Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Another Day

The Sunnis
The issue of how best to integrate moderate Sunni leaders into the post election environment appears to be the all-consuming issue.

It is apparent that the Shia’s though embracing the election have used it to promulgate and support leading religious leaders into the political process. After all, Iran backed the holding of the elections. Rather ironic sine it has virtually excluded moderates from its own Parliamentary system.

Not much as been reported about the Kurds and how the election went for them.

The Sunnis are rather trapped as the buffer zone between traditional rivalry with the Shia’s and the Kurdish provinces that appear moving (slowly mind you) towards asserting a position of independence, which will inevitably drag in an angry Turkey.

The compounding issue for the Sunnis is indeed real internal pressures also within their community. There are the secularists versus the theocrats (insurgents? See the Muslim Clerics Association), and the Baathists/Saddam loyalists vs. the participatory democrats.

Will this all lead to civil war? My gut hunch is that it will not. At the end of the day, all three communities of Iraq need each other, structurally. The Shia’s have the manpower and access to oil reserves, the Sunnis the administrative and governance culture, and the Kurds the oil wealth of the north and the trade routes to Western and Eastern Europe.

Where there will be a ‘war’ of sorts is eventually to occur on and to the insurgents. The simple fact that their strategy of attacking military personnel has failed from a PR perspective, and has had limited military success. They then have turned increasingly towards maiming and killing innocent Iraqis whose only transgression apparently was standing in job queues, or shopping at food markets. And they have really struck a low blow (surely even their most committed of adherent would acknowledge) when they strapped explosives to the body of Amar Ahmed Mohammed who was 19 years old and had Down Syndrome and sent him to his death.
And after all that, what have they achieved, but continued toi cause the Iraqi people continued missery, and hardship.

Terrific article in the press about travel opportunities and tourist activities in Beirut. Since the end of the Lebanon civil war, Beirut in particular has flourished, with an extensive sea side building boom, restoring this great historical city to its once great beauty.

Not intending to flame
A contributor – see link
wrote in a circumlocutory manner about…. Well, I still don’t understand what it was about! Please see the link above for the article. If someone could please explain it, please could you let me know!

I posted my comments in response.
Scott, lots of words mate, but at the end its still a piece of intellectual drivel.

How is Rushdie 'demonising' Islam? His work was that of fiction! Its purpose was ultimately literary entertainment, rather than a public exploration of Islam and its tenets. Is his reward for producing fiction, the imposition of a death penalty on his head which has still yet to be revoked!

The conjecture around the Huntington book is typical of people who have not read it. The supposition drawn from the title creates all types of conspiracy thinking. Since publication the Huntington book has declined in prominence in the West, as the assertion took hold that it was the predominantly Christian-Judeo (and can I add secular) West that was confronting Islamic societies. However, if you look at Al Qaeda they are the ones propagating the 'clash of civilisation' arguments. There response to the Iraqi elections is a case in point.

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