WAR ON IRAQ: IRAQ: THE CALM BEFORE THE CONFLAGRATION

The United States is funding and in many cases arming the three ethnic factions in Iraq — the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunni Arabs. These factions rule over partitioned patches of Iraqi territory and brutally purge rival ethnic groups from their midst. ...thugs, gangs, militias, radical Islamists and warlords ... often paid wages of $300 a month by the U.S. military.

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The decline in attacks began only when we bought off the Sunni Arabs. U.S. commanders in the bleak fall of 2006 had little choice. It was that or defeat.

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The United States cut a deal with its Sunni Arab enemies. It would pay the former insurgents. It would allow them to arm and form military units and give them control of their ethnic enclaves. The Sunni Arabs, in exchange, would halt attacks on U.S. troops. The Sunni Arabs agreed.

The U.S. is currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars to pay the monthly salaries of some 600,000 armed fighters in the three rival ethnic camps in Iraq. These fighters — Shiite, Kurd and Sunni Arab — are not only antagonistic but deeply unreliable allies.

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Once the money runs out, or once they feel strong enough to make a thrust for power, the civil war in Iraq will accelerate with deadly speed. The tactic of money-for-peace failed in Afghanistan. The U.S. doled out funds and weapons to tribal groups in Afghanistan to buy their loyalty, but when the payments and weapons shipments ceased, the tribal groups headed back into the embrace of the Taliban.

RLCC: The Surge still cleared and holds nothing. The Iraq War and occupation have been and will remain disasters. Nothing good will ever come from them.

Originally by Chris Hedges, Truthdig from AlterNet.org on February 27, 2008, 8:00am

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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