"I Don't Want to Get in the Middle of That."
A story in the Monday Stars and Stripes describes U.S. soldiers keeping their distance as Sunni and Shiite militias engaged in a Saturday night firefight in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. Most interesting is the description of militia members concealing weapons from U.S. soldiers while on their way to the fight, alongside a description of a militia"operating openly in Mahmudiyah in recent weeks."
The often-cited argument for a continued American presence in Iraq is that the country will descend into civil war if we leave. That argument misses the very real possibility that the civil war can happen -- and, in fact, is now happening -- without an American departure. If 26 million people decide to enter into a civil war, 130,000 outside troops are not going to stop them.
The whole story is short, and well worth the couple of minutes it would take to read.
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Oscar Chamberlain - 2/27/2006
Thanks for the Stars and Stripes link. A very interesting story.
Also on this site is a series of interviews and polls entitled "Ground Truth." It's at http://stripes.com/webpages.asp?id=52&nl=2&par=49.
I've just begun to dig into it, but it looks fascinating for anyone trying to understand what the troops in Iraq think about their mission.
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