I didn't know where to put this so I thought I'd create a new thread for discussion about the current situation in Iraq. There is a lot of talk about how if the coalition troops pull out the country will fall into a 'state of Civil War'. Unfortunately the situation already looks like it has degenerated into Civil War and the US and Britain are just unwilling to admit it. I caught a repeat of the Channel 4 UK television programme Death Squads of Iraq on Friday night and that was very enlightening. Everyone probably knows the basics of the situation already but it was the first time I'd really been given a coherent account of what is going on between Sunni and Shia. I'll try and summarise the feelings I got from the programme. So - we are supporting the 'democratic' (i.e. manipulated according to the interests of the occupiers) government in their fight against Sunni insurgants that are said to be being supported by Al Qaeda. We are doing this by putting prominent Shia policitians in positions of power within the government, often over the objections of British and American observers who know the character of certain ministers and have severe reservations about their motives. This gives the opportunity for a certain Shia minister (he was named in the programme but unfortunately I've forgotten it - he is in an extremely prominent position however) to give their personal militias some form of legitimacy by fast tracking them through training to become members of Iraq's police force. They are now being used to systematically clear Sunni inhabitants from the area (collecting people based on having a typically 'Sunni' name etc) by killing most and causing the rest to flee in fear of their lives. There are Sunni insurgants against the occupying force and the 'democractic' government, but little attention appears to be made towards tracking them down. The impression I got from the television programme was that if a car bomb goes off and kills Shia people then the death squads go and indiscriminantly attack Sunnis. So what we as occupiers seem to be doing is on the same principle as other conflicts we have previously got involved in, from Israel to Iran (which suggests we haven't learnt anything) - we are supporting one set of people (who have their own motives for cooperation that our governments are not seeing, or rather pretending not to see) against another because we see the other people (in this case the Sunni's who are apparently supported by Al Qaeda, but we could substitute them for Palestinians or the democratic government of Iran which we helped to topple unfortunately causing the Islamic revolution in that country in 1979) are more of a threat. And judging by that Blair interview on Al Qaeda that's been on the news this weekend, famous for the part where he 'agrees' that the policy on Iraq has been a disaster but much more important for how he goes on to say that Shia elements in the police are supported by Iran - we are being fed a bunch of lies by people who actually approved the placement of the Shia elements that are systematically wiping out Iraq's Sunni population into Iraq's 'democractic' government in the first place. Probably this was said by Blair to add some more 'proof' to lay the groundwork for a hoped for attack on Iran. Unfortunately history has proved that whenever we (i.e. US and Britain) has supported one group over another because it was in our interests to do so at the time, or we felt the other group was more of a threat, we have created a much worse situation. We have to remember that we supported Osama Bin Laden (trained and supplied him) until he made the break with us, our policies destroyed Iran's chance for democracy at the end of the 70s, and even if we didn't intend an Islamic regime to rise out of it one did. Sadly our governments then prove hypocritical in criticising other governments (and indirectly the populations of their countries) for being in power when they are often there as a direct result of our meddling. Unfortunately it seems that we are currently going the same old route and are again trying to back one group over another behind the scenes. So what should we do? Pull out ? Perhaps we should - at least we wouldn't be supporting one side in its systematic wiping out of a group of people. By our presence we are complicating the situation with vested interests, not creating a stable democracy - simply because a democracy cannot be created through appointing unelected representatives. It is similar to my saying "Tell me what you favourite film is - out of Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Saw" - you might hate all the films but you have no other choice in the matter but the three given you. This is the type of 'democracy' we have imposed on Iraq.