Some Good News From Iraq

And some continuing difficulties. Still, this development could be very important if other communities start following the same formula. Keep in mind, though, this is Western Iraq. As I’ve noted before there’s no real way Sunni Iraqis as insurgents can create a good outcome for themselves (we stay, they lose; we leave, they lose) so there’s some reaching out to Shiite factions interested in maintaining a unified Iraq and willing to make concessions (Dawa Party “moderate” Islamicists and secular urban Shiia).

That said, taking up arms and knocking heads with al Qaida just because they’re fed up with them? That’s new. That’s encouraging. But I’d tend to be cautious about reading too much into it until we see if it replicates elsewhere.

BAGHDAD, Aug. 14 – Rising up against insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, Iraqi Sunni Muslims in Ramadi fought with grenade launchers and automatic weapons Saturday to defend their Shiite neighbors against a bid to drive them from the western city, Sunni leaders and Shiite residents said. The fighting came as the U.S. military announced the deaths of six American soldiers.

Dozens of Sunni members of the Dulaimi tribe established cordons around Shiite homes, and Sunni men battled followers of Zarqawi, a Jordanian, for an hour Saturday morning. The clashes killed five of Zarqawi’s guerrillas and two tribal fighters, residents and hospital workers said. Zarqawi loyalists pulled out of two contested neighborhoods in pickup trucks stripped of license plates, witnesses said.

The leaders of four of Iraq’s Sunni tribes had rallied their fighters in response to warnings posted in mosques by followers of Zarqawi. The postings ordered Ramadi’s roughly 3,000 Shiites to leave the city of more than 200,000 in the area called the Sunni Triangle. The order to leave within 48 hours came in retaliation for alleged expulsions by Shiite militias of Sunnis living in predominantly Shiite southern Iraq.

“We have had enough of his nonsense,” said Sheik Ahmad Khanjar, leader of the Albu Ali clan, referring to Zarqawi. "We don’t accept that a non-Iraqi should try to enforce his control over Iraqis, regardless of their sect – whether Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs or Kurds.‘’

Iraqi Sunni tribal leaders and armed followers of Zarqawi have clashed before in the far west, and Sunnis and Shiites in western cities have sympathized with one another over what they have said are attempts by foreign fighters to spark open sectarian conflict. But Saturday’s clash in Ramadi was one of the first times Sunni Arabs have been known to take up arms against insurgents specifically in defense of Shiites.

The dramatic show of unity in the western city came as Sunni and Shiite Arabs and ethnic Kurds in Baghdad continued negotiations over the country’s constitution. They were trying to meet a Monday deadline but failing to resolve some key differences.

President Jalal Talabani, who has hosted days of closed-door talks among Iraq’s factional and political leaders, said he remained hopeful the deadline could be met. “There will be no postponing of any issue,” Talabani told reporters. “God willing, tomorrow the constitution will be ready.”

Disputes over federalism – particularly whether Shiites should be allowed to have a separate federal state in the south equivalent to the one the Kurds have established in the north – remain the biggest obstacle. Sunni Arabs rigidly oppose the division, expressing fears that it would split Iraq and leave their minority stranded in the resource-poor center and west.

Actually the best sort of news, as it seems to be strictly ad-hoc, includes one sect supporting another and no outside help. If it’s as spontaneous as the WaPo article makes it out to be, there may be hope yet.

That’s what I’m thinking. But still there’s a much larger context going on around this incident. I’m encouraged but not yet really hopeful.

MSNBC: U.S. Lowers Expectations for Iraq

Iraqi Constitution Meeting Postponed a Second time

What this points out for me is how badly an opportunity was missed here.

Not only were the Iraqis amongst the best educated people in the world, but if you look at the history of the insurgency there really was a period of about a year where they were waiting for us to make good on our promises.

Instead we had Bremer and a staff of children plotting out a free market paradise instead of actually making the lives of the people better.

I have no doubt that there are people there who are still resisting the transformation of their country into a theocracy. I despair that they will be anything but martyrs to the cause of human freedom.

