Friday, April 22, 2005
Violence is escalating one more time and I am afraid we are heading towards a disaster or a positive breakthrough. This is how I see the current situation.
Let us be realistic. Nobody can lead such a well planned terror network without the support of at least a segment of the Iraqi population, and I am sure we all know them by now. They are the ones who lost the privileges when Saddam was in power and they mostly belong to the Sunni sect of Iraq. I am not sure about the percentage of support that the terrorists enjoy within the Sunni population, but it seems that they have the backing of powerful Sunni tribes who don't like what is happening in the new Iraq.
We all hoped that Former Prime Minister Allawi would try to woo Saddamists into the political process. He wanted to create a rift between the Baathists who lost their privileges when Saddam regime crumbled and the Salafi/Wahabists whom nobody can negotiate with. It seems that he failed to do so for one reason or another.
The future looks a little bit scary. The prominent Shia figures who are now ruling Iraq believe that Allawi's plan of wooing Saddamists backfired by allowing bad apples to infiltrate into the defenses and interior ministry. They are determined now to "clean" those ministries and install their own guys there.
The US is against such plan. Donald Rumsfeld flew to Baghdad and warned PM Jaffari against total de-Baathification that might literally destroy what the coalition has been building over the last year as well as fuel the insurgency with more recruits.
I really have no idea about what should happen in the future. Will Jaffari's new plan work? Will it backfire? How much de-baathification will he do?
I wrote before that Iraq has a Sunni problem. And it seems that this Sunni problem was not solved because the disgruntled Sunnis just want to return to their previous status or because the Shias are simply greedy.
I still believe the glass is half full. Our score in Iraq is 5/10, 5 good and 5 bad. I am sure that all this will end someday. World War 2 ended and the brutal Algerian terrorist campaign subsided tremendously, however, I am wondering about how many families will have to suffer until we see peace in Iraq.
Good news from Lebanon: A new Shia National Meeting was organized. It is very obvious that they are against the stand that Hezbollah and the other Shia group Amal took. I think they want to break the monopoly that Hezbollah and Amal have over the Shia population of Lebanon.