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Commentary – low hopes for Iraq

There’s an interesting, if depressing, conversation ongoing over at the National Journal expert blog about what’s to come for Iraq. A snippet from my own contribution:

I normally try for guarded optimism on this blog, but the latest news from Iraq makes that hard. The situation increasingly sounds like one of Shakespeare’s darker history plays about England’s slide into civil war, with the Sunni Arab vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi not only fleeing arrest on dubious charges but taking refuge in the de facto autonomous Kurdish territory, beyond the reach of the Shia-dominated central government. Now all three major factions are involved. At the very best, this is a recipe for dysfunction, paralysis, and continued low-level violence, with the Sunni Arabs and (mostly) Sunni Kurds stalemating the Shia Arabs.

At worst? My mind recoils at the idea of Iraq sliding back into genocidal civil war…..

There’s also an article well worth reading on this subject by a retired Army officer of my acquaintance, Lt. Col. Nathan Freier: “the Arab Spring’s rampant political disaffection and tech-enabled populism are potentially as potent in Iraq as they are anywhere else in the Arab world. And, as Iraq is still in the midst of dislocating political transition, it is more vulnerable to sudden, contagious instability than most Middle Eastern states….”

Click here to see the full discussion at the NJ blog, but you’ll have to come back here to comment, below.

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