Skip to comments.A Drama-Free Election
Posted on 02/08/2009 7:47:40 AM PST by vbmoneyspender
Making sense of Iraq's January 31 provincial elections isn't easy. That they were an enormous success for Iraq, and for the United States, is certainly true. When remembering 2006, when Iraqis were dying like flies in what the New York Times's Dexter Filkins described as a "symphony of suicide bombers," and when even staunch pro-war American liberals and conservatives saw the invasion as misbegotten, I grow more respectful of my old history teacher Martin Dickson, who counseled to measure time, especially in the Middle East, in centuries, not years. In the streets of Baghdad, especially those deeply scarred by violence, where women and children now bustle about well-stocked stores and an almost incomprehensible array of political posters has been plastered, it's difficult to comprehend how a former pro-war liberal like Peter Beinart could opine, only two weeks before the provincial elections, that the Iraq invasion remained "one of the great blunders in American foreign policy history."
But according to Tamimi, the Sunnis saw the light when the Iraqi Shia, with the Iranians behind them, destroyed Sunni military power in Baghdad.
After the bombing, from February of 2006 until the end of 2006, the Shiites death squads (with the tacit help of the Iraqi military) went to work against the Sunnis in Baghdad and its suburbs. In attacking the Sunnis and winning the Battle for Baghdad, the Shiites proved to the Sunnis that they could defeat them quite easily if need be. That fact broke the Sunnis' will to fight because they had always thought that if they just outlasted us, they would easily be able to take over Iraq and run it like they had before our troops invaded. Once the Sunnis' belief in the submsiveness of the Shiites was shattered, the Sunnis stopped fighting us and instead sought our help in protecting them from the Shiites.
The problem in Iraq was that we could never win the fight against the Sunnis - only the Shiites could do that. As such, it was the awakening of the Shiite giant in Iraq is which lead directly to the Sunnis Awakening and, more importantly, to the evisceration of the Sunni belief in their own invincibility.
More correctly, I should say that our troops could never defeat Sunni fantasies about regaining the dominant position in Iraq - only the Shiites could defeat those fantasies.
How come I don’t read analysis as insightful as this in the American press?
It’s published in Washington.
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