Sunday, October 02, 2005

Newsweek Iraq: No More Illusions

Newsweek's team in Baghdad, Basra and Washington just published this very measured, very solid piece about why and how Iraq is coming apart:

No More Illusions
Americans used to dream of building a strong, unified, pluralistic Iraq. Now the possibilities are a very loose federation, or violent disintegration.



By Scott Johnson, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Michael Hastings
Newsweek
Oct. 10, 2005 issue - For more than a decade, Abu Sajad's small convenience store was a fixture in Doura, an industrial neighborhood in south Baghdad. Customers came for friendly service and the ease of buying rice, tea or cigarettes a few blocks from home. Abu Sajad, a 44-year-old with salt-and-pepper hair, would even let regulars—Sunnis, Shiites or Christians—run up a tab. But not long ago, Abu Sajad was found in a pool of his own blood. Sunni insurgents had shot him 11 times with an AK-47. Shortly afterward, his widow and four children left for Karbala, a Shiite town in the south. His brother, Abu Naseer, decided to move to Al Kurayat, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. The Doura shop was closed, another debris-strewn relic of an Iraq that may no longer exist. "I have no reason or explanation why he was killed except that he was Shiite," says his brother....

For more background see the recent ICG report "Unmaking Iraq," earlier posts on The Shadowland Journal, and my column "Make or Break" from November of last year. - CD
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