Monday, February 27, 2006

Civil War Averted in Iraq.

Normalcy, such as it is, seems to have returned to Iraq after last week's bombing of a principal Shiite mosque. No one has claimed responsibility for the deed, but the most likely suspect is Al Qaeda, which has been trying to start a civil war in Iraq.

The initial violent reaction to the bombing raised fears that a civil war was starting, but calm heads seem to have prevailed. The Shiites have been the subject of several provocations designed to lure them into a civil war, but they have resisted the basic human impulse for revenge. Sistani, the revered Shiite cleric, once again appealed for peace, and the Shiites listened, after a brief view over the precipice. Even Sadr, the young and ambitious Shiite cleric with a following among the poor, urged peace after seeing his own minions initially engage in retaliation but then eyeing the unfavorable reaction of most Iraqis to the prospect of civil war.

The news media in this country immediately assumed that the worst was coming, but they were wrong once again.

I only hope that this glimpse of civil strife will cause the political factions to unite sufficiently to form a government and will give the government the impetus to disarm the existing militias.

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