Bloody Civil War in the Middle East: The Fruits of Bush's Bungling

This post, written by Benjamin R. Barber, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

Push aside just for a moment the stories about Paris Hilton and the endless Presidential campaign and the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and behold to the East the grim specter of civil war in the Arab world.

The fiercest wars are civil wars. More Americans were killed in our civil war than in any other. The Russian civil war that accompanied the Communist Revolution was bitter and destructive, corrupting Bolshevism and helping establish Stalinism. More recently, Rwanda and Yugoslavia imploded around horrendous, sometimes genocidal conflicts that were nightmarish parodies of civil wars.

And now, as a consequence of American policies rationalized by democratic idealism but propelled by cynical lies and a good deal of just plain stupidity, the Middle East is descending into that worst of all man-made catastrophes. In Gaza, in Iraq and in Lebanon too, the specter of civil war looms, threatening peoples far beyond Iraq and Gaza.

Hamas vs. Fatah, Hezbollah vs.the Government of Lebanon, Shiite vs. Sunni: blood feuds driven by what the ancient Greeks called The Furies - those vengeful Gods of the underworld who remember everything and forgive nothing. You can come between nations at war, separate states in conflict, but there is no way to pull apart cousins and brothers set on murdering one another.

America might as well go home because there is no longer anything it can do to arrest the free fall that is the Iraqi civil war. They are already slaughtering one another without conscience or consciousness, brother for brother, mosque for mosque, tribe for tribe, imam for imam. And are likely to continue until the Furies are sated and burrow back into their dark blood holes at a time of their own choosing.

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