With Iraq in a state of chaos, how in fact is peace won in that country? I resist blogging about this because my focus is about wanting the troops out of Iraq, getting past the contemptuous smoke screens of the present administration, getting past the policies of the Bush administration, and trying to find the voices of understanding and reason.
I searched around the web for some articles.
This one is from The Center for Strategic & International Studies. It may very well be as it claims to be, a bipartisan think tank, but beware of the neo-con alumni. Curiously in this article CSIS alumni Edward Luttwak calls for the civil war to play itself out.
From July 5, 2007: Civil war: the only way to bring peace to Iraq
Civil wars can be especially atrocious as neighbours kill each other at close range, but they have a purpose - they can bring lasting peace by destroying the will to fight, and by removing the motives and opportunities for further violence.
My present understanding is that Iraq is essentially now a conglomerate of feudal like war-lord states, some Sunni, many Shiite, along with Kurds, and others. The main governing body in Baghdad, Maliki and company, is virtually powerless beyond Baghdad, and whatever power it does exert sides with the Shiite in enacting long standing retribution on the Sunnis.
In this context how exactly does allowing a civil war to play out help. The problem is that there is no centralized nation to fall back on. Perhaps calling the conflict a civil war is not appropriate, as that name implies an underlying unity, a political body to fall back on. In the US there was the North and the South. There isn't a parallel structure in Iraq. There does not appear to be an underlying unity to Iraq, excepting religious affiliation. We end up with isolated groupings throughout the country, like a butcher's view of a cow, except with many more sections.
There are many articles that speak directly to how the Bush surge and strategy will not bring peace to Iraq. For example: Bush's Blood-Soaked Myths About Baghdad - Why a Troop Escalation Won't Bring Peace to Iraq
By Patrick Cockburn.
However, Cockburn does offers advice on how to move towards peace;
While the White House pretends that American defeat can be avoided in Iraq, real measures to end the fighting languish. The building blocks for peace should include the appointment of a peace envoy: probably a senior official from the Arab world trusted in the US and the Middle East and acting on behalf of the UN. He should start talks about calling an international conference at which all the players inside and outside Iraq can meet.
A central theme of the conference should be the total withdrawal of US and British forces from Iraq, leaving no bases behind. Any final agreement should be in the shape of an international treaty including guarantees for minorities such as the Iraqi Kurds and Sunni. Finally Iraq should be neutralized like Austria in Europe in the 1950s.
Yet we continue to read present articles that foresee nothing but a grim and very harsh future when the US withdraws. For example: Bush left with few options, even fewer chances for success in Iraq
By Warren P. Strobel.
Strobel examines a few scenarios and in one he writes about the dire warning I am talking about:
Shiite and Sunni Muslims will continue to feud. All sides will position themselves for an eventual American departure.
Strobel also writes about the hypocrisy that is at the bottom of Washington's maneuvers.
...Democrats and some Republicans may be worried that the turmoil that's likely to follow a U.S. withdrawal more likely would be blamed on a decision to retreat rather than on the president's decision to invade Iraq in the first place.
There are websites out there that are dedicated to finding the peace bridge. Education for Peace in Iraq Center
The same group's blog: The Ground Truth in Iraq
The Recent Kos article is optimistic: Why a U.S. Withdrawal would bring Peace to Iraq
Anbar has been a success, but not because of an increase in U.S. Forces in the area of because the Iraqi Military has finally at long last "stood up", it's been because the U.S. has begun to use -- gasp --- diplomacy with the local leaders and used the Sunni Militia to route out Al Qeaeda.
...but rather than artificially carving up the country like a Turkey, the residents have been gradually finding and creating their own (relatively) safe sectarian havens.
Perhaps this is what Iraq ends up as - a 1,000 piece puzzle of Shiite and Sunni moted villages, armed to the teeth and with dozens if not hundreds of conflicts with nearby moted villages. Iraq will resemble a fairy tale land out of the Grimm Brothers' midieval Europe.