Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rice Showers More Love on the Sunnis

So Condi made it to Mosul yesterday and visited with some Arab Sunni ‘dignitaries’. Did she ask them how they voted on Referendum Day? The constitution squeaked by with no help from the Arab Sunnis of Nineveh Province (where Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, lies…) who along with other Arab Sunnis in Salahuddin and Anbar provinces nearly matched the stipulation by which the constitution can be knocked down: a two-thirds majority of active ‘No’ voters in any three Iraqi provinces. This condition was not met in Nineveh, although 55% voted against the constitution.

Thus, the constitution (and the Bush administration’s credibility) was probably saved by the minorities who live there: Turkuman Shias in Talafar, Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac Christians in Mosul and the plains to the east, Yezidis in Sinjar Mountain and to the north, and the Shabaks to the east of Mosul. Not to mention Sunni Kurds, who number a third of Mosul’s residents. But Rice didn’t have time for all these unappreciated minorities that have been taking a beating by the Ba’athists and Zarqawists for their support of Iraqi democracy. Condi, how about a 'thank you' note?

Sunniphilitis--a containable disease afflicting Arabists at NEA and the MEI--has been a endemic at the State Department for some time, but is breaking-out with increased infectivity under Condi’s tenure. See my column of June 2005 on this, Dances with Terrorists (scroll down to June 16, 2005).

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