Tag Archives: zarqawi

Someday they will be loved

Death Cab for Cutie. 2005. Someday you will be loved. Plans. Lyrics available.

Sons are important. Songs are about human conflict, meaningful struggle, and often even love. Not just lust — the mad desire for a thing — but love — the longing to provide goods to another that cannot be denied by anyone.

Earlier, I highlighted four songs by Guerrillas (19-2000, Clint Eastwood, Dare, and Feel Good, Inc.). Today I want to look at Someday You Will Be Loved, by Death Cab for Cutie.

“Soemday you will be loved” is about abandoning love, about the limits of what humans can give. As the Iraq War winds down, its lesson about love abandoned applies to the population who will love any hope of real love if we leave: Iraq’s Sunni Arabs. For more than a year, prolonging the war has only bought them time. But for years, Sunni Arab culture, inspired by its Naser-Arafat habit of doing exactly the wrong thing, has aggravated the situation.

We will leave Iraq. There will ethnic cleansing. The Sunni Arabs will not experience love in our generation, or perhaps our lifetime. But as the global economy continues to expand, and as the Afro-Islamic Gap is eventually shrunked, someday they will be loved.

I once knew a girl
In the years of my youth
With eyes like the summer
All beauty and truth

For several months, perhaps a year, Bush had a chance of bringing a government to Iraq that would reasonably represent all of her citizens. However, the violent incompetence of two men: Abu Musab Zarqawi and George Walker Bush, made that impossible. The dreams of 2003 are the dreams of the past.

In the morning I fled…

America will leave Iraq, because America leaes all countries. We are not an colonial power, like those great states of Britain, France, Holland, and Japan. Too bad for the citizens of Anbar.

Left a note and it read

Given Zarqawi’s and Bush’s performance, the Constitution of Iraq is a death sentence for populations that oppose democracy. Ethnic cleansings are now inevitable, and true family liberation of the Sunni Arabs is a possibility

Someday you will be loved.

Iraq’s Sunni Arabs are stuck the Afro-Islamic Gap, and without ties to the outside world (most especially, without friendly ties to Iran) she will remain their for a century.

I cannot pretend that I felt any regret

Ending the Iraq War means dividing up the country into “thirds,” but that’s really a euphomism. 65% of Iraqi is Shia Arab, and 20% of Iraq is Kurd. Only about 15% is Sunni Arab. Ending the Iraq War means the Sunni Arabs get the desert and, if they are lucky, the ghetto.

Cause each broken heart will eventually mend

Within 12 years, two minority-regimes fell: South Africa and Iraq. The Afrikaner population in South Africa recognized reality, and managed to have their ethnic cleansing be as peaceful and violent as possible. The Iraqi Sunni Arabs tried to swim against the tide of history. They have just begun to pay for that.

As the blood runs red down the needle and thread

While they disagree on many things, and both could have operated much more competently, Both Bush and Zarqawi sought to speed the killing. Both recognize the pre-War status quo as one of institutionalied hate, and both sought to change it. But Iraq belongs not to Southern Protestants nor to Sunni Arabs, but, ultimately, to the Iraqi People and their Shia majority.

Someday you will be loved
You’ll be loved you’ll be loved
Like you never have known

Arabs are not destined to live as either Masters or Slaves. Under western influence and protection, Arab states have been able to provide a good life for their citizens. Egypt under her golden age (-1945) and Qatar now are good examples of this.

The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams

Chosen traumas are determined by present needs, not past actions

Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred

The American occupation of Iraq will one day fade into the mythic past for those in the Gap. Saddam Hussein will also live in the pages of legend. But the devestation of Anbar made possible by the Sunni Arab population will be a reality, probably until a larger shrinking of the Afro-Islamic Gap.

Someday you will be loved

You may feel alone when you’re falling asleep
And everytime tears roll down your cheeks

Bad Neighbors

But I know your heart belongs to someone you’ve yet to meet
Someday you will be loved

China is perhaps the best hope of the Gap, because Beijing is will to build infrastructure and connectivity even for the worst regimes in the world. But Anbar is dry and landlocked, with nothing to give and no one to give it too.

