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    12 May 2005

    Iraq at a tipping point.

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    I'm not a specialist but I'm not dumb either. The current Iraqi situation...
    Waited through an invasion, waves of rebellion from both sides (Shite' & Shia'), and election....
    And the life of the average Iraqi is only slightly better and that’s a generous estimate. I agree that we will be in the middle of a civil war soon if not already. One between a newly revitalized Shite’ bloc and a well armed minority of Sunni, throw in the Kurds and Turkey and Syria you have the beginning of WWIII.
    "It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time," said Pat Lang, the former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon.

    Other experts said Iraq is on the verge of a full-scale civil war with civilians on both sides being slaughtered. Incidents in the past two weeks south of Baghdad, with apparently retaliatory killings of Sunni and Shia civilians, point in that direction, they say.

    Also of concern were media accounts that hard-line Shia militia members are being deployed to police hard-line Sunni communities such as Ramadi, east of Baghdad, which specialists on Iraq said was a recipe for disaster.

    "I think we are really on the edge" of all-out civil war, said Noah Feldman, a New York University law professor who worked for the U.S. coalition in Iraq.

    He said the insurgency has been "getting stronger every passing day. When the violence recedes, it is a sign that they are regrouping." While there is a chance the current flare of violence is the insurgency's last gasp, he said, "I have not seen any coherent evidence that we are winning against the insurgency."

    "Everything we thought we knew about the insurgency obviously is flawed," said Judith Kipper of the Council on Foreign Relations. "It was quiet for a little while, and here it is back full force all over the country, and that is very dark news."

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