By Nancy K. Matthis | Friday, March 31st, 2006 at 3:26 pm
Writing for the Arabic newspaper Asharq Alawsat, journalist Amir Taheri provides an outstanding analysis of the situation in Iraq. First he offers a thorough analysis of the different forms of in-country conflict throughout history–minority revolts, religious and ethnic conflicts, efforts at secession, foreign interventions, and civil war. Then he describes the situation in Iraq in terms of that background.
There is No Civil War in Iraq: Here is Why
by Amir Takeri
Is Iraq in a state of civil war?
My notes show that, since the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003m the question has risen once every two months. Having made the cover of almost every major news magazine, it has also been the theme of countless television and radio programmes in Europe and the United States.
The answer, however, is the same firm â€œnoâ€ that it was when it was when BBC television just devoted a programme to it just weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein….
Iraq is currently the scene of four parallel and at times overlapping conflicts.
The first is between the forces of old Iraq , principally the remnants of the Baâ€™ath regime, and those of the new emerging Iraq .
The second is between Iraqis of different backgrounds and ideologies against the coalition forces led by the United Sates.
The third is between non-Iraqi Jihadists against both the US-led coalition and the forces of new Iraq .
The fourth is a sectarian feud between Arab Sunnis and Arab Shiâ€™ites in which non-Iraqi Jihadists often intervene on the side of the former.
For Iraq to experience a civil war it is necessary for those four conflicts to be summed up in a single one fought by two rival camps of more or less equal strength at the start, consisting of Iraqi citizens divided not by ethnic and/or sectarian differences but by mutually exclusive political visions for the nation. And that certainly is not the case now.
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
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