You’ll be loved you’ll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

You’ll be loved you’ll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved
Someday you will be loved

Abu Musab Zarqawi, Think Different. (The Muslim Brothers Already Are).

Praise be to God who gives strength to Islam with His victory….,” by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, U.S. Central Command, 9 January 2006, http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom1/Shared%20Documents/What%20Extremists%20Say.aspx?PageView=Shared (from ZenPundit).

Long before he began his blog, or even guest blogging here, tdaxp has focused on al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He often knows better. Note this time, though.


Zarqawi should follow the Muslim Brothers. He should think different.

The Party can be considered the Iraqi branch of the — a scary politico-terrorist organization that assassinated Anwar Sadat. But the is supporting elections in Iraq, while Zarqawi’s terrorist group “” is opposing them. Why?

Because the Iraqi Islamic Party is thinking different.

Or more specifically: because the Iraqi Islamic Party is thinking higher.

While the classic work Man, the State, and War lists three levels of international politics analysis, really there are five:

Mnemonic Level Example
Man Individuals George Bush, Osama bin Laden
His Friends Groups Republican Party, al Qaeda
the State States United States, Iraq
Her Friends Alliances NATO, Arab League
War Systems The underlying assumptions

In his letter, Zarqawi castigates the Iraqi Islamic Party for ignoring the Groups level of analysis

We address a message to the Islamic Party, inviting it to abandon this rough road and ruinous path it pursued. It was about to destroy the Sunnis and implicate them in relying on worldly life and accepting the jahiliyah [pre-Islamic] rule, which they disguised as legitimate interests. They should have called on people to perform jihad for the sake of the almighty God and to grieve over our sisters and brothers in the prisons of the worshippers of the cross, instead of rejoicing and dancing in streets to celebrate an imaginary victory and alleged conquest. Where is their zeal for religion and Muslims?

As well as the States — the IIP seems unconcerned with seizing Iraq!

“This Party coordinated contacts with Zalmai Khalil Zad, the U.S. ambassador, who is ruling Iraq, when he met with their leaders in the Green Zone before voting on the infidel constitution, and told them: Vote on the constitution and have what you want. Thus the deal was struck and the Party started to give tempting bribes to certain tribal chiefs to convince them of the need to participate in the elections. What did they get in exchange? A seat in parliament was promised if the tribal chiefs promised to preserve the security of the U.S. forces in their areas. A religion is being sold and a jihad stopped in exchange for a seat in a parliament that does not prevent harm or fight infidelism. Has madness reached the extent that a man should sell out his religion for worthless mundane offers?

At these levels Zarqawi is right in his criticisms: Sunnis make up only 15% of all Iraqis, so a democracy would not favor Sunnis.

But the Iraqi Islamic Party isn’t looking at group and states — its looking at alliances and systems.

While Zarqawi is nickle-and-diming in Iraq, the Iraqi Islamic Party (along with the ) is looking at the Arab world.

The Muslim Brothers want Syria, where they would in a free election.
The Muslim Brothers want Egypt, where they would win a free election.

By thinking simply, Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq are fighting the US and against democracy to take one country.
By thinking different, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Muslim Brothers are working with the US for democracy to take many countries.

The Muslim Brothers know better. They think different.

Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq on the Leviathan and the SysAdmin

A Not-so-grand Strategy,” by Bill Roggio, The Fourth Rail, 19 July 2005, http://billroggio.com/archives/2005/07/a_notsogrand_st.php.

Former Professor at the Naval War College Thomas P.M. Barnett breaks the military’s job into two roles: the Leviathan and System Administrator. The Leviathan “kills people and breaks things.” The System Administrator “builds states and builds nations.” If you have a strong Leviathan but weak SysAdmin, you win the war and lose the peace.

