Friday, January 16, 2004

The Shiites show their hand, and it sure ain't pretty.

Some defenders of Bush Administration policy have talked up the fact that the Shiites of southern Iraq may not want a theocracy afterall, and that maybe they won't abuse their majority status in a democracy in order to suppress the rights of others. Interestingly enough, they're not even formally in power yet but they've already started by taking away the rights of Iraqi women. The move apparently was sponsored by Conservative Shiites on the Iraqi National Council (INC) that American administrator Paul Bremer appointed and hand-picked.

From now on the women of Iraq, according to the INC which America put in power, will be subject to the medieval laws of Sharia or fundamentalist Islamic law. Previously, Iraqi women have enjoyed modern rights very similar to American women. If this is what the Shiites are doing now, and they haven't even taken over yet well no wonder why the Kurds are so skittish about being underneath the central government thumb and the Sunni's with their own history of oppressing the Shiites are so terrified of payback for all the generations of downtrodden Shiite marginalization.

And we're supposed to turn power over to these guys in less than six months?!?! Even the Administration sees now that things just aren't going according to plan in Iraq!

Read more about the problems in Iraq in my 'Democratization is more attractive in abstract', 'Mesopotamian blues', Iraqi strategy update, and What if the Middle-east is like South of the border? postings.

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