MSNBC News Services
Updated: 11:05 a.m. ET Feb. 23, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - More than 130 people, including dozens who joined a demonstration against sectarian violence, were killed in bloodshed across Iraq despite calls for calm on Thursday from leaders, including President Bush, fearful of civil war.
A day after a suspected al-Qaida bomb destroyed a major Shiite shrine, Iraq cancelled all leave for the police and army and minority Sunni political leaders pulled out of U.S.-backed talks on forming a national unity government, accusing the ruling Shiites of fomenting dozens of attacks on Sunni mosques.
Washington, which wants stability in Iraq to help it extract around 130,000 U.S. troops, has also called for restraint, reflecting international fears that the oil-exporting country of 27 million may be slipping closer to all-out sectarian war.
GOI: Despite the horrible violence I think the biggest problem is the Sunni pull-out of the U.S. backed talks to form a unity government. If such a government can not be formed then a broader civil war would most likely occur as most Sunni would probably see the political course non-prouductive and biased toward the Shiite population. This could then easily push more moderate Sunni into the streets to take up violence as their only way to put forth their demands and voice their opposition.
We would most likely then see more and more militias growing an forming in both the Shia and Sunni populations. Thus increasing the chance of an already low-level civil war turning into a full blown civil war. Things are sliding into the abyss rapidly over there an there is nothing that our military can really do about it without creating more problems then solutions.
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