Now, Abu Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq is seeing the wisdom of that split as well


Al Qaeda in Iraq and Zarqawi now appears to recognize the futility of conducting military operations alone to achieve victory in Iraq. The SITE Institute reports the recently released publication of Zarqawi’s magazine, Thurwat al-Sinam, discusses grand strategy, which extends beyond pure combat operations.




This issue is the first edition of the publication to explicitly reference military strategy, delineating five sectors or “fields” of jihad: military, security and intelligence, medical, information, and economic. Throughout the issue, the authors reiterate that if the mujahideen focus only on military operations, regardless of their successes in battle, they will lose the jihad on other fronts. They provide examples such as Afghanistan and Bosnia wherein an alleged military victory by the mujahideen was overturned in the eyes of the international community because the mujahideen neglected other sectors of warfare. Of particular interest as a non-military based threat to the mujahideen is the creation of a “peaceful Islam” which has “nothing to do with the original religion” and is spread by “information media all over the earth” in the hopes that “the infidels will succeed in this which they could not do militarily”.




The dilemma for al Qaeda is that it is an overwhelmingly military organization [like the Pentagon — tdaxp], whose finances are specifically set up to support military operations, weapons acquisitions, training, recruitment and infrastructure. There is very little energy devote to the softer aspects of grand strategy – wining the hearts and minds in the areas of economics [jobs, business, education, etc.] and humanitarian care [like the Pentagon — tdaxp]. Al Qaeda cannot match the West’s superiority in these areas. And even if they tried, their ideological makeup makes the prospects success unlikely. The rejection of al Qaeda by local Iraqis sympathetic to their cause makes this clear.



al Qaeda in Iraq and the United States have the same goal: to win. If we are going to beat them, we have to build a SysAdmin faster than they do.


Update: Mark wonders why Mr. Zarqawi has a “FRIGGIN’ MAGAZINE.” Maybe it is a spin-off from his blog?

Corruption versus Zarqawi

Concerning Cruelty And Mercy, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared,” by Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513, http://www.drizzle.com/~jcouture/1_world/zzz_the_prince/0405a%20Prince%2016%20to%2018.htm.

Sunnis Working on Iraq Constitution Slain,” by Sameer Yacoub, Associated Press, 19 July 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050719/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq (from Captain’s Quarters).

Iraq is corrupt. This helps us.

Deaths are tragedies. Murders are monstrosities. But in our souls, we ultimately accept these things as part of the world. God calls people, and they come home.

But money, that’s a different matter. Murders are forgiven. Thefts aren’t.

As Machiavelli wrote centuries ago:


Men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their inheritance


It is this force that is hurting Zarqawi in Iraq.

Take the recent news that two Sunni Arab lawmakers were recently assassinated


Gunmen assassinated two Sunni Arabs involved in the drafting of Iraq’s constitution Tuesday, another blow to U.S. and Iraqi efforts to draw members of the disaffected community away from the insurgency and into the political process.

Mijbil Issa, a committee member, Dhamin Hussein al-Obeidi, an adviser to the group, and their bodyguard died in a hail of gunfire from two vehicles as they left a restaurant in Baghdad’s Karradah district, police said.

Issa, a prominent lawyer, was among 15 Sunni Arabs appointed last month to the 55-member constitutional committee — made up mostly of Shiites and Kurds — to give the Sunni minority a greater voice in building a new Iraq. Ten other Sunnis, including al-Obeidi, were named as advisers to the committee.


In Iraq, a high-ranking government job does not just mean that you are on the people’s payroll. It means work for your brothers and cousins as advisers and senior secretaries, it means work for your smarter nephews as junior secretaries, It means work as bodyguards for your “regular guy” nephews. It means money for their wives and things for their children.

In a non-corrupt Iraq, these murders would be seen merely as murders. Merely a premature departure from the mortal plane by elder statements. But in a corrupt Iraq, murder of government officials means theft from dozens, if not hundreds, of family members.

Zarqawi’s attempt to eliminate Sunni participation in the drawing of the Iraqi Constitution means theft from hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis.

Corruption will hurt Zarqawi, and there’s no easier way to “hearts and minds” than that.

