animesh kumar

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Civil war!

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In past six decades, there were 255 civil wars and many of them featured the same kind of conflict which is now perpetuating in Iraq, writes David Brooks (The hindu, 2-jan-06) of New York Times.

A civil war stems from a power vacuum at the top. When the central government of a country becomes ineffective, local groups try to grab for power and resources. Leaders of these insurgent armies magnify ethnic grievances to use it as driving fuel. People who do the killings might be whipped up by ethnic grievances, but people who lead civil wars are usually rational and covetous. Once the war starts, the length of the war depends upon the effectiveness of the central government. If the government is strong enough to fight back then the war can be cut short, on the other hand if the government is feeble or it reacts with excessive brutality, the war drags on. However, the civil war ends – usually – in three ways. If the ethnic hatred has been whipped to fever pitch, there is no way but a partition – hence, separation of the two groups. If, one group is determined to settle with nothing less than the total victory, then the war rages until another group suffers a crushing defeat. Third option to end the war is a joint government.

However, this is all theory.

If we look onto Iraq in this perspective, the most likely answer is a joint government. But, in this case no side would trust the other side. There would always be a flame. Not side would lay down their weapons permanently due to fear of insecurity. So, for U.S. it becomes necessary to remain in Iraq – to cajole the two sides towards the settlement – until the conflict is deescalated, says David Brooks.

But, the recent polls in Iraq tells a different story in which both Sunnis and Shas took part in larger numbers which makes it clear that all they want is a democratic and unified Iraq, despite their internal differences. That is, they fervently want to build a democracy. That is, there is no need of any third party cajoling, or intervening. Why then the U.S. is vamping up excuses to stay there?

The war against Saddam Hussein is no more ‘a war of liberation’.

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Written by Animesh

January 1, 2006 at 12:12 am

Posted in Candid

Tagged with , ,

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