End violence in Iraq

Updated: 2012-12-19 08:09

(China Daily)

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It is not enough to feel pity after a wave of deadly attacks hit a dozen Iraqi cities and towns on Monday, killing at least 47 people and leaving more than 110 wounded. More should be done to dig into the root cause of the Iraqi people's plight today, and prevent the violent reality in Iraq from repeating itself elsewhere.

Monday's heavy casualties were the result of high tensions between Iraq's central government and the Kurdish minority over contested areas and of violence between the country's Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The tragedy is a miniature of the Middle East country's everyday life.

In fact, since the US withdrawal on Dec 18, 2011, hardly a day has passed in Iraq without clashes and bloodshed. Despite the promises by US officials of self-governance, peace and stability, the country has been mired deeper in political crisis, ethnic violence and sectarian rifts.

The US has unshirkable responsibilities in the worsening security situation in Iraq. It owes the Iraqi people a convincing explanation of why their country is left as chaotic as ever after it claimed victory over the war against terror one year ago and why it has yet to deliver its promises to the country.

However, there is enough evidence to show the US has yet to learn a lesson from Iraq, and there has been no soul-searching about its policy in the region. NATO's decision to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey this month and the US' recognition of Syria's main opposition group last week are widely seen as steps paving the way for military intervention in Syria.

Bearing every emblem of a civil war, the crisis in Syria has been dragging on for 21 months. The escalation of clashes between the Syrian government and opposition forces has taken the lives of more than 40,000 Syrians. However, international efforts to stop the violence and push for dialogue and negotiations between the belligerent parties in Syria have so far achieved little result.

To pursue their own interests in the region, the US-led Western countries have never given up their attempt to maneuver a regime change similar to Iraq and Libya. What is happening in Iraq today should provide enough lessons about the consequences of military intervention in a sovereign state. Any attempt to enforce another regime change in the Middle East would only plunge the region into deeper turbulence and instability.

(China Daily 12/19/2012 page8)