Introducing Guest Blogger Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Stop Comparing Me to American Moonbats,” by “Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi,” Iowa Hawk, 5 July 2005, http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2005/07/stop_comparing_.html (from Little Green Footballs through TigerHawk).

Hot on the heels of Aaron and Phil, I’m proud to run an article by arch-terrorist and founder of Monotheism and Jihad al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi:


As a holy activist battling infidel crusaders and their heretic lackeys here in Mesopotamia, Allah knows I have to have a thick skin. Still, every once in a while, I’ll run across something that really gets my blood boiling. For instance, after my last opinion piece I got this nastygram from some choad over in Great Satanland:


I am appalled and sickened that anyone would draw a parellel between Al-Zarqawi and the American Left.


Oh, ya think? Well, I got news for you, Moby: I’m not exactly thrilled about any such comparison MYSELF, okay? See, I didn’t spend the last ten years crawling in the sand at jihad training camp, getting my knuckles thwacked by an Imam every time I forgot a Quran verse, and living in smelly Baghdad safehouse just to get compared to a bunch of trucker-hat AltWeekly motards from Austin and Seattle.


Me, like the American Left? I mean, are you fucking joking me?


tdaxp guest blogger, and noted terrorist,
Abu Zarqawi


Next, when you string up some smoldering infidel carcasses from a Fallujah bridge, they’re all like, “fuck yeah, screw those mercenaries! High five, man! C’mon, man, don’t leave me hangin’ bro!” But where were these guys when there was dismemberment and heavy carcass-lifting to do? Updating the UBB scripts on their fucking message boards, that’s where.



It’s not fair, and I swear to Allah the next time somebody tries to link the jihad with these infidel dipshits, I am totally going to snap. And the next time one of you chicken martyrs puts on a keffiya and starts babbling about “solidarity with the resistance,” remember this: just because we are planning to kill you last doesn’t make you our buddy.

Zarqawi the Innovationist

Reaping What It Sowed,” by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 4 May 2005, http://nytimes.com/2005/05/04/opinion/04friedman.html.

As I blogged before, Zarqawi does know better. He is not crazy and he is not insane. He has a specific program for the people Iraq that he wants to implement. He is using classic 4GW (fourth generation war) techniques to do this. The odds are against him, and he knows this. But the odds were against Lennin, Mao, and Pol Pot too. And like these men, he is not stupid. He lives in a danerous country were men with guns are trying to kill him. If he was dumb he would be dead.

Also, Zarqawi is a rationalist. Zarqawi wants to reorder society on rational Islamist lines. He does not like the way “things have always been” and he has a clear, articulated system for the new things should be. That he basis his dream on his view of what Mohammed’s friends in the 7th century did no more makes him a “traditionalist” than Lenin’s belief of primitive communism made that revolutionary a “traditionalist.”

Therefore, Thomas L. Friedman is wrong when he writes

In the modern incarnation of each of these struggles, members of the Sunni-Traditionalist-jihadist minority are losing. And the more that becomes evident, the more violent they will become – because their whole vision is in danger of being repudiated by fellow Arabs and Muslims.


Having lost the argument with their own community, and unable to offer any program, the Sunni-Traditionalist-jihadists seem to have become totally unhinged, with people becoming suicide bombers at the rate of three and four a day.

Now if there is a rationalist-traditionalist debate in Islam…

But these bombings are also signs of the deeper struggle that the U.S. attempt to erect democracy in Iraq has touched off. My friend Raymond Stock, the biographer and translator of Naguib Mahfouz and a longtime resident of Cairo, argues that we are seeing in Baghdad, Cairo and Riyadh the modern incarnation of several deeply rooted and interlocking wars. These are, he said, the war within Islam between Traditionalists and Rationalists, which dates back to Baghdad in the ninth century; the struggle between ardent Sunnis and Shiites, which dates back to succession battles in early Islam; and the confrontation between Islam and the West, which dates back to the Arab conquests of the seventh century and the Crusades.

