Friday, April 09, 2004

Sunni/Shiite unity in Iraq 

I find it pretty remarkable that both Sunnis and Shiites helped carry supplies to Sunni insurgents in Fallujah yesterday:
The rare display of unity came after Shiite radicals launched an uprising in cities across central and southern Iraq, shattering a year of relative tolerance of the US-led occupation from the country's majority community.

"No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity," the marchers chanted. "We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country."
My impression was that US forces were fighting two essentially separate insurgencies, one against Baathists and foreign fighters in the Sunni triangle, and another, more recent insurgency in the South led by the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. But many of those who carried supplies past US roadblocks to the Sunni resistance in Fallujah actually held signs in support of Sadr. Over at Counterspin Central, commenter SXL makes an interesting point:
Sunni and Shi'ite tribes united in 1920, to throw the British out of Iraq and there have been many references to this unity from the loudspeakers of the mosques during this insurrection.
The cooperation between Sunni and Shiite insurgent groups is a bad sign for the future of the occupation. It seems we may have succeeded in uniting Iraq... against us!
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