Professor Cole

Over at Informed Comment has a small blurb up among his other reporting from Iraq. It really stood out as being the reason why Civil War has become almost inevitable.

Although young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called for peace and lack of reprisals, clearly a lot of furious Shiites are paying no attention to him. When people are really angry, the clerics lose a lot of their influence. If people in Lebanon had listened to their clerics, there never would have been a civil war there. At some point, political resentments go so far that the sermons themselves become helpless.
The Shiite majority spent too long under a Sunni dominated government to just sit back and take it. Whoever it is that's trying their best to incite a civil war (and the media hasn't been helpful on figuring that out) certainly know that at a point, populations become so enraged that no amount of pacifying by religious leaders (or any leader) is going to stop the violence.

I can't see any near future in Iraq that doesn't include at least the low level civil war we're seeing right now. The mosque bombing on February 22nd was the tipping point.

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