A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 :::
A Cheerful Thought

The horrific earthquake and tsunami have dominated the headlines, as they should. Certainly, our prayers and donations should be with the poor victims.

But things continue apace in Iraq, and on that front, the news does not appear to be good. The major Sunni party has called on people to boycot the election. Whether the average Sunni is actually fed up with their self-appointed leaders and will show up at the polls regardless, as happened in Afghanistan, is known only to God. It is something to hope for, and pray for, and work for, if one can, but it is not something to depend on. The insurgents have made some impressive attacks--impressive in the worst way--and a reasonable belief is that even people who hate them and want a democratic Iraq are feeling the pressure to abstain.

And it is certain that Sunnis who find themselves with little or no representation in the new parliament will feel uneasy about submitting to a government that is 75% Shi'a or more. The Shi'ite leaders are aware of this, and are reportedly trying to come up with plans to forestall this calamity--including just handing parliamentary seats to Sunnis. One hopes whatever they come up with works.

But if the situation just deteriorates or even spins out of control, is it likely that the Shi'a leaders, many of whom want the US out as quickly as possible, will suddently decide they want us to stay? Or will they decide, as good Muslims, that help from the infidel has gone on long enough and it is time for them to take control of their slice of the dar-al-Islam?

This writer will not hasten to say. But it is worth considering alternative ways that things will play out, and a very real one has the Shi'a working diligently to push us out once the votes are counted--quickly or slowly depending on their reading of the situation, but determinedly.

And then Devil take the hindmost.

It is also worth thinking what will happen to a President whose major policy has blown up in the worst way imaginable, given his inability to rethink what he has done and his disdain for negotiation. Will the Republicans in Congress, seeking to save their natural advantage with the voters, simply throw him overboard, rhetorically speaking. They could highlight the many honorable things they did to try and warn him on foreign policy, and simply take over domestic policy. Congress has already given notice that they will not merely ask "how high?" They may even start asking "who are you?"

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:53 PM



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