Already our troops are fighting both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias in their Islamic civil war, and the troops are battling al Qaeda terrorists, who weren’t even in Iraq until George W drew them in. With three fronts underway, we really don’t need a fourth.
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We’re about to get it anyway, though, because several other factions are on the brink of going at each other in Kirkuk, a city in Northern Iraq. On one side are the Kurds, who have well-armed, battle-seasoned militias ready to fight for the land they claim as their own. The Kurds have been America’s allies, and they have set up their own government in the north that essentially is autonomous from the Iraqi regime in Baghdad.
On the other side are the Arabs who moved into the Kurdish zone years ago and now claim it as their own. They, too, are heavily armed and – follow the bouncing ball here – are backed by two other players in the area: The Turkomen and the government of neighboring Turkey, which is fighting a Kurdish independence movement inside its own borders. The Arabs, Turkomen, and Turkey also have been America’s allies.
Literally underlying this explosive ethnic imbroglio is one of the world’s largest oil reserves, which means Big Oil has a keen interest in “winning” – whatever that involves. To add to the nasty potential, Iran also cares very much about this fight, and has deployed security forces to the border it shares with the Kurdish zone.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi constitution that the Bushites cobbled together contains a provision requiring a referendum on the future of Kirkuk by year’s end. Whether the vote makes it part of the Kurdish zone or part of the government in Baghdad, the other side promises to go to war to stop it.
This is Jim Hightower saying… Thanks, George, for a war that just keeps metastasizing, further endangering our troops. Proof again that the Bushites did not have a clue what they were getting us into.
“Next Iraq war may be between Kurds, Arabs in Kirkuk,” Austin American-Statesman, February 15, 2007.