The war in Iraq is about to get worse -- much worse. The Democrats' decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone, our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict. It will, in fact, signal a phase of the war far deadlier and more dangerous to American interests.If this is inevitable then I can only hope it happens before the next election so everyone will see just how dangerous it is to have Republicans in charge. Of course, if the our involvement in the war continues another year then the Democrats will shoulder their share of the blame. On page 2 Hedges gives us a grim view of exactly how much worse it will get after we are driven out.
Iraq, however, is different from Yugoslavia. Iraq has oil -- lots of it. It also has water in a part of the world that is running out of water. And the dismemberment of Iraq will unleash a mad scramble for dwindling resources that will include the involvement of neighboring states. The Kurds, like the Shiites and the Sunnis, know that if they do not get their hands on water resources and oil they cannot survive. But Turkey, Syria and Iran have no intention of allowing the Kurds to create a viable enclave. A functioning Kurdistan in northern Iraq means rebellion by the repressed Kurdish minorities in these countries.I'm saddened to say that what will upset Americans the most is that we were forced out in chaos with our tails between our legs. All the dead Iraqis will mean very little to them. We hate being losers much more than we are concerned about the lives of brown, non-Christian people on the other side of the world.
The Kurds, orphans of the 20th century who have been repeatedly sold out by every ally they ever had, including the United States, will be crushed. The possibility that Iraq will become a Shiite state, run by clerics allied with Iran, terrifies the Arab world. Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel, would most likely keep the conflict going by arming Sunni militias. This anarchy could end with foreign forces, including Iran and Turkey, carving up the battered carcass of Iraq. No matter what happens, many, many Iraqis are going to die. And it is our fault.