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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We interrupt the fighting to bring you more fighting 

The Chron has an article titled "Iraqis gird for tough charter campaign" with the subhead "Factions plan to take fight to streets for Oct. 15 referendum". Here's today's question: do they realize how ironic the subhead is? The Sunnis are either going to boycott the vote or turn out to defeat it in their provinces and then the Civil War is going to heat up some more. No handwaving about democracy, federalism, etc. is going to change the fact that the Sunnis are expecting to be shat upon by the Shia. They will not accept second-rate status brought about by being a minority and living in the only part of Iraq without any oil. It certainly doesn't help that they most likely have more than their fair share of people with military training since Saddam trusted his co-religionists slightly more than the Shia. So either the 'constitution' passes the referendum and the country collapses into anarchy because the Sunnis won't go along with the new government or the 'constitution' doesn't pass and the country collapses into anarchy as the Shia and Sunnis realize that there is no way they write a constitution that pleases everyone.

Hank's prescription for predicting what will happen: imagine just how horrible it could possibly be in Iraq. That is the good outcome. Reality will probably be worse.

Update: And another thing, when newspapers talk about 'taking the fight to the street' in the context of elections, they tend to mean things like which side can knock on the most doors, get the most lawn signs on display, etc. In Iraq it means which side can kill more of the other side's election workers. That's got to have an effect on the ability to recruit volunteers.

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