Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Sweetness and Light of the Pending Tragedy We've Unleashed Not that our mostly slumbering press; or the right-wing, both the delusional and the ostrich branches will notice but Bush's policy has unleased a policy that will not end at all well. From todays NY Times:
Thousands of ethnic Kurds are pushing into lands formerly held by Iraqi Arabs, forcing tens of thousands of them to flee to ramshackle refugee camps and transforming the demographic and political map of northern Iraq. The Kurds are returning to lands from which they were expelled by the armies of Saddam Hussein and his predecessors in the Baath Party, who ordered thousands of Kurdish villages destroyed and sent waves of Iraqi Arabs north to fill the area with supporters. The new movement, which began with the fall of Mr. Hussein, appears to have quickened this spring amid confusion about American policy, along with political pressure by Kurdish leaders to resettle the areas formerly held by Arabs. It is happening at a moment when Kurds are threatening to withdraw from the national government if they are not confident of having sufficient autonomy. In Baghdad, American officials say they are struggling to keep the displaced Kurds on the north side of the Green Line, the boundary of the Kurdish autonomous region. The Americans agree that the Kurds deserve to return to their ancestral lands, but they want an orderly migration to avoid ethnic strife and political instability. But thousands of Kurds appear to be ignoring the American orders. New Kurdish families show up every day at the camps that mark the landscape here, settling into tents and tumble-down homes as they wait to reclaim their former lands.
The number at present is about 100,000 arabs, now holed up in the timeless classic, "ramshackle" refugee camps. This is going to go badly.
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