“Austin Bay Writes…,” by Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, http://instapundit.com/archives/020575.php, 19 January 2005.
As Iraq journeys to becoming a normal county, the Shia have realized: democracy means the end of Sunni tyrant. The Sunni have realized: democracy means the end of Sunni tyrannt.
Sadr City and Fallujah illustrate both the hopes and risks of Iraq’s march toward democracy. One place embraces the politicking; the other ignores it. One sees how a new government could benefit it; the other fears elections will lead to oppression or worse. As the vote approaches, one sees itself as a potential winner. The other’s already lost.
Ironically, through much of the U.S. occupation of the past 21 months, Fallujah and Sadr City have followed parallel paths. Although Fallujah is a Sunni Muslim enclave, a stronghold of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, and Sadr City is dominated by the rival Shiite sect, both exploded into rebellion against the occupation.
Last April, there was open warfare in both places. Skirmishes raged into the early fall in both. U.S. military convoys regularly were ambushed and troops were killed in both. But then Sadr City’s and Fallujah’s paths diverged. The Shiites have begun embracing elections; many Sunnis fear them.
Now a U.S. officer, Brig. Gen. Jeffery Hammond of the 1st Cavalry Division, says Sadr City is the safest place in or around Baghdad. About 18,000 people have reconstruction jobs, he says, earning about $6 a day. “Sadr City is what the future of Iraq can look like,” he says.
Those who were once taking up arms are now talking democracy. “Before, the men were buying black cloth for their (martyrs’) banners. Now for the election, we are buying white cloths” for posters, says candidate Fatah al-Sheikh.
Now, who in American history do the Salafists-Islamists remind you of…
Craig Henry: “How are the ‘insurgents’ in Iraq different from the KKK in Mississippi circa 1963? And aren’t the nameless election workers who are dying everyday in Mosul and Baghdad heroes like Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner?”
Yes, and there were even people calling the Klansmen “patriots” and comparing them to the Minutemen.