Iraq: February 27, 2005

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The Sunni Arab terrorists suffered a setback, and many defections, with the January 30th elections. But they continue their fight to restore dictatorship. Their attacks are mainly against security forces, the oil industry and the local media. The most harmful fallout, for the terrorists, was from the local Iraqi media. The coverage of the large turnout, and Iraqis openly defying the terrorists, caused a considerable humiliation for the terrorists. So discredited were the terrorists, that some of the Sunni Arab tribal and religious leaders began to openly work with the government, even as a new government, led by Kurds and Shia Arabs, began to form. For most Sunni Arabs, it was becoming clear that the majority Kurds and Shia Arabs, with the backing of coalition troops, would be able to hang on to the oil wealth. All the Sunni Arabs had was a talent for terrorism, and a tradition of running things. Increasingly, the Sunni Arab community is split, between those who want to give peace, and democracy, a chance, and the old school crowd, who believe that fear, of the Sunni God, and Sunni violence, will solve all problems. 

The violence actually comes from several directions. The Baath Party, which kept Saddam in power for decades, was a secular power that backed socialism. But Baaths socialism was closer to Hitlers National Socialism than to Swedens state socialism. Actually, Baath, and Saddam, were big admirers of Hitler, the Nazis, and their methods. Another case of backing losers, and methods that have failed in the past. A lot of the terror is also coming from religious groups. In this case, some of the bad behavior is from Shia religious zealots who object, murderously, to women working outside the home, or being educated. Sunni Arab zealots share a taste for misogyny, as well as an intense hatred of non-Moslems, especially if they are Iraqi Christians. 

There are hundreds of religious gangs, usually based in a mosque where Friday sermons stressed the need for the faithful to do something about the sinful behavior. Something has come to include intimidation, torture and murder. Dealing with the gangs are a police matter. The majority of Iraqis do not believe in religious and political terrorism, and in a democracy, the majority rules. But this is going to be a bloody process in fractious Iraq. 


 

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