Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Changing Baghdad's Maps

A couple of days ago, I restated my belief that Moqutada Sadr or one of his high level allies or followers will be in the cat bird's seat to control the skeleton of government for all of Iraq and actually be able to exercise effective and reaching governance for east central and southern Iraq. Dave of the Glittering Eye disagrees with my assessment as he believes the Sadrist movement is too thuggish and politically unsophisticated. I disagree as the Sadrist movement is doing a very good job of creating positive facts on the ground in Baghdad that makes them the logical successor groups.

has a disturbing but very useful map of the spread of bodies found and what neighborhoods are controlled by what sect in Baghdad as of July 17, 2007.

The bodies are being found in Sunni Arab areas, and those Sunni Arab areas are much smaller and more fragmented compared to looking at similiar maps from six, twelve and eighteen months ago.

This data point also forces me to re-evaluate what I think will happen if/when US forces pull out. I had previously thought that Baghdad's Sunni Arab population would be able to hold the west bank of the Tigris. Now I am moving into line that Baghdad will become a Shi'ite dominated city through a combination of Sunni Arab out migration and Shi'ite Arab in-migration due to reciprocal ethnic cleansing.

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