It is a well known fact that neither George Bush, Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld had a clue as to the difference between a Sunni or a Shiite Muslim prior to ordering an invasion of Iraq. As late as 2008, John McCain, the Republican candidate, fouled up on the question of which was which when asked about Sunni or Shiite. Leading Sunni politicians in Iraq are furious that over 400 Sunni candidates have been banned from running in the upcoming general election on grounds they belonged to the Ba’ath party. Supposedly the United States urged reconciliation between the two groups and US military forces worked closely with Sunni Awakening Councils in order to defeat al-Qaeda. Saleh al-Mutlak, who heads the National Dialogue Front notes sardonically, “reconciliation has always been a farce.’
So, what is in store for Iraq. Preventing Sunnis from being part of the Iraq government ensures anger and hostility. It is an open invitation to force Sunnis into the arms of al-Qaeda. According to Sunni politician, Asama al-Najafi, “there will be a severe public backlash to this, reconciliation will end, and the election will fail. Any results will clearly be seen as illegitimate.”
So, what is the next step for America?