Friday, December 16, 2005

We're all supposed to be thrilled about the high Sunni turnout, but Juan Cole flags this quote from an AP story:

In Fallujah, the former Sunni insurgent stronghold overrun by U.S. forces in November 2004, hundreds packed a high school polling station, with many saying they saw the vote as a way to not only get rid of the Americans but to also get rid of the Shiite-dominated government.

"It's an extremist government [and] we would like an end to the occupation," said Ahmed Majid, 31. "Really the only true solution is through politics. But there is the occupation and the only way that will end is with weapons."

Even in insurgent bastions such as Ramadi and Haqlaniyah, Sunnis were turning out in large numbers.

"I came here and voted in order to prove that Sunnis are not a minority in this country," said lawyer Yahya Abdul-Jalil in Ramadi. "We lost a lot during the last elections, but this time we will take our normal and key role in leading this country."

There it is in a nutshell: Violence is still an appropriate response to the U.S. occupation; Sunnis really should be running the country again; Sunnis are the true majority in Iraq and all the demographic studies that say otherwise are anti-Sunni lies.

Do you really think the new government can possibly satisfy the many Sunnis who believe some or all of this?

Please remember: Social unrest doesn't require a 51% majority. A determined minority of Iraqis -- a determined minority of one ethnic group -- can keep the country in chaos if there's enough dissatisfaction. There's just no reason to believe that everyone will say, "Oh well, we wanted thus-and-such, but elections were held and we lost, so c'est la vie." But that's precisely what all the right-wing American cheerleaders you're hearing right now seem to believe.

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