Fear Keeps Iraqis Out of Their Baghdad Homes

>> Sunday, August 24, 2008

Imagine coming home to your apartment or house and finding everything gone. What would your reaction be? Anger, shock, fear? Imagine further that you exit your house to discover a man standing their with an automatic weapon. A man with cold eyes and a chilling stare. The man delivers a message, a warning, to you that needs no words. You don't live here anymore.

Such is the story related yesterday in the NYT. It is the story of Jabar, an elderly Shiite man. It is the story of Jabar but it might as well be the story of hundreds, thousands of Iraqi's caught in the sectarian struggle over control of Iraq. Those positioned in the nexus of the conflict are choosing to leave Baghdad out of fear and the overwhelming majority have stayed away. Jabar is trying to sell the house while staying in a rented one, less than a mile away in an area that is mostly Shiite. Like many of the more than 151,000 people forced from their homes he is unwilling to risk that the sectarian killings that seemed to have ceased are truly gone.

The fear felt by those who have resisted the return to their homes is one bridges cultures and language. They cite the zealous youth, the men who might decide to ignore the directives of their superiors. When Jabar tried to get information about his house to determine if he might move back he discovered that the area was still unsafe for th Shiites.

“The street was empty except for them,” Jabbar said. A short time later, two Shiites were killed a few blocks away. Then, a Sunni renting a relative’s house received a threatening letter. When he told the neighborhood guards about it, they asked him to prove his Sunni identity and then told him to disregard the letter.

“From that moment, I felt I could not go back to my house again,” he said.

The times story gives insight into how three of the US policies in Iraq are working. The first is that the "Surge" clearly did not work. Political reconciliation has not happened. If it had their would be a great deal less fear on both sides. The Sunni who are seizing the houses and preventing Shia from returning would be barred from this in any political agreement. instead, we see this as a common occurrence.

Two, the US funding of the awaking council is facilitating a convergence of Sunni who wish to be paid as members. The US is acting as the source of welfare for this Group of Iraqis and it is fomenting some violence against Shia as Sunni wish to keep the houses and neighborhoods the claimed as housing for those moving into the city.

That the sectarian killings really did drive people out of their homes. The reduction in violence appears to have been that they ran out of people to kill. The story highlights several instances where sectarian killings occurred because the two groups simply came into contact.

Keep all this in mind next time you here McCain tell you the surge worked.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

  © Blogger template Sunset by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP