'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, February 13, 2004

Well, 'Small Hostile Units' Sounds Kind of Democratic

Bal·kan·ize or bal·kan·ize:
tr.v. Bal·kan·ized, Bal·kan·iz·ing, Bal·kan·iz·es
To divide (a region or territory) into small, often hostile units.

An internal CPA report has concluded that Iraq has already begun breaking apart:

A confidential report prepared by the US-led administration in Iraq says that the attacks by insurgents in the country have escalated sharply, prompting fears of what it terms Iraq's "'Balkanization'". The findings emerged after a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the top US general in Iraq, John Abizaid, on Thursday.

"January has the highest rate of violence since September 2003," the report said. "The violence continues despite the expansion of the Iraqi security services and increased arrests by coalition forces in December and January."

The report, which is based on military data and circulated to foreign organizations by the US aid agency USAid, diverges with public statements by US officials who claim that security in the country is improving.

[ ... ]

It attributed much of the civilian violence to rising ethnic tensions between Kurds, Shias and Sunnis, noting that several bodies were found in the south "with hands bound and bullet wounds to the head".

But attacks on military targets, which had seen two months of decline, rose even faster than those on civilians, it said, particularly in the "Sunni triangle", north and west of Baghdad. It described the "profuse availability" of roadside bombs, the favored weapon of the insurgents, as "alarming", saying attacks had surged almost 200 per cent.

The report shed little insight into who was behind the attacks, but said "multiple reports confirm the presence of al-Qaeda in the country".

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