Saturday, December 31, 2005

Spoiled Brats

I keep writing that if the Sunnis don't join the government while we are in Iraq to moderate the rather natural desire of the former victims to exact revenge on the Sunnis (for several decades of Baathist depravity and four centuries generally of Sunni oppression), the Shias and Kurds will turn to uglier methods to win:

The terrorists will have a new opponent early next year. On December 15th, Iraqis will elect a parliament. The 275 members of this “National Assembly” will promptly align themselves into factions, and each faction will have demands. Those demands with the most votes behind them, will have the power of law. It’s possible that the legislators will order American forces out of the country. The U.S. would have to comply. It’s more likely that harsh legislation against anti-government (largely Sunni Arab) forces will be passed. This will simply recognize the fact that there has been a civil war going on since early 2003. The majority of Iraqis are tired of all the violence. They want law and order, and the economic revival that brings. Even most Sunni Arabs want this, but they will have to contribute votes, bullets and blood to make it happen. And the final act might be a far bloodier battle than anything that's been seen so far in Iraq. All in the name of law and order.

Sadly, Europeans and foreign Sunnis have encouraged the Sunnis of Iraq to keep fighting by bolstering their false belief that they (the Sunnis) are unjustly persecuted the the majority now in charge. And amazingly, the Sunnis are not taking fast enough or broadly enough the chance offered by the foreign jihadis to forge an alliance with the Shias and Kurds against the common invaders led by Zarqawi.

As the rulers, the Sunnis managed at twenty percent of Iraq's population to subdue the other 80%. Do the Sunnis really believe that the 80% majority can't suppress them if the majority wants to get dirty enough? Will the Sunnis really fail to seize the latest opportunity to join a new democratic Iraq? The Shias and Kurds keep offering peace and a role in the new Iraq; but the Sunnis keep insisting they can restore their neck-stomping glory days through violent resistance. One day, the Sunnis won't get this offer anymore and the new deal will be exile, submission, or death.

Are the Sunnis really this persistently stupid?

UPDATE: The NYT opines on what the Sunnis must do as well as the responsibilities of the Shias and Kurds. I expected the worst and was surprised at a tone only moderately pro-Sunni in expecting the majority to cater to the former overlords. Banning Baathists (at least higher ranking Baathists) from the government and security forces is in no way discriminatory, however, and I find it amazing that the Times would go to bat for the fascists whose bloody rule scarred Iraq deeply. Really, the Sunnis have the moral standing to demand little. In reality, their continued ties to the killers inside Iraq mean that some temporary accomodation must be made. It was done for South Africa's whites after Apartheid was overthrown. It can be done in Iraq, too. For a while anyway.