We're seeing the true face of radical Islam in Iraq at the moment and it is not pretty, is it? Shi'ite Muslims in the Iraqi town of Fallujah last week killed and desecreated the bodies of four American, civilian workers. This week, the Shi'ites are out marching, demandning blood and pledging themselves to sacrifice against the Infidel.
What the fuck is wrong with these people? Here they are, a country in which there is a Shi'ite majority, but in which they were under the boot of the Sunni's for the longest time. Saddam Hussein treated them as if they were subversives (and they probably were --- even a broken clock is wrong twice a day) and set his security agencies loose on the community. We can imagine just how many Shi'ites "disappeared" under Saddam. They live in near poverty after official neglect and two decades of war. Along comes the United States who sweeps away the old order, brings hope, freedom and the prospect of a better tomorrow, and the Shi'ites apparently are not happy about it. Why?
Depending on who you believe, the reason is any of the following:
a) Shi'ites are not happy with the new constitution which affords equal standing to Sunni's and Kurds, even though Shi'ites are the majority in Iraq (hey, join the club with us American caucasian males, but, we deal, so will you).
b) Iran is up to it's old Islamic Revolutionary tricks again and is deliberately formenting political and religious trouble in Iraq as a proxy war against the United States.
There are a few dangers inherent in both of those choices. To begin with, civil war in the form of Shi'ites versus everyone else. Shi'ites, for those of you unitiated in the ways of Islam, are differentiated from the rest because of a belief that somewhere along the line, the seccession of Muhammed was usurped by pretenders and the religion seriously thrown off the tracks. In this way, Shi'ites are like Al Gore voters in 2000, only they don't have a courtroom to cry in. Any civil war in Iraq benefits Iran and Shi'ism because of the rallying cry, the chance to martyr oneself against the infidel, yadda, yadda, yadda, we've heard it all before. Every Shi'ite whack job on the planet will be lining up to join the mayhem. Another angle to remember: elections are in November, and Iran was engaged in one "October Surprise" (but silly boys, they got Reagan) and might like to do it again, and a President Kerry is already practicing his signature for the surrender documents.
That is why the response to Fallujah must be, as the military puts it, "swift, precise and overwhelming". The Shi'ites and the Iranians need to be put in their places, pronto, before this spirals out of control.