Irak im Bürgerkrieg mit "ethnischen Säuberungen"

--- Selbst US-Nachrichtenseiten wie Military.com sehen den Irak inzwischen auf einen noch blutigeren Bürgerkrieg zuschlittern und geben die US-Stellung dort mehr oder weniger verloren. Zudem ist davon die Rede, dass "ethnische Säuberungen" im Nordirak im Gange sind (was normalerweise ja immer die Weltpolizisten auf die Bühne ruft, doch die Karte ist ja längst ausgereizt): Iraq faces the prospect of civil war as Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's government loses credibility and violence against U.S. forces increases, according to almost a half dozen former and serving administration officials. In last Tuesday's suicide bombing attack at a mess tent at Mosul, 22 were killed -- 18 of them Americans -- and 50 wounded. "We can't afford to keep taking that kind of hit," a Pentagon official said. "We can't afford it in terms of American public opinion, and it causes us to loose credibility with the Iraqi public." Upcoming January elections will not improve the deteriorating security situation, these sources said, all speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitiveness of the topic. Plus a new threat has arisen. "We are starting to play the ethnic card in Iraq, just as the Soviets played it in Afghanistan," said former CIA chief of Afghanistan operation Milt Bearden. "You only play it when you're losing and by playing it, you simply speed up the process of losing," he said. Phoebe Marr, an analyst who closely follows events in Iraq, told United Press International that "having the U.S. military unleash different historical enemies on each other has become an unspoken U.S. policy." Bearden, Marr and others also referred to the Pentagon's tactic of pitting one group of enemies against another in Iraq as being fraught with danger. For example, during the assault on Fallujah, wary of the reliability of Iraqi forces, the Marines used 2,000 Kurdish Peshmerga militia troops against the Arab Sunnis. The two groups share a long history of mistrust and animosity, according to Marr. Both ethnic groups are Sunni, but Kurds speak a different language, have distinct customs, and are not Arabs. "I think the U.S. military is trying to get ethnic groups to take on the insurgents, and I don't think it will work," Marr said. According to a former senior CIA official, the agency is dealing with reports of ethnic cleansing being undertaken by the Kurds in areas near Kirkuk. "It's all taking place off everyone's radar, and it's very quiet, but it's happening," this source said. Original reports disclosing that up to 150,000 Arab Sunnis had been uprooted and placed in camps have proved to be unreliable, several U.S. officials said. Das dürfte gar kein gutes Jahr werden für den Irak, wo sich momentan alle Interessensgruppen nur noch selbst zerfleischen. Und nicht nur 2005 dürfte weiter stürmisch werden: Amerikanische Militaerexperten gehen zunehmend davon aus, dass die US-Truppen im Irak in einen Guerillakrieg verwickelt seien, der Jahrzehnte andauern könnte.