The Sunnis have amazed me with their continued stupidity on this matter and are courting disaster by pissing the majority of Iraqis off royally and earning little credit for helping the new Iraqi government fight the enemy.
Strategypage describes the insane Sunni stubborness to face reality and the likely results if those idiots continue to fight the growing power of the Iraqi government with diminishing restraing provided by America:
The question at hand is not whether the Sunni Arabs will accept the new government, but whether the Shia and Kurd majority will tolerate a rebellious Sunni Arab population. This year, Iraqi (meaning Shia and Kurd) security forces will be in control of most of the country. By 2007, the former "oppressed majority" will be able to exert their will, via force if necessary, all over the country. By then, the Sunni Arabs will have to either make their peace with the government, get out, or get killed.
I am simply amazed at how self-destructive the Sunnis have been. Given the opportunity to escape the normal cycle of retribution against losers due to our presence, the Sunnis are begging to be killed or expelled by the Shias and Kurds. Jus how long do they think we will try to help them join a normal Iraq? Our ambassador explicitly warned the Shias not to create a narrow Shia-based government:
Good grief, we are trying to save the Sunnis from themselves and the Sunnis refuse to grasp our extended hand! How is it possible for the Sunnis to ignore the fact that one day the Shias and Kurds will just decide they've had enough car bombs and death at the hands of the Sunnis and then destroy Iraq's Sunni community?
Khalilzad bluntly warned the Shiites that the key security Defense and Interior ministries must be in the hands of people "who are nonsectarian, broadly acceptable and who are not tied to militias."
I'd say it is "inconceivable" but we all know that word doesn't mean what I think it means.
UPDATE: Terrorists blew a huge chunk out of a major Shia shrine. Somebody is determined to ignite a Shia-Sunni open battle:
"Given the historic, cultural and religious importance of this shrine, this attack is a crime against humanity," the U.S. ambassador and the commander of U.S. forces in
Iraq said in a joint statement. "The Shrine should be rebuilt and the United States will contribute to its reconstruction."
A pair of bombs Wednesday morning caused extensive damage to the golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, triggering protests and reprisal attacks against Sunni mosques.
Wars rarely just pop out of the blue. One or both sides gird for battle and indications leak out. The Iranians have been rattling nuclear sabres, threatening America and Israel, bullying the British over Basra, and threatening oil supplies if attacked. Allies such as Sadr and Chavez have been vocal in support. And now someone has blown a hole in the Askariya shrine.
The Iranians would benefit from open civil war in Iraq. On the other hand, if we can avoid that, we will gain some appreciation from Shias in the rebuilding and undermine Sadr's influence.
Tensions are increasing. Are the Iranians planning something or is this just a reflection of the drift to conflict?