The “mismanaged” war. 23 May 2007Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2008 Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War.
More of the world’s refugees now come from Iraq than from any other country in the world. It is a trend that promises to continue this year.
“Now we are beginning to really see the humanitarian consequences of the war in Iraq,” Stefan Telöken, Germany spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
“Nobody can now say they didn’t know. It is one of the biggest refugee problems in the world, right up there with Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.”
Palestinians who had taken refuge in Iraq have likewise had to leave. Here, a group of Palestinians have set up camp just on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq.
People have been leaving the camp by any means they can: by foot, truck or windowless cars. [AP via BBC]
[C]ourting radical Sunni sentiment is a dangerous game. A major sign of trouble ahead had already emerged in February last year, when a protest against the cartoons belittling the prophet Muhammad turned violent and the Danish embassy was set ablaze in the fashionable Beirut district of Ashrafieh. Most of those protesting came from the impoverished areas of the north.
This picture becomes more complicated when the regional dimension is factored in. The invasion of Iraq has inflamed the Sunni-Shia divide and is changing the dynamics of the Middle East. Fear of Shia influence in Arab affairs has prompted many Sunni leaders to warn of a “Shia crescent” stretching from Iran, through Iraq, to south Lebanon. Several reports have highlighted efforts by Saudi officials to strengthen Sunni groups, including radical ones, to face the Shia renaissance across the region.
But building up radical Sunni groups to face the Shia challenge can easily backfire. While militant Islamist groups are sensitive to appeals to Sunni sentiment, they remain locked in their own agenda. Courted by regional players – Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia – and infiltrated by intelligence services, Islamist radical groups serve the needs of some without necessarily becoming servants to any.
Some perceive the fighting of recent days as a confrontation between regional forces – the US, Syria, Saudi Arabia – vying for control of the Lebanese political space. Others see it as a plan that went wrong, with Islamist groups escaping the control of the pro-government forces that nurtured them. And others perceive it as an attempt to draw the Lebanese army – regarded as the only genuinely national force in the country – into the fray of Lebanese politics.
The Siniora government is enfeebled. Claims that Syria is behind the current conflict have not so far been endorsed by the White House or other Arab leaders. The army, which has tried to remain neutral, is now muddied and its weaknesses made apparent to all.
The plight of thousands of Palestinian refugees trapped in the Nahr al-Bared camp echoes the Israeli bombing of Palestinian camps in occupied Palestine. Radical Islamist activists are moved by the atrocities in the north and attacks on their fellow militants. Palestinian factions are fractious, weakened, and infiltrated by foreign agents, further destabilising security within the refugee camps. The relations between Palestinian groups and Lebanese authorities are strained, and tensions can easily spill outside the refugee camps. The dangers of a conflagration that could spread across the country are serious. The US once nurtured the mujahideen in Afghanistan, only to pay the price much later. In the dangerous game of sectarian conflict, everyone stands to lose.
People are fleeing either to Tripoli or to another nearby refugee camp. There are plans for schools to be set aside to shelter some of the refugees.
Oil patch boys rub their chubby hands in glee:
‘Show of force’
A series of factors, including tensions in Iran and oil-rich Nigeria, pushed prices to a nine-month high above $70 earlier this month.
A United Nations report published on Wednesday concluded that Iran was still defying the ban on uranium enrichment.
The news coincided with nine US warships sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, off the coast of Iran, in a move interpreted by analysts as a show of strength.
Meanwhile, French president Nicolas Sarkozy warned Tehran it faced tougher sanctions if it did not co-operate with the international community over its proposed nuclear program.
Iran was not notified in advance of the US naval manoeuvres, involving 17,000 personnel.
“We are still of the opinion that this is a more symbolic show of force than anything else,” said Olivier Jakob, from oil analysts Petromatrix. [snip]
Oh puh-uh-leeze: The definition of a Democratic shit sandwich. NOW they bravely vote NO. Some of them.
And Blahgers bravely, as they Save the Nation! for God!, Mother, Apple Pie and George Washington’s Childhood Cherry Tree… yes they bravely count how many little piggies go to market.
by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:07:12 PM EST
NOT funding after a date certain is howe we do this.We can;t enact bills over Bush’s veto, but if enough vote NO, this could be a great illustration of my point.At the least, it becomes a Republican bill. And we can isolate the Dems who will cave on it.[ Parent ]
by andgarden on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:17:34 PM EST
it will be a start. In that case, we will probably be able to say that the Republicans funded the war, and Pelosi might just say “this is it; I’m not going to put my caucus and supporters through this anymore!”[ Parent ]
jesusfuckingchrist: as long as it is a Republican bill. Dears, they ALL are.
Platter of sandwiches to Aisle 10 with Blog Maid clean up scheduled to follow the Democratic catering.