Monday, January 15, 2007

This might cause problems? Who would have thought?

From Plan would add Kurds to civil war mix by Louise Roug Los Angeles Times 01/14/07:
Already a dangerous battleground for an array of forces, Baghdad soon could be flooded with another volatile element: thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq.
As part of President Bush's new strategy for Iraq, 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi troops will deploy to Baghdad in the coming weeks, American and Iraqi officials said, and as many as 3,600 could be Kurds. It would be the first time such a large number of Kurdish forces have been sent to the capital.
The impending deployment has raised fears among Kurds, most of whom live in a protected autonomous enclave, that they are being dragged more directly into Iraq's bloody and complex civil war.
Most of the fighting in Iraq is between Shiite and Sunni Arabs, but Kurds, most of whom are Sunni Muslims, fear that could change if they are seen as players in the country's main struggle.
Roug also reports, "Most Kurdish troops are not acquainted with Baghdad, many speak neither Arabic nor English..." Great. This looks like such a boneheaded idea it's hard to believe that Dick Cheney didn't insist on it personally, although Roug doesn't say that.
Kurds have already been involved in civil conflict and ethnic cleansing, particularly in the area of Kirkuk and Mosul. This is one more reason to be skeptical in the extreme about the prospects for the McCain escalation plan that Bush has adopted.
(Map graphic ©1998: "Kurdistan." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD 15 Jan. 2007.)

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