Monday, March 28, 2005

Back to the Dead

I earlier linked to TNR's Iraq'd blog's description of the Sunni Persecution Strategy (see here as well). Essentially, it goes like this: Sunni leaders who wish to prolong the insurgency "gather recruits, material, and political support for the insurgency by aggravating the sense among Sunnis that they have no future in the U.S.-sponsored political process."

After the great success that was the Iraqi election, we though this sort of grievance had subsided. Well, it's baaaackkk, and with a vengeance. More ominously, however, this time the bone the Sunnis have to pick is with the Kurds. The Boston Globe has the scoop:
"The Americans aren't the problem; we're living under an occupation of Kurds and Shi'ites," Sattar Abdulhalik Adburahman, a Sunni leader from the northern city of Kirkuk, told a gathering of tribal leaders last week, to deafening applause. "It's time to fight back." ...

"The Kurds are asking for Kirkuk. Later on they will start asking for Baghdad," said Sheik Abu D'ham, a Sunni tribal leader from Kirkuk who fears assassination if his full name is published. "It was Saddam Hussein who gave the Kurds too much, more than they deserved."

Sooner rather than later, he said, the city's Arabs would rise up. "The last remedy is burning," he said. "There will be fighting."

Obviously, we shouldn't jump to conclusions too quickly. As Iraq'd notes, we don't have a full cross-section of Sunni community opinion, and the rejection of sectarian violence by the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars also is a positive note. Still..."deafening" applause for a speaker who advocates an uprising against the Kurds, and who claims Saddam Hussein was too good for them, does not bode well (note: Saddam killed 182,000 innocent Kurds in the Anfal Genocide from 1986-1989. Deterring future leaders from advocating genocide, by showing the international community will not consent to it, was one of my primary justifications for the Iraq war). Leaders like this need to be undermined, and fast, if Iraq has any chance for a continued, unified, and (relatively) blood-free existence.

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