No More Illusions

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

The U.S. lost the Iraq War.

What is not in dispute is that at the most basic level—of neighborhoods and communities—the tissue of Iraqi society is already rupturing. It’s not just Shia who are displacing themselves to be among their own kind, though they are the main victims of the Sunni-led insurgents. Many Sunnis, terrified of death squads and Shia-dominated police who look the other way, are fleeing Shia areas even if they don’t support the insurgency. Dozens of Sunni families left Basra in the past year, fearing attacks from Shiite militias that dominate that southern city. "For a Sunni family like mine that was swimming in a lagoon of Shiites, it was almost impossible to continue living in Basra," said one refugee, Abu Mishal. Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the National Assembly, concurs: "We never had this even under Saddam … This is very dangerous."