body of Parliament. Kirkuk is an all-too-real flashpoint with regards to the Kurdish population and the Turks. Baghdad appears to be a lawless city. Mosques are attacked, and young men are found dead "execution style".

It might be that the Administration in Washington sees the pot on the stove full of lukewarm water, but with more statements like those of General Pace surfacing, it appears the pot is not boiling at all - it is full of ice cold water.

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