The Sunni leaders in Iraq who persuaded or intimdated their followers to boycott the elections are having second thoughts. This is excellent news and, as Captain Ed notes, it’s probably a shock to those who’ve relied upon mainstream media to provide their only view of Iraq. It’s not unexpected news, however, for those of us who’ve followed Iraqi politics by reading what actual Iraqis and soldiers serving in Iraq have had to say all along. The Sunnis made a mistake in boycotting the election and the stunning
60% turnout made it clear that they’d better get with the program. The system was designed to give any group that excluded themselves a second chance, and the Sunnis have very wisely decided to take advantage of it.
With few exceptions Iraqi leaders have been remarkably levelheaded and responsible. The wonderful thing about democracy is that it gives everyone a forum to air grievances and address conflicts with words and votes and laws rather than with suicide bombers and secret police. When we see articles about Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds arguing and shouting and bargaining we need to remember that it’s not a bug – it’s a feature.