Saturday, April 14, 2007

An anonymous commenter pointed out

An anonymous commenter pointed out that my post before last about this wasn't complete.

From Foreign Policy magazine, an interview with Nibras Kazimi:

My mother’s family is Kurdish, and they’re Talibanis. My mother’s village was targeted during the Anfal. They dug up the cemeteries, and my grandfather’s grave was dug up. They were stamping out traces of people. It was vindictive, and it wasn’t unique to my mother’s village. It happened across many of the villages that were affected by the Anfal campaign. And through marriage, we had relatives who were directly affected by the chemical bombings at Halabja. On my father’s side, the ones that had registered as Persian nationals rather than as Ottoman nationals were deported to Iran. Some of the young men were seized, and they spent years in prison, some of them executed. You know, the usual Iraq story. My father’s people were Shiite Arabs from Kazimiya, a formerly independent town that has become a northern suburb of Baghdad. It’s actually where Saddam was executed, in the military intelligence complex.

So both sides of his family experienced terrible atrocities from Saddam and his allies. His father's family was indeed Sunni - but Sunni Kurds. Few of us have ever demonstrated the sort of forgiveness that would enable us to criticize him. At the same time, the people who have been put in charge of American forces after hard experience both say we cannot win this war by force alone. If they are wrong, someone should come up with a better plan than that of Petraeus and Gates. If they are right, we need to remember that Nibras Kazimi isn't an ally of those with a realistic plan for victory. This civil war will not lead to an extinction of all violent Sunni's, but of a generation brought up to believe that suicide bombing is heroic. At best the infighting gives us a little time. I don't know if Al Qaeda can change course again or not, but even if not history has many examples of civil wars breeding more and more violence and hatred, rather than leading to the death of the violent and peace.

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