Monica Duffy Toft, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the author of "The Geography of Ethnic Violence", has written a very insightful commentary published today on the washingtonpost.com web site.
In it she notes, "Some 3 1/2 years after the U.S. invasion, most scholars and policy analysts accept that Iraq is now in a civil war." She suggests from her research into past conflicts that the best avenue for a lasting resolution is a decisive military victory. She continues, "A negotiated settlement is what the United States has attempted to implement for the past two years in Iraq, and it is failing."
Ms. Toft predicts that if the U.S. leaves Iraq, "the Shiites will brutally settle accounts with the Sunnis, before, perhaps, opening hostilities against the Kurds (with tacit support from Iran and Turkey)."
This scenario explains how the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah 50-51 of battle lines being drawn between Babylon -- the nation of Iraq -- and the kings of the Medes -- the leaders of the Kurds -- might originate.
And according to Ms. Toft, the best outcome to achieve a "resolution" is a decisive "military victory." Which, according to Jeremiah's prophecy, is what the Kurds will achieve over the Iraqi army -- "A horde of great nations from the land of the north, and they will draw up their battle lines against her; from there she will be taken captive. Their arrows will be like an expert warrior who does not return empty-handed. And Chaldea will become plunder; all who plunder her will have enough..." (Jer. 50:9-10).
Who are these "hordes of great nations from the land of the north"? They are the Medes, known today as the Kurds of southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and western Iran -- "Summon against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz... the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their prefects, and every land of their dominion... For the destroyers will come to her from the north..." (Jer. 51:27-28, 48).