“If Sunnis won’t vote, then what?,” by Dan Murphy, The Christian Science Monitor , http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0105/p01s02-woiq.html, 5 January 2005.
The Following is Pretty Obvious
1. The Reconstruction of Iraq could have been handled a lot better
2. There is a civil war in Iraq
But not to the Christian Science Monitor.
With growing tension between Iraq’s majority Shiites and the Sunni Arab minority who have always dominated the country’s government, low Sunni participation come election day is likely to further divide, rather than unite, Iraq’s two most important constituencies. Further division, in the worst case, could nudge Iraq closer to civil war.
I hereby create the Dan Murphy Award for Least Explicable Iraq Comment. There is a civil war. The enemy is capable of attacking cities, and holding them against the central government. The enemy is killing Iraqi military and civiliant officials. The enemy represents the bitter remnants of the Ba’athi apartheid system, and it must bed estroyed.
The leading Sunni political parties are now positioning themselves to reject the vote and its consequence – the writing of a new constitution – as unfair. If there is high turnout among the country’s Shiites, as expected, that assembly will be packed with Shiite politicians who suffered mightily under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni regime and could write a constitution that emphasizes majority rights at the expense of minorities.
Wonderful! In all probability the Sunnis will be treated better than the remnants of Germans in eastern Europe in 1945, and probably about as well as Russians throughout the shatered Soviet Empire. The Sunnis have invested themselves on the losing side of an antidemocratic struggle.
Many worry this could lead to sectarian conflict. A largely Shiite government, vested with the sovereignty that an election lends, will be fighting a largely Sunni insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis in recent months.
Yes! That’s the point!
A bit later in the story…
There are also conspiracy theories circulating. Omar Saadi, a laborer, says he’s not voting both out of fear and because he suspects the election results are being fixed by the US and Iran, the Shiite theocracy next door that has close ties to many of Iraq’s leading Shiite politicians.
The Islamic Republic is about as democratic as Britain was a century ago. Its on the right side of the war on Iraq — the democratic side. The Iranians are our friends. The Salafist Sunnis are our enemies. And the Iraqi Shia-Kurdish supermajority is the future.