1,300 And Counting…

1,300 And Counting…


That’s the tragic aftermath of sectarian violence in Iraq over the past several days.

I can’t help but think that civil war is much closer than we may think. Only a few of those who were taken by this latest tragedy need to be “important” people. And any one of those few could be the catalyst. A man, a woman, a child. Wars have been started over much less.

From the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, Feb. 27 — Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week’s bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad’s main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday — blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound — and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

After he came back from the evening prayer, the Mahdi Army broke into his house and asked him, ‘Are you Khalid the Sunni infidel?’ ” one man at the morgue said, relating what were the last hours of his cousin, according to other relatives. “He replied yes and then they took him away.”

For everybody’s sake, let’s hope that the powers that be in Iraq can hold it together, and I hope I don’t have to write a post like this for a long, long time…although something tells me that hope is becoming increasingly unlikely.


  • http://sporkmonger.com/ Bob Aman

    Supposedly the Kurds, as a neutral party, were able to broker a last-minute peace agreement of sorts. There’s pretty much unanimous agreement that Iraq was just a hairs-breadth away from civil war, but they’re a long, long way from this issue being settled. There’s too many people that want civil war, and too many ways to ensure that it happens.

  • Joshua

    For what it’s worth, James A. Joyner (writing for TCS Daily) and VodkaPundit’s Stephen Green think that in the long run, civil war in Iraq may not be such a bad thing. As Green puts it, “A civil war is the nastiest way to get a good result.”

    On the other hand, Joyner also thinks the coalition forces should pull out of Iraq immediately if civil war breaks out in earnest. His closing thought on this matter reflects my own:

    We owe it to the Iraqi people to do everything we can to help avert a civil war and give their fledgling democracy a chance. Saving them from themselves, however, is both beyond our power and responsibility. If they decide civil war is the only way to settle their longstanding disputes, we must stand aside and let them fight it and then try to salvage a relationship with the eventual victors. While that would be a bitter pill, indeed, after coming so close to achieving the incredibly ambitious vision of the neo-cons, it would nonetheless be preferable to the other alternatives.