Civil War or Clash of Civilizations

– Attacks and civilian deaths in Iraq have risen sharply in recent
months, with casualties
increasing by
1,000 a month, and sectarian violence has engulfed larger areas of
the country, the Pentagon said Friday in a strikingly dismal report
to Congress.Civilian and military deaths and injuries
have surpassed 3,000 each month since May.

The report held to previous Bush administration statements that Iraq
is not in an all-out civil war, but conceded that "conditions that
could lead to civil war exist."

from the LA Times

What exactly is the definition of civil war we are using
here, and in what metric does Iraq fall short? It seems the only thing
the place from degenerating into a Sunni-Shia bloodbath is the
presence of the US as a unifying force – militias from both sects are
trying hard
to kill as many of us as possible.

Unfortunately, on this point the President is correct – if we leave,
the country will completely break apart. Trouble is, even if we stay,
just means
the Iraqi militias will only be able to dedicate themselves to killing
each other part-time, have of course to devote the rest of their time to
killing US,

The scary truth is that the only thing capable of preventing
an all-out civil war between Shia and Sunni would be the intervention
of an Islamic
or Greater
Islamic Republic with the Theological weight to call the mullahs from
both sides together, and impose order.

It seems clear to the Dowbrigade that theocracy is
the only kind of government that can work in this part of the world
at this point in history. From northern Africa to eastern Europe governments
based on Sharia, 800-year-old Islamic law, have proven functional where
Western-style administrations running the gamut from free-market Capitalist
to Red Book Communist have failed spectacularly and abjectly with a staggering
cost in human misery.

Even in Israel, our pet "only Democracy in the Middle East", the Church
has a greater influence than in any of the other Western democracies. The
Council of Rabbis and the religious parties are consulted on all aspects
of Israeli life.

It is our personal belief that after 5 consecutive generations
being cheated out of their birthright and sold down the river by corrupt
local leaders
in consort with the bloodless
vampires of petro-capitalism, ordinary people in the Middle East are so
jaded and cynical of ALL politicians that they are taking refuge in the
most powerful and real thing they can see and feel in their lives – God.
For them, right now, the life of the Spirit is more real, cleaner and
clearer, and more liberating and rewarding, than anything we or our local
front men can offer them.

But what do we know. Politicians on all sides may try
to take advantage of this sad state of affairs, scholars and pundits
may try to analyze
and explain it, visionaries and educators may be able to change it in a
generation or two, but realists have to accept that any attempts to transform
the Middle East through Democracy are, for now at least, doomed to abject,
tragic and costly failure. The Middle East will be ruled by religion
until well past our lifetimes.

However, all is not gloom and doom. Letting nature take
its course and following a policy of isolation and detente similar to
our posture towards
the Soviet Union will eventually expose the flaws and inability to provide
for its population of the Islamic
, just as they did in the
case of the Soviets. But until we let them expose themselves in equal
and open competition, they have the luxury of controlling the ground simply
on the basis of being anti-US.

Any true patriot who believes in the inherent superiority of our system
should welcome this kind of comparative competition, and should support
anything that can stop the open warfare and move us toward a non-violent
war of economies, social systems, and , yes, cultures. Let the best culture

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