Mortars let fly as Iraq draws first front line of civil war
The battle lines of a full-scale civil war in Iraq have been drawn in Baghdad.One of the major concerns that Iraq's neighbors to the north and west had with the overthrow of Saddam was an Iranian friendly Shia government. That would appear to be in the cards and Iran will probably turn out to be the only winner of Bush's invasion of Iraq. A Shia controlled central government is only one way the Iranians have won however. As Josh Marshall explains the United States has been rendered irrelevant in the region. As a result Iran has made their move through Hamas and Hizbullah.
Highway 60 has become one of the bloodiest fronts in the war between Sunni and Shia. Known to its frightened inhabitants as the "street of death", the road in the south-east of the capital is a symbol of the sectarian violence that is pushing the country ever closer to the abyss.
A nondescript suburban street containing half a dozen schools, the local hospital and a children's nursery, it has become the dividing line between the Sunnis and Shia, who once lived side by side yet now face each other across a mile-long strip of no man's land.
Members of the once mixed community have been forced to move their homes to what are, in effect, two sectarian enclaves.
Bush's decision to invade Iraq as part of the "global war on terror" made America a party to the conflicts on the ground as never before. Saddam Hussein's regime, loathsome as it was, provided a strategic balance to the power of a radicalized Iran.The fact that much of the Arab world actually fears Iran more than they object to Israel came to light when several Arab governments criticized Hizbullah.
BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 16 — With the battle between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah raging, key Arab governments have taken the rare step of blaming Hezbollah, underscoring in part their growing fear of influence by the group’s main sponsor, Iran.One thing we can be sure of is that the shoot from the hip - good vs evil diplomacy of the Bush/Cheney administration will not be any positive part of the solution.
Saudi Arabia, with Jordan, Egypt and several Persian Gulf states, chastised Hezbollah for “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts” at an emergency Arab League summit meeting in Cairo on Saturday.
The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel, “These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we cannot simply accept them.” Prince Faisal spoke at the closed-door meeting but his words were reported to journalists by other delegates.