EH? Iraq is an artificial construct thrown together by the British and the League of Nations. A construct consisting of 3 tribes all wanting power over the other- particularly the Sunni tribe and the Shiite tribe. Sadaam was nothing more than a Sunni Warlord. Remember how the greatest warlord family in Arabia, the Sauds, got control over that area? My worst fear is that the Shiites will institute Sharia law and link together with the mostly Shiite Iran to form a modern greater Persia. I am talking about a strong military and diplomatic link-not a geographical. I doubt that will happen considering how racist the mideast arabs tend to be. Iraqis are arab and Iranians are Persian. Hopefully racism will win out and Iraqi Shiites will mistrust the terrible Persian. We are talking about a culture and an area that has a VERY long history of constant tribal warfare and was never truly a nation until it was artificially created- it was mostly a geographical area that changed hands constantly and in between various tribes fought against each other in a bid for power.

When exactly were they the best educated people in the world? Maybe in the mideast- NO, actually Israel would win hands down. Which tribe are you talking about? During Sadaams rule, being a Sunni warlord, the Sunnis were put on a pedastal while the Shiites were oppressed. Now, the Shiites (most likely) are going to look into getting a little payback.

I can’t help feeling that given Iraqs history, BOTH tribes are just using the stupid Yankee, and when it becomes conveinient either tribe will just as likely stab us in the back. I have no doubt both sides lie thru their teeth to us on a daily basis. Thats just the way it is over there. More and more I am becoming convinced that its unlikely for there EVER to be a western style democracy in Iraq. Its should seem pretty apparent that a truly STABLE nation in that area can ONLY be achieved thru a rather harsh system of government. Give the tribes enough freedom and they will go at it with one another as they have for a few thousand years. In the meantime they will use whatever outside help and advantage they can get.

You can say they were educated, but saying they were civilized is another matter altogether considering how absolutely tribal and corrupt they are and have been for many, many centuries. Its pretty obvious they need a strong, harsh hand to guide them and we simply don’t have the political will to get the job done. We could have in the beginning by being extremely harsh, but now they know how weak, sensitive, and womanish we are and they think they can push various buttons in order to manipulate us. HA, you think any of them would BLINK over ome of the “tortures” that took place in Abu Gharaib if THEY were the ones in power?
Our enemies don’t need real scandals for their propaganda- they just make them up when necessary. They see how the western world reacts in a bleeding heart, womanish fashion to EVERY little offence and they are definitely savvy as to how weak we have become after 30 years of liberal brainwashing.

Yea, the Shiites will use us, milk us dry as much as they can, and once we are gone they will likely turn on us. Thats the way bussiness is done in that part of the world. It almost always seems to go that way.

The ONLY reason Iraq was so secular was because Sadaam needed it to be that way in order to maintain control over the Shiites. He needed it to be so secular in order to rule. It helps NOT to have religious fanatics running around inciting rebellion. Thats why he had Imams and clerics killed or “dissappeared” or deported whenever they got out of line. I too had high hopes for Iraq and genuinely wanted them to band together and form a stable democracy with freedoms and such. Unfortunately, we mistook the recent FORCED secularism with modern civilized behavior and a modern civilized culture. Certainly, an easy jump to make for some people. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way when you have three tribes that hate each other (for the most part) being stitched together in an artificial nation.

Iraq was and IS a very barbaric, tribal area. What has been used historically to control or rule/govern such areas? Think real hard.

Democracy and Iraq is looking like a square peg in a round hole.
I wanted to give the Iraqis a chance, but this is looking more and more every day like a serious military blunder. Basically, it may turn out to be a strategic military and economic mistake. Hopefully it will work out, but…

Amazing how someone can think propaganda and dishonesty are unique to the Middle East given the causes of the war in Iraq itself. It’s like some people are living on a different plane of reality. I guess you’ve forgotten George “WMD” Bush Jr, George “Crying Nadia” Bush Snr, Ronalds “Irangate” Reagan, Richard “Watergate” Nixon, “We Have No Nukes” Israel, and not to mention the British promising Palestine to the Arabs while at the same time promising it to the Jews. They are all as honest as the day is long.