… then Zarqawi is a fellow traveler to the feminists, Muslim arab nationalists, and allthe other innovationists.

It is dangerous to underestimate our enemies, or to simplify their motives. Friedman’s column does just that.

Zarqawi Does Know Better

Well, in response to that quibble,” by Mark, Zen Pundit, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/01/sure-sounds-like-they-hate-our-freedom.html, 24 January 2005.

‘What fuels this difference?’,” by Praktike, Zen Pundit, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/01/sure-sounds-like-they-hate-our-freedom.html, 24 January 2005.

Earlier I argued that Zarqawi’s last message gives us hope. That is true. Praktike on Zen Pundit goes one step farther, wondering if he is insane

Indoctrination, time spent in prison, experiences in Afghanistan … I dunno. Zarqawi seems like the craziest mofo of them all. What tipped him into violence where another adherent of salafism might merely advocate separation from the West? If I knew the answer, I wouldn’t be just another blogger.

He is echoing an opinion by Mark

Well, in response to that quibble that I would say that while a Salafist or Hanbali scholar might hold the same opinion of Democracy as a form of government as Zarqawi does – he probably lacks the desire to go out and kill fellow Muslims who differ or believes that would be an appropriate response. What fuels this difference ? ;o)

Critical thinking and will fuels the difference. Zarqawi is an evil villian who must be killed. But that doesn’t change that fact that he does know better. He is not insane. He is acting rationally and deliberately to build a future he believes his worth creating. The odds are against him, and he realizes this. While he may be ignorant and not realize the depravity of his Ba’athi brothers-in-arms, he is not stupid. Unlike idle scholars who share his views but not his courage, he knows that he has to /work/ to build a future worth creating.

Zarqawi views the present as a nightmare not worth living. It is clear that the Arab and Muslim worlds are backward, disunited, and corrupt. The governments of the region are naturally weak, and are part of a globalized system of (to him) dubious morality.

His diagnosis of this is apostasy. The fall of the Caliph was a symptom of this, but not a cause. So long as Muslims turn their back on God and worship false idols (socialism, nationalism, capitalism, democracy) they will be weak. In his view, the Muslim world is in a vicious cycle. Corrupt governments promote weakness promote dependency on foreign infidel powers promote corruption. He sees globalization as possibly the final blow. Not only are Muslims to live under corrupt, weak, and depdendent governments, but these governments themselves are losing power to outside forces. I doubt he has heard of Friedman’s thesis of a “global herd,” but he feels the trampling stampede.

Compounding this is that these forces work to destroy freedom (as he sees it). A truly free man is infinitely free to walk in the path of the Prophets, in the shade of the Koran, and personally know God. But “freedom of religion” means that a man will be tempted to walk a differen path. What Zarqawi wants is not “freedom of religion” as much as “freedrom from wrong religions,” not “freedom of speech” so much as “freedom from wrong speech.” He knows that the people chose “freedom of speech” over “freedom from wrong speech” every chance they get, so the will of the people is just another force to be destroyed, not reasoned with.

Zarqawi wants to move the world away from this confusion back to its right place. But in this vicious cycle every force is forever corrupting Muslims. Therefore he has to destroy every power. He has to destroy the status quo. Doing nothing guarantees failure. Shaking up the world at least gives a chance for success.

Zarqawi sees his limitations. He has no conventional army or air force. He has no money, and does not have the charisma of Osama bin Laden. He doesn’t even have popularity. But he has the will to violence.

He will continue to use his will to violence to destroy the powers that be until he has a chance of winning in peace. This is a far way away, but remember that if his violence stops know, he knows he loses.

He will rationally work with the Ba’athis to destroy the government, because he knows under the government he would lose. If the Ba’athis win and seize the government, he will try to destroy them with violence. If the Iranians invade, he will try to destroy them. If al Qaeda (an organization he admires, which is why he rechristed “Monotheism and Jihad” as “al Qaeda in Iraq”) can attack New York, Washington, Madrid, surely someone it can attack Teheran and Qom. If mujahideen can assassinate people in the Netherlands, surely they could get to the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Eventually, his movement might prevail. Communism sure did. The Czar was overthrown. The Last Emperor of China was reeducated to be a gardener. It might take a century, but his preferred future is creatable. And he does not need an army. He does not need charisma. He only needs small cadres, and the will to violence.

