Response to Iraq's future defense...

I agree with you, Sharon. Looks to me as though whatever half-baked plans are being knocked around by the US for after the war, they all presume the Shia majority will be nice, humble, suitably grateful and, above all, pliant. There seems to be no grasp (or at least no acknowledgement) of Iraq's past ungovernability. At the risk of setting the pro-war types off, I would suggest the US and Britain are about to get a bit of a wake-up call about why Saddam's regime was like it was - there was basically no way to unify and govern the ethnically riven, utterly artificial 'country' of Iraq than through brutal repression and complete intolerance of opposition.

As I've said elsewhere, I'll be amazed if there isn't a massive power struggle, widespread guerilla resistance and consequent humanitarian horror. Already it's becoming apparent that as far as possible the old Ba'ath Party structures will be preserved for the sake of law and order (Sky described the plan as something along the lines of 'forgiving middle and low-ranking Ba'athists'). That should go down a storm with the Shias. But as long as they're 'free', it will be a price well worth paying, wouldn't you agree?

Created By: Bruce Harper