Its pretty obvious they need a strong, harsh hand to guide them and we simply don’t have the political will to get the job done. We could have in the beginning by being extremely harsh, but now they know how weak, sensitive, and womanish we are and they think they can push various buttons in order to manipulate us. HA, you think any of them would BLINK over ome of the “tortures” that took place in Abu Gharaib if THEY were the ones in power?

Freedom’s on the march!

This is both one of the funniest and most disturbing quotes I’ve read on this forum :D

Just FYI, blaming the Iraqis for being too ignorant to accept Democracy seems to be the rising right wing meme.

Here’s another sample.

In the medium and long term, what happens in Iraq is up to the Iraqis. It is certainly possible that they might forfeit what the Bush administration and America’s armed forces have given them: a chance at freedom and the opportunity to live in peace with their neighbors. But if the Iraqis fail, it won’t be because liberals stampeded the United States into abandoning them.


Thats garbage and not what I said. While its true that Bush is more like a classical liberal than he is a true conservative, the fault lies directly with Bush and Rumsfeild(sp?). Oh, while its also true that liberals (actually socialists) here and elsewhere did everything they could to undermine the war effort and the military, Bush certainly had the power to tell them to fuck off. Bush should have kept the media OUT of Iraq and maintained a propaganda stranglehold over the Iraqi people. They should only hear what we want them to hear during the pacification. The real problem is that the nation was never pacified. Fallujah should have been leveled and the Sunni triangle should be a mound of rubble. No radical clerics should be allowed in during the government reconstruction phase and the military should have a very free hand in maintaining order by any and ALL means necessary. The Bush administration forgot about how brutal that area of the world actually is.

Amazing how some people cough socialist rats cough constantly equate apples and oranges in an effort to prop up the uncivilized, the barbaric, the primative, the immoral, and the degenerate. Example:

Oh, well the muslimists are kinda bad BUT well, seriously, look at the way Christianity USED to be

Oh, well true corruption is taking place in Iraq and the mideast BUT it also happens in the US and other western nations (thus the two are somehow equitable and we can write it off)

Nothing but exuses and rationalizations. I understand what the philosophy is all about. It has to do with the corruption and lies of multiculuralism. If people are equal ergo, all cultures must be equal. WRONG. If another culture is CLEALY primitive, barbaric, and behind the civilized world, especially POOR-mainly due to reasons that are DIRECTLY related to their cultures, then we must IMMEDIATELY try to equate it with something bad we did or something wrong in our civilization or history to make them not look so bad. Its disgusting and dishonest.

People often get the civilization they diserve. Its just a simple fact that a nation consisting of warring tribes is going to have on hellova time getting their shit together. In that part of the world I think its a pipedream and I spelled out why pretty clearly. Sorry if you refuse to accept reality. You never came up with a valid argument or a PLAN that would actually work. Its just so extremely difficult given the areas history, warring tribes, and its culture. So Mr. Answers, tell me how we can do it. How can we create a truly western style democracy free of the kind of extreme corruption, savagery, and so on that comes with a TRIBAL culture. We see how it is in Africa. So you tell me Mr. Answers. Give me the Answer.

Don’t invade the country that has a functioning secular government?

That doesn’t apply to Iraq because its already been invaded! HELLO, MCFLY, anyone home?! Ha, what do we do now to create a functioning stable democracy? Give me the answer.

That doesn’t apply to Iraq because its already been invaded! HELLO, Mcfry, anyone home?! .[/quote]

Who is this Mcfry? Is he a relative of the Hamburglar?

That doesn’t apply to Iraq because its already been invaded! HELLO, Mcfry, anyone home?! .[/quote]

Who is this Mcfry? Is he a relative of the Hamburglar?[/quote]

Opps, typo. Its McFLY. Its been corrected :)

I’m not.

Anyway, were the people of Iraq incapable of democracy before they got invaded, or did they become incapable afterwards once Americans brought them Michael Moore movies? Because if the former, wow, Bush had really no good reason at all to invade.

Wow Gideon. Caps, bold and italics, oh my! For someone with decent grammar and sentence structure, you sure are batshit insane sometimes.