Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A War Dante Could Be Proud Of

"The gates of hell are open in Iraq" So said Arab League chief Amr Mussa yesterday.

Analysts agreed. "There is a risk of a Somalia-isation of Iraq," said Hasni Abidi, an Algerian analyst.

"Each political party has its own armed militia; the country is in the hands of gangs," he said.

He said the so-called "Green Zone" in Baghdad -- a highly fortified area accommodating the US embassy and the provisional Iraqi government -- showed "the transfer of sovereignty was illusory".

International terrorism had taken root and neighbouring countries had no incentive to encourage stability, he said.

British expert Michael Codner said there was a real "risk of proliferation of groups with different leaderships" staking their claims in Iraq.

Mark Heller, an analyst with Israel's Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies, said the only options were "brutal repression" or some sort of power-sharing deal between Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds.

Daniel Neep, an analyst at Britain's Royal United Services Institute, said militants were drawing upon a general sense of frustration among Iraqis and, in some cases, foreign fighters trying to turn the conflict into a wider ideological struggle.
For a first hand look into this hell, visit Baghdad Burning


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