I en ny amerikansk internrapport tegnes et bilde av Irak hvor samfunnet splittes langs religiøse og etniske skillelinjer. Seks av provinsene er ustabile, og en, Anbar, regnes som kritisk. Det er langt fra de svevende, skjønnmalende beskrivelsene man hører fra toppen.

I den øverste ledelsen har man problemer med å ta inn over seg utviklingen. Donald Rumsfeld hakket på Condoleezza Rice igår. Under Storbritannia-besøket sa Rice at det var blitt begått tusenvis av taktiske feil i Irak, selv om den langsiktige strategien var riktig. Rumsfeld kommenterte igår, tydelig irritert, at han ikke kunne forstå hva Rice hadde ment.

Den ti sider lange rapporten tegner et dystert bilde av utviklingen i Irak. Antall drepte amerikanske soldater har sunket radikalt. Nå er det volden mellom og mot irakere som vokser.

The patterns of discord mapped by the report confirm that ethnic and religious schisms have become entrenched across much of the country, even as monthly American fatalities have fallen. Those indications, taken with recent reports of mass migrations from mixed Sunni-Shiite areas, show that Iraq is undergoing a de facto partitioning along ethnic and sectarian lines, with clashes — sometimes political, sometimes violent — taking place in those mixed areas where different groups meet.

Rapporten er ment for internt bruk for nye gjenreisningsteam som skal ut i povinsene. Den er skrevet av sivile og militære i Irak. En tjenestemann i Washington som ikke er fornøyd med dagens ledelse, lekket rapporten til NYTimes.

Cheney fortsetter å snakke som det er medienes skyld, som bare rapporterer det negative.

Vice President Dick Cheney, on the CBS News program «Face the Nation,» suggested last month that the administration’s positive views were a better reflection of the conditions in Iraq than news media reports.

«I think it has less to do with the statements we’ve made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality,» Mr. Cheney said, «than it does with the fact that there’s a constant sort of perception, if you will, that’s created because what’s newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad.»

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the NBC News program «Meet the Press» on March 5 that the war in Iraq was «going very, very well,» although a few days later, he acknowledged serious difficulties.

Rapporten ser på manglende økonomiske utvikling, fraværet av en effektiv regjering, mangel på styring og en situasjon der makten ligger i hendene på militser og religiøse ledere. I sør er det ille:

The city of Basra has widely been reported as devolving into a mini-theocracy, with government and security officials beholden to Shiite religious leaders, enforcing bans on alcohol and mandating head scarves for women. Police cars and checkpoints are often decorated with posters or stickers of Moktada al-Sadr, the rebellious cleric, or Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a cleric whose party is very close to Iran. Both men have formidable militias.

Mr. Hakim’s party controls the provincial councils of eight of the nine southern provinces, as well as the council in Baghdad.

Hele rapporten kan leses her

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord

Thomas L. Friedman skrev nylig: Ikke tro på Bush-administrasjonens «happy talk» om at store deler av Irak er rolig. Hvis Bagdad rives i filler finnes det ikke lenger noe senter, og ikke noe land. Da faller alt fra hverandre. Spiralen er for nedadgående. Det eneste som kan stanse den er en nasjonal regjering, men det må skje raskt:

Once embedded, this cycle of fear and revenge is almost impossible to break. People conclude that the only thing that can protect them is a militia from their own sect, not the police or the army. Then these militias, which come to life to protect the neighborhood, take on a life of their own. They develop protection rackets, feel the thrill of power and, as that happens, start to do all they can to prevent the government from restoring its authority. Finally, as the BBC noted in a recent report from Baghdad, some Iraqi politicians are now concluding that «they can gain more power and influence from building on sectarian loyalties than from appeals for national unity.» When politicians decide they can get ahead by appealing more to fear than to hope, national reconciliation goes up in smoke.

A Baghdad blogger, the Mesopotamian, quoted by AndrewSullivan.com, gave a vivid description of his neighborhood: «The confusion and conflict between the Americans, the army and the Ministry of Interior is producing a situation where the citizens don’t know anymore whether the security personnel in the street are friends, enemies, terrorists or simply criminals and thieves. Everybody is wearing the same uniforms. Whole sections of the city have virtually fallen to gangs and terrorists, and this is especially true for the ‘Sunni’-dominated neighborhoods. People and businesses are being robbed and the employees kidnapped en masse in broad daylight and with complete ease as though security forces are nonexistent, although we see them everywhere.

«I don’t know anymore what can be done to rescue the situation. At least, those who are supposed to be in positions of responsibility should stop lying and painting a false picture. … I regret sounding so pessimistic, but the alarm must be sounded. … What is happening is Baghdad is something really awful.»

Iraq at the 11th Hour (sub only)

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