October 26, 2005


The Sunni option (Ehsan Ahrari, 10/26/05, Asia Times)

The draft constitution of Iraq has been approved by 78% of voters nationwide. As expected, the Sunni Arabs were unable to defeat it by getting at least two-thirds of the voters in three provinces to vote against it. The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq reported that about 63% of Iraq's 15.5 million registered voters cast ballots.

Sunnis are not only viewing this reality as a permanent loss of power, but also as a way to partition their country into three parts. What are they to do now? They will do whatever a losing side does in an Arab polity that does not know how political battles are won or lost in a democracy. They will bide their time and attempt to sabotage the system, unless they are assured that the new Iraq is not just a euphemism for a permanent loss of their power.

If we accept for a moment the Left's assertion that every Shi'ite and Kurd voted for the constitution and every Sunni against then we arrive at a rough census count of 20% of the population of Iraq being Sunni. When you're the 20% party in a democracy your loss of power is permanent. We're about one election away from the Sunni realizing that federalism serves them best, because it would at least give them vcontrol over the regions where they do predominate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2005 9:23 AM

In the Arab mindset, them's that got the most guns are the majority no matter what the real numbers show. It may take more than one more election before reality sets in and the Sunni's realize that the bad old days are over.

Posted by: tefta at October 26, 2005 10:46 AM

The regions where the Sunnis are the majority aren't the regions with oil...

Posted by: Mike Earl at October 26, 2005 10:52 AM

That's true in Saudi Arabia, as well -- one reason the Sauds are sponsoring the Iraqi insurgency so strongly. that oil producing strip in the Kingdom is mainly populated by Shias and is adjacent to Iraq.

Posted by: too true at October 26, 2005 10:56 AM

I continue to be amazed by the euphemisms deployed by the Left for "sectarian fascist oppression". Here it is termed simply "power" and the liberation of the majority from this oppression labeled "permanent loss of power for the Sunni". Well, yes, we clearly intended to remove permanently from the Sunni their power to impose Ba'athist oppression on Iraq. Apparently that's a horrible thing to do in the eyes of the tranzis.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 26, 2005 10:57 AM


Nice job identify and destroying the liberal spin the MSM and the left have put on this "power" issue.

Is it reasonable to say federalism is in all three groups best interest because for the:

Kurds - Protection from Turkey

Shia - geographically own the oil but not much else in pumping, selling and administrating in the oil business

Sunni - Landlocked and no oil but have business skill.

It seems everyone has a strength and weakness therefore incentive to work toghther?

Posted by: Perry at October 26, 2005 11:33 AM

The Sa'uds are helping against the insurgency because they are its ultimate target.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2005 1:01 PM

Hopefully at some point the Sunnis can realize that they aren't a majority, and hence federalism has some strong advantages for them. Note that, for example, the only reason there was a chance of the constitution being defeated was because of federalism.

Posted by: John Thacker at October 26, 2005 2:53 PM