Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Iraqi Sunni, Shiite, And U.S. Relations

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For U.S. and Sunni Allies, a Turning Point
-- Washington Post

Sons of Iraq Despair At Imminent Takeover By Shiite Government

BAGHDAD -- First Lt. Justin John, 6-foot-4 and built like a linebacker, plopped down on a sofa in front of Ibrahim Suleiman al-Zoubaidi, one of the leaders of the mainly Sunni armed groups that have helped the U.S. military quell violence in Iraq since last year.

Zoubaidi, a small man armed with a revolver, had one thing on his mind: This week officials of Iraq's Shiite-led government will assume authority over the groups, which have been backed by the United States.

"They will kill us," Zoubaidi declared. "One by one."

Across Baghdad, leaders of the groups speak about the transition in similarly apocalyptic terms. Some have left Baghdad, saying they fear that the Iraqi government will conduct mass arrests after the handover. Others are obtaining passports and say they will flee to Syria.

Read more ....

My Comment: You cannot get rid of centuries of animosity and distrust. The Americans are the buffer against this history, and because of their effectiveness in keeping the peace insures that they will be in Iraq for a very long time. This is not a bad thing if long term peace becomes the result.

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