Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Moving Forward In Iraq

Increasingly Iraq is moving forward. Perhaps the best indication of this can be found in John Burns' article in yesterday's NYT. Readers of this site are well aware of my thoughts on the editorial positions of the times, but Burns has done solid work and his reporting yesterday was encouraging.

The issue is how does Iraq go forward? In a country where grievances run deep it would seem logical that the Shites take this time to exact their revenge for years of torture and death. It appears however that the Shites have realized that the satisfaction of revenge doesn't do anything except perpetuate the problem, and the Sunnis are realizing that a prosperous Iraq holds the key to their futures:

While many Sunni Arabs still support al Qaeda, a growing number of key tribes and families do not. Worse yet, for the terrorists, Sunni Arab tribes, clans and families are increasingly at war with al Qaeda. Sunni Arabs are killing al Qaeda groups they believe were responsible for the death of family or friends.

This is a culture steeped in revenge. Hell, the entire muslim world is still pissed about being thrown out of Spain in 1492. Yet, the tide is turning against Al Queda because of the relative failure of radical Islam to deliver in 700 years what the invasion has delivered in 2: Liberty, freedom and opportunity. For this reason revenge has suddenly taken on less importance when compared to the possibility of the future.

Some will say that this isn't perfect justice. They'll insist that the Sunnis must bear the full responsibility of their awful reign. However, if this imperfect scheme can deliver peace and an opportunity for a better life for all, then Iraq's people will (as they seem to already have) decide that it is well worth its imperfections.

For this reason I believe Mandela had the right approach in dealing with Apartheid grievances in the truth hearings in South Africa. Grievances were aired, a catharsis was achieved, and the country moved on without further bloodshed. It appears that Iraq is moving towards this ideal as well.

Via the well tanned Vodka Pundit

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