Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Iraqi civilians fight back

NY Times reports that an Iraqi shopkeeper, along with a few family members, opened fire on several insurgents that were walking towards his shop armed with explosives. In the ensuing gun battle, 3 insurgents were killed, and 2 of the shopkeeper's relatives were wounded. I'm sure that many people think that Iraqi civilians fighting insurgents is a good thing, but it is definitely not.

1) The fact that Iraqi civilians are so desperate that they are taking the law into their own hands is a consequence of the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces failing to provide enough security.
2) If more civilians begin to take up arms against the insurgents, this will inevitably lead to a civil war. Most of the civilians targeted by the insurgents are Shiite while the insurgents are foreign Arabs and Sunni Iraqis. Therefore, any vigilante retaliation from citizens will only further inflame sectarian relations.