December 13, 2005


Sunnis Change Course: Even some insurgents and their sympathizers are reassessing their strategy, and plan to vote in this week's elections for a new government. (Joshua Hammer and Scott Johnson, Dec. 19, 2005, Newsweek)

Ahmed Duraid is ready for a new era. Like almost all of his neighbors in Adhamiya, a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency along the Tigris River in central Baghdad, the 35-year-old clothes vendor boycotted Iraq's National Assembly elections last January on the advice of Sunni fighters and influential political groups such as the Association of Muslim Scholars. But the consequences for Adhamiya were severe: shadowy religious militias with ties to the Shiite-dominated government began arresting, kidnapping and sometimes murdering young Sunni men in the neighborhood; Duraid felt unprotected, even abandoned, by the country's new leaders. "We didn't participate, and the others took power alone, and this is the result," Duraid told NEWSWEEK.

Saddam Hussein once ruled Iraq with brutal predictability. In the political realm, nobody had to think, or to choose, or to compete. You did what you were told, and when elections came around, you voted for Saddam. But today, as the ex-dictator stands trial for atrocities, even some Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers are beginning to acknowledge the power of the ballot box. Duraid and his fellow residents say they've learned from their mistake: they plan to participate in the Dec. 15 vote for a new National Assembly.

This new determination has transformed the atmosphere of places like Adhamiya.

Not only do we have the current batch of stories with the MSM suddenly realizing that Iraq is working out, but on NPR today they were basically reading the last rites for the PRC. The World, in particular, had a story on comparing the unrest in the countryside to that which has historically preceded the fall of Chinese regimes. Add in their realization that the economy is doing rather well and that the president's poll numbers aren't trending into the negatives and it's rude awakening time for the chattering class.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 13, 2005 5:07 PM

Well, the Iraqi Sunnis are off the reservation, via Daily Pundit:

Earlier today, this post commented on Saudi Arabia's program of buying its way into America's opinion-shaping mechanisms.

Over at NRO, Nina Shea has a rundown of other parts of this Saudi agenda, including details like:

Booklets published in Arabic for the "Immigrant Muslim" by the Saudi embassy in Washington, for example, instruct Muslims to "hate" Americans. They counsel that, because America is ruled by infidel civil law, "it is forbidden" for a Muslim to become an American citizen, or join the U.S. military, or support Americans in any way....

Posted by: Sandy P at December 13, 2005 6:10 PM

Why come here at all then?

Posted by: erp at December 14, 2005 11:58 AM