More Troubling News

Just off the wires from Iraq:

The sectarian cleansing that drove 68-year-old Abbas al-Saiedi from his home may be as alarming a sign of a country on the brink of civil war as the killings that have swept Iraq in the past week…….

Al-Saiedi’s story, a tale of fear and desperation told to The Associated Press on Wednesday, represents a growing phenomenon of religious cleansing in which members of each Muslim sect are driving the others from neighborhoods where they have long lived side by side.

The practice, which has been going on for some time in neighborhoods south of Baghdad, is a barometer of the degree to which the Shiites and Sunnis have moved on the path to civil war. The number of incidents cannot be fully gauged, but is not yet at the level of mass expulsions of the kind that took place in the Balkans during the civil war there in the 1990s.

For their part, Sunnis have long-standing claims of attacks by Shiite-dominated and, some say, government-linked death squads and eviction from homes in the very neighborhoods now being occupied by Shiites displaced from Sunni areas.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

5 thoughts on “More Troubling News

  1. Could you change the title to “More good news”.

    Civil war is the best outcome Blair and Bush can hope for. A fundamentalist ruled semi-democratic Iraq is a real treat to the position of Britain and the US in the world.

  2. Maybe Charly it is the best outcome for “Blair and Bush”.

    In your opinion:
    Who were the main benefiaries under Saddam’s Baathist rule? AND,
    Who would be the main beneficiaries if “Blair and Bush” just up and left now?

  3. You obviously like strongmen: Granted, Bush is not nearly strong enough for your liking.

    I am not a fan of strongmen.

    Sticking with Iraq (versus Lenin, Hitler and the like) … I was not thrilled with Saddam and doubt most Iraqi’s were either: 1 in 6 Iraqi’s left under his rule: most remaining Iraqi’s not “on the take” despised him ….

    The likely correct answer to my query regarding beneficiaries under Baathist Rule was: Sunni’s on the take, certain tribal leaders and foreign businessmen and governments circumventing UN sanctions.

    Regarding Post Saddam: The correct answer is less clear. Given the evil of Saddam, a post Saddam strongman would have only a small amount of attractiveness, that attractiveness coming from the fact that fairness is not the operative goal of most players. Still, the stench of Saddam lingers, and most Iraqis would not want another strongman. Perhaps the the few who benefited from nepotism and international crime would prefer another dictator.

  4. Craig, maybe i wasn’t clear that i meant that the Iraqi people will be the main beneficiaries when “Blair and Bush” leave. Especially when all they wanted to do was substitued Saddam with their strongman. Lets be honnest. There are not a few who benefit from the cheap oil dictators supply but almost all the world

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