Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunnis Step Off Political Sidelines

This is the final nail in the coffin for Iraqs murdering terrorist'. Any shred of legitimacy they might have enjoyed from within Iraq is gone. The only support left in country is from the die hard Baathist's desperately trying to regain power and their numbers are miniscule.

BAGHDAD, May 21 -- More than 1,000 Sunni Arab clerics, political leaders and tribal heads ended their two-year boycott of politics in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq on Saturday, uniting in a Sunni bloc that they said would help draft the country's new constitution and compete in elections.

Formation of the group comes during escalating violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that has raised the threat of sectarian war. The bloc represents moderate and hard-line members of the Association of Muslim Scholars, the Iraqi Islamic Party and other main groups of the disgruntled Sunni minority toppled from dominance when U.S.-led troops routed Hussein in April 2003.

Sunnis have remained on the sidelines of the Iraqi government since then. Most Sunnis boycotted national elections in January that put the long-suppressed Shiite majority in charge. Meanwhile, a Sunni-led insurgency appears to have become increasingly unpopular among ordinary Iraqis as the death toll from bombings and other attacks climbs.

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. The move effectively diminishes the chance for a civil war breaking out between Sunnis and Shiites to practically nil. All major parties are now participants in the process leaving the radical elements essentially isolated and powerless.

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