Sunday, March 04, 2007

Good news or bad?

There have been increasing reports of violence within Iraqi sectarian blocs--Sunni against Sunni, Shi'a on Shi'a. Is this a signal of even further disintegration in Iraqi society, or might it show the first stirrings of a reversal of the sectarianism that has thrown the nation into chaos? Certainly some reports speak of attacks, particularly on Sunnis who are accused of seeking reconciliation with Shi'a, opposing al Qaeda and/or cooperating with the Americans. Might that be a sign that there is an increasing number of people--sufficient to worry those whom we lump together as insurgents--who are thinking of themselves as Iraqis again?

Even if there is such a shift in sentiment, it is a long, long way from being the kind of social movement that could damp down and ultimately end the violence. Such a movement is, however, just about the only way to avoid ultimate disaster.

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