The Dump

sexta-feira, setembro 16, 2005

The Independent
Why is it that we and America wish civil war on Iraq?

Thursday, 15th September 2005, by Robert Fisk

There will not be a civil war in Iraq. There never has been a civil
war in Iraq. In 1920, Lloyd George warned of civil war in Iraq if
the British Army left. Just as the Americans now threaten the Iraqis
with civil war if they leave. As early as 2003, American spokesmen
warned that there would be civil war if US forces left.

What the imperial, colonial powers will not learn - let us use their
real names - and cannot learn, is that Iraq is not a sectarian state
but a tribal nation. Iraqi men and women marry by religion rather
than by affiliation.

A year ago, I sat by a doctor whose brother had just been killed by
gunmen, killers who, I had no doubt, were Shias enraged that the
brother had objected to the building of a Shia mosque at the end of
his road. I turned to the brother at the funeral lunch and asked if
there would be a civil war in Iraq.

"Why do you and the Americans want us to have a civil war?" he
asked. "I am a Sunni married to a Shia woman. "Do you want me to
kill my wife?"

There are plenty of journalists and writers and White House
spokesmen who would like to threaten Iraq with civil war. But why?
Two years ago, the official US spokesman made just such a
threat. "Al-Qa'ida'," he said - he meant Sunnis, of course - wanted
a civil war. But the Shias declined to provide the Americans with
their civil war and Iraq remained unhappily quiescent. Why? Why on
earth did they decide not to have a civil war? Because the Imam Ali
once told his people that "when you see another man, he is either
your brother in religion or he is your brother in humanity".

In Lebanon, it's easy to symbolise civil war. The Sunnis and Shias
fought against the Christian Maronites - the conflict was Maronites
versus the rest - and the Americans, Israelis, Syrians and others
came in on whichever side they wished. Even now, the US government
warns of the dangers of civil war again - as if the Lebanese need
it. Alas, the Lebanese have endured a civil war at a cost of 150,000
dead. The Iraqis do not need that terrible conflict. Why do we wish
it upon them?