Iraq On the Verge of a Civil War

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Sure the media would love to pay attention to this, if only they could only tear themselves away from providing updates on the deadly Israeli houses that will destroy all hope for peace . But meanwhile in Iraq, there have been armed clashes between Iraq’s government and the Kurds. Talks brokered by the United States have broken down. The next step could very well be a civil war.

The talks in Baghdad between Iraqi and Kurdish military commanders brokered by a three-star American general broke down on Thursday, two days after the prime minister announced both sides had agreed on pulling back forces in part of the disputed areas. Officials on Friday said there were no new talks scheduled.

Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, who has described deployment of Iraqi forces as a plot against the Kurds, accused the Iraqi prime minister of reneging on the agreement and vowed that Kurdish forces would deter Baghdad’s “militarism.”

Mr. Maliki says a new security operations center overseeing three northern provinces adjacent to the Kurdish region was necessary to address worsening security. The Kurds have seen the move by Iraqi forces to consolidate control in areas disputed by the two sides as a declaration of hostilities.

Two weeks ago, it flared into an armed clash and a movement of Kurdish and Iraqi forces after anIraqi police operation near the headquarters of a Kurdish party in Tuz Kharmatu, close to Kirkuk.

Gunfire involving Iraqi and Kurdish forces killed a civilian and prompted both Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga commanders to move more forces into the region.

This is what they call a prelude to the real shooting and yet, amazingly enough, there is almost no coverage of this story in US media outlets.

The mainstream media has done its best to censor all coverage of Iraq post-withdrawal because coverage might cast doubt on the wisdom of Obama’s withdrawal there. And that tells us what kind of coverage of Afghanistan we can expect after Obama’s withdrawal. None.

Meanwhile the countdown to civil war in Iraq continues.

Barzani said that the Kurdish region will accept nothing less than the dissolution of the Iraqi army’s leadership because it is unconstitutional. Barzani stressed that all options are on the table to face Maliki’s dictatorial approach. He accused Maliki of trying to make the Kurdistan region kneel, asserting that they kneel only to God.

 

  • Joel Wing

    The standoff between the Kurds and central government is political theater before the 2013 provincial elections. PM Maliki can say that he's not sectarian and that he's standing up for Arabs against Kurdish expansion, while Kurdish Pres. Barzani can say that he's standing up for Kurds against the central government that wants to take the disputed territories from them. Something very similar happened in 2008 over the town of Khanaqin in Diyala province before the 2009 provincial elections. Statements that Iraq is on the verge of civil war are lacking in analysis and understanding of the political situation in the country right now.

  • Sandy Daze

    I tend to think this report might be a bit more hyperbolic that the actual situation. At the end of the day both the Arabs and the Kurds have way too much to lose by going to war, and in fact, the Kurds can keep the arabs below (to the south) of the ring of steel (out of "Kurdistan") without any problem. But, just to get another view, I've written to a Kurd buddy in Irbil for validation.