Getting Iraq’s war surge to trickle towards peace (Ekklesia, 10 September 2007) Talk of the efficacy or otherwise of the US 'surge' is a smokescreen, says Simon Barrow. There is no long-term military solution to Iraq’s nightmare. But behind the scenes viable alternatives are being sought within civil society - and in conversation with those who have faced the uphill tasks of peace and justice in Ireland and South Africa.
The Daily Star in Lebanon adds: Ironically, Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces some of the same dilemmas as coalition forces in Iraq, though there is certainly no moral equivalency between the two. Both are driven by ideologies that are for the most part alien particularly to Sunni tribal sheikhs. Neither advocates of Western-style democracy nor the champions of strict Islamic orthodoxy offer an appealing vision for Iraq's future. Both sides are led by foreigners and viewed by a majority of Iraqis as occupiers, not liberators. Both are condemned for what is viewed by locals as the indiscriminate killing and brutalization of a civilian population caught in the crossfire of a conflict over which they have little say. Both are well financed and view Iraq as the battlefield for a global struggle that leaves no room for compromise.