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Old 03-09-2006, 08:16 AM   #1
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US envoy to Iraq: 'We have opened the Pandora's box'

- 80% of Americans think civil war likely
- Rumsfeld accuses Tehran of fomenting conflict

The US ambassador to Baghdad conceded yesterday that the Iraq invasion had opened a Pandora's box of sectarian conflicts which could lead to a regional war and the rise of religious extremists who "would make Taliban Afghanistan look like child's play".

Zalmay Khalilzad broke with the Bush administration's generally upbeat orthodoxy to present a stark profile of a volatile situation in danger of sliding into chaos.

Mr Khalilzad told the Los Angeles Times Iraq had been pulled back from the brink of civil war after the February 22 bombing of a Shia shrine in Samarra. However, another similar incident would leave Iraq "really vulnerable" to that happening, he said. "We have opened the Pandora's box and the question is, what is the way forward?" He added that the best approach was to build bridges between religious and ethnic communities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/...726035,00.html



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Old 03-09-2006, 11:30 AM   #2
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Iraq has been a tinderbox from the beginning...but personally, I think that if Iraq falls into civil war, it won't happen until after the coalition pulls all of the troops out.

As for the current situation, though, I think that a lot of the fears of civil war are hype by the press. The situation there isn't rosey, for certain, but when the press is out preaching doom & destruction, and the administration & military representatives are saying that the situation is under control & that civil war is unlikely, I'm willing to bet that it's somewhere in between.

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Old 03-10-2006, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
Iraq has been a tinderbox from the beginning...but personally, I think that if Iraq falls into civil war, it won't happen until after the coalition pulls all of the troops out.
Which leaves the question: would you rather have our boys getting killed to hold together a foreign country that can't get its act together, or would you rather have the sectarian thugs killing eachother over control of the country.

At this rate, we will have to have a permanent presence in Iraq like we do in Korea. Just to make sure the country doesn't self-destruct.

It's just such a damn messy situation. We either stay and get killed, or we leave and all our efforts are wasted. It's a lose-lose situation!
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Which leaves the question: would you rather have our boys getting killed to hold together a foreign country that can't get its act together, or would you rather have the sectarian thugs killing eachother over control of the country.

At this rate, we will have to have a permanent presence in Iraq like we do in Korea. Just to make sure the country doesn't self-destruct.

It's just such a damn messy situation. We either stay and get killed, or we leave and all our efforts are wasted. It's a lose-lose situation!
I don't think we'll need a permanent presence there...I think that progress is just going slower than people are satisfied with.

The Iraq situation isn't some kind of sitcom, where everything'll be nice & rosey at the end of the hour-long episode, or even at the end of a 20 episode season. The administration said going in that the fight would be long & hard. It has been. It will continue to be. But progress is being made, and I believe that we'll live to see the day when our troops are fully withdrawn and Iraq operates as a fully functional democratic nation.


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Old 03-10-2006, 04:28 PM   #5
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But what ever happened to that whole "Mission Accomplished" thing in 2003? When Bush announced that major operations in Iraq were over?

What ever happened to that?
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:30 PM   #6
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That's the key word though.

Major.

The point is that the government in Iraq was thrown down and at that point everyone thought "maybe Bushed did not screw up so bad after all"

Right before all the miscreants came pouring over the boarders to start a wave of terrorism.

I don't know if there ever were really WMDs in Iraq. You can barry a bomb someplace out in the middle of the desert and no one is going to find it though
But personally I think that, seeing how happy a lot of the iraq people are, it is worth it. And I hope that there is no civil war, that would be a very sad occurrence. So much blood spilled to free a country and then they would tear themselves apart.
That would turn the whole "Mission Accomplished" thing into "Mission Failure"
I think Bush spoke to soon though. No matter what everyone thought at the time


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Old 03-11-2006, 09:40 PM   #7
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I still think the whole "Mission Accomplished" 'scandal' is a fluke - from what I've heard, the banner that said "Misison Accomplished" was put up by the Navy personnel serving on the carrier...because their mission had been accomplished (which was why they were returning to the US). President Bush never said the mission was over, only that the largest part of the military operations had been concluded.


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Old 03-11-2006, 10:16 PM   #8
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But it was the White House that actually made the banner... and what with the careful planning of positioning Bush so that the banner was directly behind him in clear site of the cameras, that has to give you some kind of clue what the intention was.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:53 AM   #9
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But this isn't "press hype", its the comments of the US envoy to the region.. who you would assume knows what he is talking about and wouldn't make such statements unless he felt strongly about it. (cos you know he has been chewed out by rumsfeld over it!).

The issue isn't so much whether iraq decends into " thugs killing each other", its the ever present danger that if it does it will drag in the surrounding powers. Iran is largely Shia. Saudi arabia is largely Sunni. If Iraq does become a Sunni vs Shia war then the odds are very high that surrounding countries will get drawn into the conflict. That would be very NOT GOOD.

Its obviously what the extremists are going for, trying to turn sunni against shia... and its really something that the allied forces need to figure out a way to counteract. Because each attack like the one on the mosque not only increases Sunni vs Shia tensions, it also increases anti US feeling, and creates more and more people willing to listen to the extremist preachers advocating violence, rather than listen to the moderate preachers advocating restraint.

If anythign the recent elections and constitution have made sunni vs shia tensions worse.
IMHO they need a much larger "on the ground" force for the next year or so in order to clamp down on this sort of activity and create a period of calm for everyone to catch their breath, and to give the new parliament a chance to establish itself.
A major presence from arab countries would be a good thing too... though with current S vs S tensions maybe it might be too big a risk.

But i think that the UK and US are actually reducing their troop numbers now, not increasing them. I suspect that is what motivated the envoy to speak out.



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