View Full Version : Insurgents 'Unable to Start Civil War'

03-11-2006, 01:53 PM
11 March The Australian - Insurgents 'Unable to Start Civil War' (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,18421953%255E31477,00.html).

The rampant sectarian violence in Iraq does not amount to a civil war and Iraqis are waiting for a safer time to rise against the Sunni insurgents inciting the chaos, a leading Middle East expert claims.

Instead of becoming the second entrenched civil conflict to blight the region in the past 20 years, the ramped-up fighting across the centre and south of the country is being driven by groups who do not have the capacity to spark a broader war, says author and editor David Pryce-Jones.

"There is a clear distinction between a civil war and sectarian violence," he said.

"We are dealing with a society which does not have a system for mediation and conflict. They are trying to create the institutions and systems which would allow this to happen.

"The political void is such that it allows the militias free hand to do what they want. The strong win and the weak go to the wall."

Pryce-Jones said civil war would only begin if violence became indiscriminate.

"All the targets that have been struck have so far been carefully chosen," he said.

The view supports claims by Washington that the violence that has plagued Iraq over the past four months is containable and being driven by fringe Sunni groups and Shia militias driven to retaliation...