2006-03-31

Sunnis and Shia Working Together

This is very hopeful: “Please don’t ask me if I am a Shiite or a Sunni. We don’t have such distinctions,” Kadhim said, though he earlier said he was a Shiite and a former member of the Iraqi army. When a Sunni mosque in Jihad was attacked by men “in commando uniforms” after the Samarra bombing, Shiites and Sunnis repelled the assailants, Kadhim said.

3 comments:

republican brother said...

The media could never report this. How could they report the Sunnis and the Shites are working together, whnen the media has wants to paint a picture that Iraq is in a state of "Civil War".

Tom Philpott said...

It's encouraging that Sunnis and Shiites are here working together. But the same article also offers some pungent examples of why hope is so scarce in central Iraq.

To wit:
"If the militias or the commandos set foot here, we will fight them — either they die or we die,” Abdul Wahab declared. “If we let them in, they will kill us anyway, so we might as well defend ourselves.”

“I trust the army, but not the police. The police detain Sunnis. They torture them with electric drills and execute them,” he said.

It doesn’t help that in many cases attackers reportedly wore police uniforms. Kadhim said his group would fire on any police patrol that is not accompanied by Americans or a local leader.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: Perhaps the Iraqis as a whole have too great a fraction of its population that constitute murderous retarded brutes, and thus the population at large "isn't ready for democracy." I hope that this isn't true, but it very well may be.

Yesterday, my last day in New Orleans, I spent at a meusam featuring exhibits demonstrating the shared histories of New Orleans and Haiti, with an emphasis on Haiti's revolution. Up to that revolution, Haiti had the earth's highest per capita wealth, even including the people who were slaves. The island's "Free People of Color" were amoung the wealthiest people on earth. If you think that the Iraqis have a bad time in the aftermath of the US invasion, imagine living in post-revolutionary Haiti: the self-freed slaves fought each other over the plantations, and fought to enslave EACH OTHER. Since then, Haiti has become -- and remains -- the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

But I'm sure that you and Nadir support Hait's revolution, and as you read its history, root for the people who wanted to erect a democracy there.

The US Civil War of course placed hardships on black southerners that were similar in lethality to those the Iraqis face now; those hardships dominated for a few years after the war. In the reconstruction era, advocates of democracy (mostly blacks) fought tyrants (all white). For about 10 years the democrats won, and blacks did very well. But the tyrants eventually won, and 80 years or so of terror and suppression reigned. Do you oppose the Civil War occuring? Does the eventual victory of the tyrants invalidate the efforts of the abolishionists, whose agitating for a federal invasion finally succeeded?

Have you read Warner Herzog's autobiography, Herzog on Herzog? He was a small child in Germany during the war, surviving four years or so of allied bombing, which was worse of course than the US bombing of Iraq, and the current situation there. For five years or so after the war, he -- like his typical countrymen -- lived in the ruins, with no electricity or running water. Should the US not have invaded Germany? I doubt if during the war, during the bombings, and after the war, while Herzog and everybody he knew were scavageng, huddling together during the winter, and roving in gangs or defending against gangs, that they were much happier than the Iraqis.

Meanwhile, 20% of Iraqis live in an area were the people who wake up every day decide to conduct themselves in a manner that exemplifies respect for others, and an observation of universal, inalienable rights; these are the Kurds. They are using the opportunity of the US invasion to thrive. The only difference between their area and the Shia and non-Kurdish Sunni areas? The choice of the people.