Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Thought Fear Was the Beginning of Wisdom

The Sunni Arabs of Iraq escaped the full consequences of being a pillar of Saddam's terror state by belatedly flipping to the government side during our surge offensive. I'd long been frustrated by the failure of the Sunni Arabs to set aside the stupidity that courted disaster to take that step (the Sunni Awakening was not yet apparent when I wrote that). Have the Sunni Arabs forgotten the consequences of losing a full-on sectarian war that they narrowly avoided?

This development in Iraq is disturbing:

Scores of Iraqis have been killed in two days of sectarian fighting in central Iraq, raising concerns about a new Sunni uprising against the Shiite central government.

Agence France-Presse reports that 128 people have been killed and 269 wounded since Tuesday in fighting between security forces and anti-government protesters in Sunni-majority regions of the mostly Shiite country. The protesters have been calling for the resignation of Shiite Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki, whose government they say has been targeting Sunnis.

Are the Sunni Arabs really willing to renew the civil war that only our presence kept from being a full ethnic cleansing of the Sunni Arabs?

Or is this the work of Syrian-based Sunnis--perhaps Saddam exiles from the Iraq War or even al Qaeda--trying to expand their space into Iraq and spark a Sunni Arab uprising abnd civil war?

I just don't know which it is. Are Sunni Arabs so upset that they are poised to revolt? Or are the Sunni Arabs simply agitated enough to be led into a revolt by a small cadre committed to starting a revolt?

I do know I wish we still had troops in Iraq to provide a safety net so all the factions understood that their opponents wouldn't resolve disputes in anything but the political and legal spheres. Sadly, factions might feel the need to use violence because of the fear that the other sides will use violence to settle a dispute. Is fear the beginning of stupidity here?