Blaming the victims as Iraq disintegrates

Asia Times
by Stephen Zunes

03/08/06

The sectarian violence which has swept across Iraq following last month's terrorist bombing of the Shi'ite Golden Mosque in Samarra is yet another example of the tragic consequences of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Until the 2003 US invasion and occupation, Iraq had maintained a longstanding history of secularism and a strong national identity among its Arab population despite its sectarian differences. ... Top analysts in the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department, as well as large numbers of Middle East experts, warned that a US invasion of Iraq could result in a violent ethnic and sectarian conflict. Even some of the war's intellectual architects acknowledged as much: in a 1997 paper, prior to becoming major figures in the Bush foreign policy team, David Wurmser, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith predicted that a post-Saddam Iraq would likely be 'ripped apart' by sectarianism and other cleavages but called on the US to 'expedite' such a collapse anyway. As a result, the tendency in the US to blame 'sectarian conflict' and 'long-simmering hatreds' for the Sunni-Shiite violence in Iraq is, in effect, blaming the victim...

//atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HC09Ak01.html


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