About that civil war

25 Iraqis killed in bomb blast at Kurdish funeral – 50 people wounded;
Unified strikes mar hopes for new government

Yeah, I know that a lot of anti-Bushies are licking their chops at the prospect of an Iraqi civil war. Don’t tell me it isn’t so, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Anyway, the recent rash of bombings has got me thinking on the subject a bit once again.

First off, depending on your definition, a civil war of sorts is already under way. It’s been raging since about the time that big statue of Saddam came down. It’s the dead-ender Sunnis (particularly the Baathist loyalists) against the 21st century Shiites and Kurds. They’ve got a fair amount of support from outsiders, but they’re backed against a wall and they seem to know it.

Now, if you’re talking a real, full-blown Civil War, don’t hold your breath. It ain’t gonna happen.

Murdoc’s not saying that there won’t be armed conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites, with the Kurds tossed in to keep things interesting. That’s obviously already happening.

Murdoc is saying that if the gloves come off it’s not going to be a WAR. It’s going to be a SLAUGHTER.

Sunnis make up about 20% of the Iraqi population. They have very limited representation in the new Iraqi government, and most of that is by the grace of the Shiites and Kurds. The military, police, and other security forces are overwhelmingly Sunni-free. The big bully on the block, the American military, doesn’t much care for the Sunnis these days as most of the dead Americans get that way due to Sunni insurgents.

Despite money, weapons, and even volunteers from abroad, the Sunnis can’t really muster an effective military force of any sort, either to wage war against the Iraqi military or to protect its own population.

If the bell rings and the civil war becomes a Civil War, it won’t last long. When it’s over, Sunnis will make up about 5% of the Iraqi population, and it won’t be just the Iraqi military that is responsible for the decline. Every one likes to point out how all typical Sunnis are armed. Well, so are all typical Shiites and typical Kurds.

Does Murdoc want this? No. Does he think its inevitable? No.

But Murdoc thinks that if it happens it’s going to be pretty quick and pretty messy. The outcome won’t be in doubt, as the Sunnis currently exist in Iraq only by the grace of the Shiites and the Kurds.

Tribal splits, even within the Shiite and Kurdish ranks, are a deep-rooted barrier to cooperation and democracy as Americans know it. If Murdoc were a Sunni, he’d think twice about doing things that convinced his enemies to put aside their differences.