Monday, March 24, 2003

One partial possible (not very brilliant) explanation why they are putting up such a fight if they hate Saddam (although we shouldn't have been surprised because Salam warned us this would be the case).
Israeli orientalist Dr. Guy Bechor spoke on Israeli radio station Reshet Bet yesterday morning. As usual he mentioned his pessimism with regard to the possibility of Iraqi democracy. Sunni Muslims are a minority in Iraq, he reminded us, while Shiites are the majority. However, Sunnis are the ruling elite while Shiites are an undereducated lower class. Democracy poses a real threat to Sunnis, because as far as it means rule of the majority, that could mean Shiite rule over the Sunnis.

Dr. Bechor was talking about democracy, but in the context of the last few days, this could explain the fight the Iraqi army is putting up. They may hate Saddam Hussein, but they may be more afraid of the idea of Shiite rule, which could turn out even worse for them. That is, if the Sunnis are more dominant in the army, of course. But maybe I should stop babbling on about things I don't really understand.

Ofra Banjo, an Israeli expert on Iraq, told channel 1 viewers that it's because Iraqis are fighting for their home and Ehud Yaari pointed out on channel 2 that people are still mainly afraid of Saddam and that's why we're not seeing people happy to be "liberated".

And then of course there is their honor. Dr. Bechor reminded us that Iraq is seen in the Arab world, and sees itself, as the most civilized of people. Can you imagine how very degrading it must be for them to be perceived as having been liberated by despised uncivilized Americans?

Honor is another reason I think that a chemical missile attack on Israel is still very possible.

I wonder how the coming sand storm will affect the coalition forces ability to see what’s happening on the ground in Western Iraq. At least we’ve got rain.

I suppose you’ve noticed Salam put up a new post.