Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Politics: Iraq / US: Tomorrow's Election > What do Sunnis want?, asks Christian Science Monitor

Ilene R. Prush and Jill Carroll, reporting from Baghdad and Huseybah, Iraq, for The Christian Science Monitor, asked a few days ago, what Sunni voters want - that is, the reporters asked Sunni voters: What do you want?

Their reportage, "What Sunnis Want," (Dec14,2k5) is at least a well-wrawt rhetorical structure, verisimilitude-rich - O have I momentarily lost my hermeneutic of suspicion? - and, in any case, I do believe that Prush and Carroll have got their fingers on the pulse of reality regarding the Sunni mood just before the vote. Wishful thinking on my part, I guess. I realize that, in forming and deciding upon my foregoing judgment, their article rings true, I myself engage my mind in an act of journalism-reading imagination. I can and do imagine this article to be true in a general way. This is also an act of historical imagination on my part, in the which the historical imaginary in my brain, accepting the informal and anecdotal face-to-face live interview process of the survey of Sunni Iraqi opinion before tomorrow's election, becomes more than an interesting incident or episode. The Iraq War on Terrorism (not yet won) and on Baathist Genocide under Saddam Hussein (already won, but with one question-mark), just an interesting incident in current affairs?

More than keen observations on the structure of Sunni Interest Group party-formations and the coalition of three leading Sunni parties on the ballot. we have now to inquire how much and in what regards these too are each clericism-dominated. After all, there is a Sunni trend toward a favouring a secular structure for the government of a multi-Islamically framed society and culture, but accompanied - alongside Shia, Sunni Kurds, and Sunni Arabs - by some small but significant minorities, minorities as to religion. ethnicity, and language. The Sunni Kurds are part of the problem as the Sunni Arab Muslims of Iraq, see things.

Yesterday, 1,000 Sunni Arab clerics (Baathist and Hussein connections) issued a call to their adherents to get out and vote for the Sunni community's best interests by getting into the new Parliament and fiting for a favourable final settlement of the text of the new Iraqi Constitution (which authorized the present election of a fully-empowered new Parliament, truly representative of Iraq and all communities within the nation).

That is, if Sunnis in the new Parliament help bolster a federation with a strong central government, not just some 22 provinces in 3 irrelevant regions (and distinct from the leading Shia/Kurd plan for 3 strong regions where the central Sunni-strongest region is without benefit from the oilfields, etc.): then a more tolerant stance may come toward more marginal religio-ethnic (including heritage language and literature, not Arabic) communities (like Christians and Jews). Equally important, the Sunni pro-active presence at tomorrow's polls could add energy to a less Sharia-minded adjudication of civil affairs. The Shia, it's being reported elsewhere, are now divided, having got themselves a strong secular-emphasizing voting bloc or party or coalition or something, going up against the cause of a Shia-religion-dominant cabal in the "religious Shiite" parties, altho nothing I've seeen so far suggests that Imam al-Sistani himself encourages that direction. Rather, religio-Shia dominance is the direction that the huge espionage network paid-for and run be Iranian hardlining ayatollahs with their minions and mavericks (the current Prez), this spy system replete with paymasters is pushing among the Iraqi Shiite political parties for the formation of a religio-Shia government, allied to Iran.

A real contest is cresting at the moment among Shia, but also perhaps in the new Parliament at least some Sunnis and some Shia will unite against the Shia-dominant theocratic pseudo-democratic forces. All forces will have some representation; it will be interesting to see if some Christians get elected, and thru just what party/ies if they do get in. Are there any Christians named as candidates on the electoral list of any of the Shia parties? I think that happened in the last round, when the party most loyal to Imam al-Sistani carried with them into Parliament a Christian or two on their candidates list. On the basis of proportional representation, can a healthy Christian party function? I haven't been able to tract down this info.

In other words, the extent tomorrow of Sunni presence as voters at the polls matters. It matters also in regard to the interests of the United States in many aspects. It could even matter to Israel; and if the thousand Jews in Iraq, mostly elderly folk, have an easier life, the hoped-for Sunni shift matters to all Jews too. The election of an Iraqi Parliament where Shia leadership does not conform to the official anti-Semitism of the Iranian President is devoutly to be wished for.- Politicarp

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