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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wanted: Sunnification

The massacre of the Kurdish youth yesterday and the daily terrorist attacks that occur in Baghdad and the Sunni triangle proves that there is a huge terror network operating inside Iraq with logistical and financial assistance from abroad. We all know who are the terrorist but we don’t know how they can be defeated. I am now convinced of 2 things. Once, the terrorists whether they are remnants of Saddam’s Republican Guards or foreign/Iraqi Jihadis do enjoy considerable support from a good segment of Iraq’s sunni population. Two, this network with such local support can never be defeated by military means alone.

It is literally impossible to organized such a sophisticated network of car bombs manufacturers and suicide bombing recruitment centers without at least the tacit support of the local population living in these areas. Unfortunately, the terrorists became the official spokesmen of a large segment of the disgruntled Sunnis. Faced with the sudden rise of Shia power (and greed) and dismayed by the military actions in their region, those Sunnis who many of them enjoyed a lot of privileges under Saddam have no card to play but the terrorist card.

We have all pampered the Shias and the Kurds because of their long history of suppression until the Baathist regime. The pampering has gone too far and now the powerful Shia politicians are dictating which Sunni should or should not get appointed in the new government. What Iraq needs is not de-Baathification or Baathification but Sunnification. This is something I really doubt under the current Shia dominated government, which means that the terror will continue for sometime and more innocents will die. Only one of those 2 options can happen: either the Shias will concede and share the table with those Sunnis who lost their privileges and compensate them, or the daily massacres will continue. The idea here is to bring those disgruntled Sunnis into the fold of the new Iraq and not into the fold of the diehard Saddamists and Jihadists.




They said “gruesome”

Today I rushed to pick up my copy of Al Ahram newspaper to see how they presented the news of yesterday’s Irbil massacre. Previous massacres against Iraqi police and civilians were usually printed at the bottom of page 1. Today the news of the Irbil suicide bombing was placed right under the first story. The large headline read: A gruesome massacre against Kurdish youth. Ummm, they used the word “gruesome”. Why did it take 2 suicide attacks in Cairo to change the attitude?

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