Sunnis Come To The Table

The New York Times has an interesting piece on how Sunni Arabs are joining the political process in Iraq:

“Lots of Sunni Arabs feel that they made a mistake by boycotting Iraq’s election,” Adnan Pachachi, a prominent Sunni whose representative attended the conference, said in a telephone interview from London. “They are really concerned about having a real participation in the writing of the constitution not as advisers but as equal partners.”

In speech after speech at the meeting, at a Baghdad social club, delegates called on fellow Sunnis to cast aside doubts and throw themselves into politics to try to weigh in on the writing of a constitution, which is under way in a Shiite-controlled committee in the National Assembly. Even the Association of Muslim Scholars, a leading voice in the Sunni election boycott, signed on as one of the conference’s organizers.

The increasing level of violence targeting Sunnis as well as Iraqi Shi’a are indicating that the terrorists are seriously worried about their position in regards to the Sunni community. The assassination of a Sunni tribal leader by foreign jihadis recently caused members of that tribe to hunt down and kill the assassins. The Sunnis are realizing that under the terrorists, they won’t come out on top. They’re worried that without the US helping to keep the peace, the more radical Shi’a might decide to come after them. The Sunnis have every reason of self-interest to create a stable and federal Iraq.

The Sunnis are finally realizing that they have a fundamental choice: embrace a democratic Iraq or lose out on their chance to shape the future of Iraq. Sunni politicians like Pachachi are joining forces with moderate Shi’ites like Iyad Allawi to build a moderate coaltion that will help keep the more religiously-oriented UIA and Dawa parties in check. The more Iraqis who join the political process, the more legitimacy it gains, and the greater the chance of a strong federal Iraq.

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