Violence Erupts in Southern Iraq

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/25/2198948.htm?section=justin

Maliki has moved to the Basra region in southern Iraq in an attempt to subdue an outbreak of violence between the militias there. The British have removed their troops from Basra and find themselves being targeted by rocket fire in their bases. If the three militias come to blows we may see an end of the temporary truce conditions in other parts of Iraq. We have been playing a dangerous game by supporting a Shiite government prone to ally itself with Iran while arming dissident Sunnis. We may now be seeing the breakdown of the relative decline in violence that we have been promoting with the surge. Oil is a big contention factor here as most of it in Iraq is either located in the south where this battle is raging or in the north where the Kurds are already exploiting it. Our troops may be now forced to try to contain a violent split up of Iraq with our guys caught in the middle of the battle lines.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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