Thursday, January 18, 2007

Iraq: Dead Men Walking Iraq: Dead Men Walking

Strategy Page: Iraq: Dead Men Walking points out the problems faced today by the Sunni Arabs in Iraq:
The Sunni Arabs are not waiting, with radio and print calls to arms circulating in Sunni neighborhoods recently. Armed Sunni Arabs are urged to go to Baghdad, to fight the decisive battle to keep Baghdad Sunni. That battle has already been lost, but the noise level on the Sunni side has reached epic levels because the Shia death squads are now invading solidly Sunni neighborhoods. There are no more safe havens for Sunnis in Baghdad. The men of Anbar (the Sunni heartland west of Baghdad) are being called in to save Baghdad. That has led to some spectacular street battles in the last few days. But all of these have ended with a lot of dead Sunnis. The Battle of Baghdad has been lost, but the fighting will go on for a while. The Sunni Arabs are dead-men-walking, and more of them will have to be put in the ground before the majority admit they are beat.
And the reason that they have lost:
About half the Sunni Arabs of Iraq have been driven from their homes so far. Some 60 percent of those have left the country, while the others have taken refuge in areas where Sunni Arabs are the majority. There are far fewer "mixed" (Sunni and Shia) neighborhoods in Iraq today, and there will be a lot fewer in the future. In 2006 alone, about ten percent of the Sunni Arab population was driven from their homes, and either left the country or settled elsewhere in Iraq.

Each month, 50-100,000 Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, leave the country. There are nearly a million Iraqi refugees in Syria, about 700,000 in Jordan, nearly 100,000 in Egypt, about 40,000 in Lebanon, and about 20,000 in Turkey. Over a hundred thousand have fled further still, to Europe and the Americas. The U.S. is trying to keep Sunni Arab refugees out, as it is believed many of them would be inclined to support Sunni Arab terrorist groups like al Qaeda, and seek revenge against the United States.
Obviously, a well founded concern.


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