Playing the Ethnic Card
UPI notes something that can't be considered at all positive in Iraq:
"We are starting to play the ethnic card in Iraq, just as the Soviets played it in Afghanistan," said former CIA chief of Afghanistan operation Milt Bearden.
"You only play it when you're losing and by playing it, you simply speed up the process of losing," he said.
Phoebe Marr, an analyst who closely follows events in Iraq, told United Press International that "having the U.S. military unleash different historical enemies on each other has become an unspoken U.S. policy."
Bearden, Marr and others also referred to the Pentagon's tactic of pitting one group of enemies against another in Iraq as being fraught with danger.
For example, during the assault on Fallujah, wary of the reliability of Iraqi forces, the Marines used 2,000 Kurdish Peshmerga militia troops against the Arab Sunnis. The two groups share a long history of mistrust and animosity, according to Marr...
And the future? "All sorts of ugly things could happen -- the Kurds could declare independence or the split between the Shiite and Sunni could deepen. The new Iraqi state could fail," an administration official said.
For Marr the outlook was also grim: "The whole Bush administration policy has been outrageously careless" and because of this, she said, the tenuous unity of Iraq "could break down."
Said former senior CIA Iraqi analyst Judith Yaphe: "Elections will not solve anything -- we are grasping for events that will enable us to get out of Iraq, but there are no such thing. Democracy is not an event but a process."
"Speed up the process of losing." Not exactly encouraging words...