COMMENTS: River Runs Through It

Both ABC and NBC focused on the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq. NBC's Andrea Mitchell got hold of a report by Refugees International that documented ethnic cleansing. Out of a total Iraqi population of 24m, not only have 2m fled to neighboring countries, "threatening to overwhelm Jordan and Syria," but another 1.9m have been internally displaced--with a further million expected in 2007. How many refugees has the United States accepted? Last year, 202 because of "restrictions on immigration from the Middle East" imposed in the wake of the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

ABC's report was part of its Where Things Stand series. Terry McCarthy told us that the Tigris River is turning into the border between Shiite East Baghdad and Sunni West Baghdad. Before the US invasion, as many as a third of all families were intermarried and "people rarely asked, or cared, if someone was Sunni or Shiite." Now each side has to live in its own enclave for safety's sake. Those that defy the cleansers end up in the Tigris: "The river that for thousands of years has made life possible in this desert is now used for dumping dead bodies."


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.