Sunni Side Down


USA Today reports on the difficulty of getting Iraq's Sunni Muslims to buy into the post-Saddam era:

President Bush acknowledged as much on Monday at a news conference. "It's going to be very important for Iraqi authorities to reach out . . . and talk about a system that guarantees minority rights."

Shiite Muslims make up 60% of Iraq's population and are poised to assume more power than they have ever had in Iraqi history. U.S. authorities fear that unless Sunnis gain legal and political protections, the Shiites could strip them of any power in post-Saddam Iraq.

A Sunni from central Iraq, Saddam lavished resources on fellow Arab Sunnis, who make up about 15%-20% of Iraq's 25 million people. They are a crucial component of a small, secular, educated Iraqi middle class whose support is essential to creating a successful, modern administration, experts say.

Potentially an important part of the solution, the Sunnis are also a problem. They are the source of most of the violent resistance to the U.S. occupation, but they include experienced former bureaucrats.

Whole thing here.