(Though having faith in God and a promise of an eternal reward sure helps!)

Zarqawi is not crazy. He is only the salafist who does know better.

They Hate Their Freedom

Sure Sounds Like They Hate Our Freedom,” by “Mark,” Zen Pundit, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/01/sure-sounds-like-they-hate-our-freedom.html, 23 January 2005.

The always informative Zen Pundit ways in on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s rant against Shia, democracy, and freedom. Comments his, emphasis mine

The always ghoulish Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released a new tape declaring that democratic governance itself was blasphemous and that everyone involved in the Iraqi election, candidates, election officials and voters – all of them – should be killed:

We have declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it….Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion,” [he said, and that is ]”against the rule of God….Americans to promote this lie that is called democracy … You have to be careful of the enemy’s plots that involve applying democracy in your country and confront these plots, because they only want to do so to … give the rejectionists[ Shiites?] the rule of Iraq. And after fighting the Baathists … and the Sunnis, they will spread their insidious beliefs, and Baghdad and all the Sunni areas will become Shiite. Even now, the signs of infidelity and polytheism are on the rise….For all these issues, we declared war against, and whoever helps promote this and all those candidates, as well as the voters, are also part of this, and are considered enemies of God”

To further accent the point, Zarqawri’s group beheaded a couple of hapless Iraqis.

The more I hear of Zarqawri’s messages in context with his group’s terror tactics the more he seems like a fetishistic serial killer using Islamist mummery as window dressing. All of the voters are enemies of God? Millions of fellow Arab Sunni Muslims ?

Say what you want about Osama bin Laden but he isn’t out to annihilate his own people on a flimsy pretext by beheading them one or two at a time.

Even apart from the Big Lebowski reference, right on. It’s nice to see an enemy finally gave a coherent set of complaints. What’s interesting in the statement?

1. Zarqawi clearly spells out that Shia are the enemy. Good. This means that Secretary-designate Rice’s dual-track political-military plan is working. We have successfully turned part of the insurgency (al Qaeda in Iraq) against both the majority of the population and former insurgents (especially al Sadr’s Mahdi Army).

2. Zarqawi clearly states that democracy and freedom of religion are his enemies. Nice to hear.

3. Zarqawi is talking to Ba’athis. He warns them that they are in danger of being concquered by the Americans and being forcibly converted to Shiism. (Not that his plans are any gentler). I don’t know if he is trying to speak to the Ba’athi leadership or to lower-ranking members. If he is trying to speak to the leadership, and is honestly warning them that if they lose, they will be forced to await the Occupted Mahdi, it is sad. Could Zarqawi truly have such a simplistic view of the world that even secular Ba’athis are at heart good Sunnis like him? Alernatively, he may be trying to speak to the Ba’athi masses. Perhaps they are not truly indoctrinated, and are as malleable as he presumes.

If any of these possibilities are true, its good for us. An enemy deprived of situation awareness is a crippled enemy. And if the masses are nonideological, it opens the door to reconcilliation with the people after the leadership is crushed.

Thanks for the clarification, Abu.

The Sunni Side of Factions

Are Fortresses, and many other things to which Princes often resort, Advantageous or Hurtful?,” by Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, http://www.online-literature.com/machiavelli/prince/20/, AD 1513.

Analysis: Iraq edges towards civil war,” by Richard Sale, World Peace Herald, http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20041227-041929-7953r, 27 December 2004 (from Democratic Underground).

At first glance, glum assessments from UPI

“We are starting to play the ethnic card in Iraq, just as the Soviets played it in Afghanistan,” said former CIA chief of Afghanistan operation Milt Bearden.

