Monday, March 31, 2008

Warfare in Iraq

The conflict in Iraq is heating up again. While many people seem to think that this is a good indication of our side losing, the ‘Fog of war’ can be leading them to jump to conclusions long before we know what the real situation is. I find it interesting that a professor of international politics and Shiite politics at Tufts University has said "The only thing it proved (the new violence in Basra) is that we are a long way from stability in southern Iraq." We have a war underway in Iraq and this guy is looking for stability? How can anyone be looking for stability in a war zone?

It continues to amaze me how small this war is. Considering the population that is being impacted by the issues at stake here, it dwarfs World War II by a magnitude of five. Yet the fighting and loss of life is miniscule by comparison.

It is way to early to be drawing any real conclusions about what is happening in Basra right now. What can be seen are some of the issues involved. One example is Sadr’s militia. Here we have a guy who is a religious leader who is also the commander of an army. The ‘soldiers’ in his army are all more loyal to him and his ideology than they are to the government of Iraq. They are risking their very lives for him. This sounds similar to one of the basic issues decided by the U.S. Civil War. Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. army to fight against the U.S. government. Not because of slavery, but because his state of Virginia left the government. He was more loyal to a lower level of government that the Federal government. Many people are more loyal to their ‘clans’ and other organizations than the government of Iraq. This problem is prevalent throughout the Middle East.

I have already discussed many of the issues that are at stake in the war in Iraq. Many of these issues demonstrate the struggle between Islam and modern government. As I have posted before, Islam is far more than just a religion. The parts of Islam that step outside of our concept of ‘religion’ and into the political, governmental and legal arenas are at the basic cause of resistance to our presence in Iraq today. These parts of Islam must be brought into line with modern thinking. People will resist this type of change with warfare EVERY time.

In a way that is similar to the U.S. Civil War, we MUST fight today. To postpone the war will only make the final confrontation much more expensive in terms of lives lost.

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