12 January 2007

The Boers of Anbar

Here is a good overview of the history of Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, and of how the situation today is viewed in Sunni Arab countries.

In fact, the position of the Sunni minority in Iraq today is rather analogous to that of the white minority in South Africa. The main difference is that the South African whites gave up their minority rule in a negotiated settlement, whereas the Sunni-dominated Saddam regime was brought down by an outside invasion.

If hard-line South African whites were to launch an armed uprising in an effort to overthrow South Africa's present government and reinstate apartheid, they would win very little sympathy in the West. Yet the Sunni insurgency in Iraq is very analogous.

(The international dynamics are different, of course, since the countries south, west, and north of Iraq are mainly Sunni -- this is explained well in the article linked above.)

If this aspect of the matter were better understood in the West, I suspect there would be much less concern over the Sunni Iraqis' largely self-inflicted plight.



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