“You only play it when you’re losing and by playing it, you simply speed up the process of losing,” he said.

Phoebe Marr, an analyst who closely follows events in Iraq, told United Press International that “having the U.S. military unleash different historical enemies on each other has become an unspoken U.S. policy.”

Bearden, Marr and others also referred to the Pentagon’s tactic of pitting one group of enemies against another in Iraq as being fraught with danger.

For example, during the assault on Fallujah, wary of the reliability of Iraqi forces, the Marines used 2,000 Kurdish Peshmerga militia troops against the Arab Sunnis. The two groups share a long history of mistrust and animosity, according to Marr.

Both ethnic groups are Sunni, but Kurds speak a different language, have distinct customs, and are not Arabs.

“I think the U.S. military is trying to get ethnic groups to take on the insurgents, and I don’t think it will work,” Marr said.

According to a former senior CIA official, the agency is dealing with reports of ethnic cleansing being undertaken by the Kurds in areas near Kirkuk.

“It’s all taking place off everyone’s radar, and it’s very quiet, but it’s happening,” this source said.

Original reports disclosing that up to 150,000 Arab Sunnis had been uprooted and placed in camps have proved to be unreliable, several U.S. officials said.

“There’s so much white noise, so much unreliable rumor in the air,” said Middle East expert Tony Cordesman. “You are going to have to get data from people on site, not from those in the rear areas.”

According to Marr, Iraq has always been a complicated mosaic of religious and ethnic groups and tribes. The tilt of the Bush administration towards Iraq’s Shiites, who compromise 60 percent of the population, upset the balance of power, she said.

Former Defense Intelligence Agency chief of Middle East operations, Pat Lang, said the key blunder was the disbanding of Iraq’s 400,000-man army. “At a stroke, we went from a liberator to an occupier.”

A Pentagon official said that the Iraqi army had been “a respected institution,” in Marr’s words, “a focal point of national identity,” utterly abolished.

From the beginning, sectarian and ethnic groups have been quietly at war. A U.S. intelligence official told United Press International that soon after the U.S. victory, there were Shiite assassination squads “that were going around settling scores that dated back from the time (Iraqi leader) Saddam Hussein was in power.

There were also suicide bombings of Shiites by Islamist jihadis allegedly led by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an Islamist militant now associated with al-Qaida. According to the intelligence official, Zarqawi in the late 1990s was responsible for bombing Shiites in Iran from his base in Pakistan where he was associated with the militant SSP party.

The Sunni Arabs, once the leading political group under Saddam Hussein, feel threatened and made politically impotent by the Shiite majority, according to U.S. officials.

Compounded by gloomy words from the father of realism

… I do not believe that factions can ever be of use; rather it is certain that when the enemy comes upon you in divided cities you are quickly lost, because the weakest party will always assist the outside forces and the other will not be able to resist.

But the situation is much better.

Iraq is in a civil war. We are seeing in Mesopotamia what we might have seen in South Africa if not for the leadership of Mandela and de Klerk. Sunnis represent around 20% of the population, and have been progressively realizing what 20% in a democracy means. It’s has about the electoral power of a Black-Italian voting block would in the United States. Nothing to sneeze at, regionally predominate in areas, but never a natural ruling coallition.

Kurds are also about 20% of the Iraqi population, but they don’t have the same disease of declining Empires. Like 1920s Germans Iraqi Sunni Arabs can, easily, remember when “they” were important. Like 1950s Jews Iraqi Kurds are thrilled not to be dead. Hence the violent attempt to reimpose ethno-racist rule by the Sunnis, and the muscular attempt to create a homeland by the Kurds.

Machavelli’s advice is not operable in the current situation. George H. W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War established that the Carter doctrine still has force — any aggressor in the Gulf will be dealth with. While there are regional hegemons, the United States is easily able to enforce the boundaries. The Sunni Arabs know this. No matter how divided Iraq is ont he Sunni Arab v. Everyone Else lines, the sunnis still lose. The more they resist democracy, the more they are trapped in a prison of their own making.