Because of our desertion and dereliction, Iraq is now on the way to becoming an Afghanistan, an irreversible course.
Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale. (Patrick Cockburn, "Iraq Is Disintegrating as Ethnic Cleansing Takes Hold," The Independent, 20 May 2006)
Deaths run like water through the life of the Bahjat family. Four neighbors. A barber. Three grocers. Two men who ran a currency exchange shop.Modern Iraq is dead, and everyone who can leave is leaving the country.
But when six armed men stormed into their sons' primary school this month, shot a guard dead, and left fliers ordering it to close, Assad Bahjat knew it was time to leave.
"The main thing now is to just get out of Iraq," said Mr. Bahjat, standing in a room heaped with suitcases and bedroom furniture in eastern Baghdad.
In the latest indication of the crushing hardships weighing on the lives of Iraqis, increasing portions of the middle class seem to be doing everything they can to leave the country. In the last 10 months, the state has issued new passports to 1.85 million Iraqis, 7 percent of the population and a quarter of the country's estimated middle class.
The school system offers another clue: Since 2004, the Ministry of Education has issued 39,554 letters permitting parents to take their children's academic records abroad. The number of such letters issued in 2005 was double that in 2004, according to the director of the ministry's examination department. Iraqi officials and international organizations put the number of Iraqis in Jordan at close to a million. Syrian cities also have growing Iraqi populations. (Sabrina Tavernise, "As Death Stalks Iraq, Middle-Class Exodus Begins," May 19, 2006)
I don't believe in God, so I don't think there will be divine retribution. But I do believe in cause and effect -- we'll all pay earthly prices for this. How high the prices will be, I don't know.
Don't let this happen to Iran.