Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sunni politics polarizing as a result of the Saddam sentencing

Iraqi vice president Tareq al-Hashimi was in Doha, capital of Qatar yesterday, for talks with the Emir Hamad bin Khalifa, about the Iraqi situation. Hashimi told al-Hayat that one of this big concerns is the intervention of various countries, which he did not name, in the internal affairs of Iraq, describing this intervention as "targeting the Arab and Islamic identity of Iraq".

It is particularly noteworthy that this is an Iraqi vice-president talking publicly with a Gulf-state leader about a threat to the Arab identity of Iraq, clearly referring to Iran, in the immediate aftermath of the Saddam sentencing. (Iran enthusiastically supported the death sentence for Saddam).

The paper notes that this visit overlapped with another visit to Doha by Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accord Front, the biggest of the Sunni coalitions in parliament. Dulaimi said the current situation is one where the Iraqi security forces persecute, torture and kill Sunnis just on account of their identity as Sunnis, and he added a widely-reported remark to the effect the current government is attempting to turn Baghdad into a Shiite city. And he said "we" (the Sunni parties) "call on the government" to deal with an iron hand with any who try to spread chaos and killing among the people of Iraq.

Dulaimi added that as far as the Sunni parties are concerned, security and stability are a precondition for democracy. He added that his group has drawn up what he described as a new proposal for unifying the Sunni population, which he will announce as soon as consultations with other Sunni groups are completed.

Neither Hashimi nor Dulaimi agitated the question of the Saddam death-sentence during their visits to Doha, the reporter notes, but clearly they are harshly critical of it. And the headline for this item spells out the idea that these are post-Saddam-sentence developments.

Meanwhile, back in Baghdad, another Sunni party in parliament, the Iraqi People's Congress, in a written statement, threatened to withdraw completely from the political process, citing two days of unprecented attacks on Sunni locations, including a number of mosques which are named, during the last two days, adding that it would be impossible to move such large numbers of attackers from one neighborhood to another, during a curfew, without the connivance of the government.


Post a Comment

<< Home