5,643. 2/23/2004

On February 23, 2004, UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi released a report to the UN Security Council. “Despite its account of success in forging the compromise with [Grand Ayatollah Ali al-] Sistani, the document noted with concern the rising levels of violence (including two devastating attacks on Iraqi security forces during their mission), ‘a growing fragmentation of the political class’ along ethnic and sectarian lines, and ‘rising disillusionment and anger’ over widespread unemployment and the limitation of the political arena to a narrow range of participants. The UN team found Iraq ‘a dynamic place, full of ideas and political arguments,’ but also of ‘expectations, fear, tensions and distrust’ that represented the ‘potential for civil strife and violence’ if the key actors did not address the most pressing political issues.”

 – Larry Diamond, Squandered Victory, Pages 138-139

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