Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trouble for Sunni-Shiite reconciliation in Iraq?

BAGHDAD — The Shiite-led government is cracking down on U. S.-backed Sunni Arab fighters in one of Iraq’s most turbulent regions, arresting some leaders, disarming dozens of men and banning them from manning checkpoints except alongside official forces.

The moves in Diyala province reflect mixed views on a movement that began in 2007 among Sunni tribes in western Iraq who revolted against al- Qaida in Iraq and joined the Americans in the fight against the terrorist network.

U. S. officials credit the rise of such groups, known variously as Awakening Councils, Sons of Iraq and Popular Committees, with helping rout al-Qaida.

(Buffalo News -- AP)

On its face, a move like this feeds sectarian mistrust, particularly Sunni fear of unbridled Shiite power in the national government. If the move is balanced with some acceptance of Sunni peacekeepers, such as encouraging their inclusion in police forces, then it may work out OK in the end after a few hiccups.

I do not detect any of the latter in this AP story. But it is an AP story, after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please remain on topic and keep coarse language to an absolute minimum. Comments in a language other than English will be assumed off topic.