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Old 02-26-2008   #1
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Default Beyond the Demons

Chatham House's The World Today, Mar 08: Beyond the Demons
The root cause of Iraq's mess lies in a weak, dysfunctional state and a political system that rewards identity politics. It also legitimises rogue politicians, significantly weakens state power and compromises national recovery. It is most misleading to assume that the current violence and conflict is rooted among Iraq’s communities in the country’s history. Intermixed neighbourhoods and marriages testify to the contrary. However, history has been in the making over the past few years and it is marked by levels of sectarian conflict unprecedented in the region. Those who caused and benefited from sectarian and ethnic strife will not help resolve it.

The country has regressed over the five years since the invasion, with violations of rights to life and property exceeding those during Saddam Hussein’s notorious era. The worst experience has been sectarian violence triggered by Al Qaeda’s relentless mass murder campaigns and the inability of politicians to reconcile the future with the past. Saddam left the country with a mess that could have been quickly contained if it was not for the creative mismanagement of post-Saddam Iraq under United States Director of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance Paul Bremer......
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