Monday, February 05, 2007

Pax Saddam to be imposed

Juan Cole has observed that “the presence of so many U.S. troops in Iraq, and the way in which they’re often dragged willy-nilly into sectarian fights, such as Diyala, is probably impeding the natural process whereby Iraqis would be forced to compromise with one another.”

On this view, the recent Bush ‘surge’ plan is likely to exacerbate sectarian conflict in the short term. Presumably the ultimate objective of the troop ‘augmentation’ will be to ‘pacify’ the warring parties by means of overwhelming force. Which is to say: Terror.

In short, the plan would appear to be to clobber and otherwise terrorise the factions into ‘compromise’. Which is to say, to kill each and every militia or insurgent player until the will to fight on all sides has been subdued.

To put it another way, the essential strategy seems to be to impose a Pax Saddam on strife-torn Iraq. The question that then arises is whether the achieved ‘compromise’ will be a durable one.


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