Humans have a propensity to kill those who are known even more than those who are strangers. The history of religious strife in Europe or Asia is replete with tales of people who lived with one another for years only to awaken one day with a desire to kill neighbors. The Sunni-Shiite divide in Iraq has plagued the nation for hundreds of years and during the past seven it has never disappeared in the struggle to wipe out al-Qaeda. A few days ago, some Shiite gunmen worked their way systematically through the homes of Sunni members of the Awakening Council movement which supported the American armed forces. The attack on Hawr Rajab was a message from Shiites and Al-Qaeda that any attempt by Sunnis to seek power in the new Iraq might result in death.
The Iraq government has failed to reach out to Sunni leaders, other than arresting many, and the result is fear among the Sunni population as to what awaits them when American forces depart and they are at the mercy of Shiite leaders. Will the world witness a new Iraq war in which al-Qaeda and Shiites focus on killing Sunnis?