Colonial past and colonial present

Iraq teeters on the brink of what might be full-blown sectarian warfare.

My grandfather invented Iraq,” said the grandson of Winston Churchill, the man who created much of what is known as the Middle East. The arbitrary scars created by Western powers decades ago were reopened in another colonial attempt to deprive Arabs of their resources. The recent sectarian warfare sweeping Iraq was predicted years ago; this fear is the very reason the United States refused a quick-pullout strategy.

The United States has not been able to avoid civil war in Iraq. As the country teeters on the brink of what might be full-blown sectarian warfare, the United States has much to fear. The involved groups could join forces against the United States, or they could fight one another to the point of a tri-state solution.

The disaster exposed remarkable leadership on both sides of the situation, instead of responding in violence, mass demonstrations took place in Iraq. Both Sunni and Shiite clerics announced to their congregations that it was a weighty sin to attack their fellow coreligionists. The clerics are condemning the United States for its failure, as the occupying force, to protect. Many Iraqis are calling against President George W. Bush and want to end the occupation on their terms. According to a BBC report, polls indicate that most Sunnis and Shiites are willing and hopeful of peaceful coexistence. To show their solidarity, the groups joined for Friday prayer – a holy day for Muslims – and stood aside one another.

The general atmosphere concerns not sectarian warfare, rather it’s characterized as disgust for U.S. occupation. But the peachy front easily could turn distasteful. The religious community can do only so much in controlling the mood; already their words are beginning to weaken, and violence lurks. The United States is in a tight position either way. The death of a unified Iraq will be a direct result of U.S. intervention. Before U.S. occupation, Iraqis were bound by their state, not through sectarian loyalties. On the contrary, a unified Iraq will be a unified force against the United States. Intentions will be tested when the United States is forced leave without a divided and conquered Iraq.