This week’s highly anticipated Iraq progress report will no doubt be highly predictable, says The New Yorker’s George Packer, who’s more concerned about the longer view than America’s current leadership, whom he considers to be “trapped in the eternal present” in ways that can only spell trouble for Iraqis.


The New Yorker:

Ahmed, who has a Shiite father and a Sunni mother, considers himself a secular Shiite, and, in his view, the religious militias want to force people like him out of Baghdad. “Americans are the safe house for the whole situation in Iraq,” he said. “Once they say they are going to withdraw, the whole country will become a hell.” He went on, “I imagine that no Sunnis will be in Baghdad at all. Baghdad will be only for the Shiite man with the long beard and black imama — the turban. The Americans are representing the taboos, just like ‘Lord of the Flies.’ I imagine the Shiites will be just like that if the Americans have to withdraw. Who can fight will fight, who must leave will leave.” He added, “Those who are weak, who are trying to avoid the savagery, those who are at the edge of being eaten by the Shiite specifically — that will be the end point, that will be their doomsday. The plan, as we hear it, is to make Baghdad empty of Sunnis.”

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