There can be no more doubt that Iraq is in a civil war, in which leaders of both its main communities, Sunnis and Shiites, are fomenting violence. The assault on Sadr’s Ministry of Health was likely retaliation for a recent mass kidnapping at the Ministry of Education, which still retains some Sunnis. The Ministry of the Interior houses the deadliest killers from the Badr Brigades, the other large Shiite militia. Badr’s Bayan Jabr built the death squads when he ran the ministry; he’s now Iraq’s Finance minister, in charge of its resources. This is the Iraqi government we are protecting, funding and attempting to strengthen. To speak, as the White House deputy press secretary did last week, of “terrorists … targeting innocents in a brazen effort to topple a democratically elected government” totally misses the reality of Iraq today. Who are the terrorists and who are the innocents? Among the most pro-American voices to emerge from the new Iraq have been two young Baghdadis, Omar and Mohammed Fadhlil, whose three-year-old blog, Iraq the Model, has promoted a relentlessly upbeat and hopeful message. Last week they threw in the towel. “I believe that America would like to see Iraq emerge as a model for the region,” Mohammed wrote. “But that cannot be done without having a cooperative Iraqi partner on the ground who shares similar views for Iraq and the Middle East. And that’s the point—that partner does not exist, at least not in the government.” ~Fareed Zakaria

Advertisement