In March 2003, the United States bombed and invaded Iraq, overthrew the Sunni-controlled government of Saddam Hussein, and established an interim government of military occupation. This interim government of occupation led eventually to a U.S. - inspired Constitution and an elected government dominated by the Shiite majority, which had been largely disempowered by Saddam and the minority Sunnis.
From the beginning, the majority Shiites were more receptive to the U.S. occupation than were the Sunnis, because the Sunnis had lost the political power they had enjoyed under Saddam, and the majority Shiites were surely going to gain it.
But both groups disliked the idea of a non-Muslim country -- particularly the only country which provides unquestioned military and diplomatic support to the hated state of Israel -- coming in and giving all the orders.
The hard-core Sunnis, with support from Al-Qaeda, began to form a violent resistance movement to oppose the U.S. occupation, just as the French Resistance had opposed the German occupation of France during World War II; and the occupying American troops began to come under attack from the resistance "insurgency."
Soon after that, the resistance "insurgency" began to consider anyone who actively helped the occupation government to be a collaborator with the USA, and both the supposed "collaborators" and the U.S. forces came under attack. Because the Iraqi police were clearly viewed as collaborators, they were among the first Iraqis to be attacked by the insurgent resistance.
But after this, the situation started to fall apart, because the vast majority of "collaborators" were Shiites, and the strongest opponents of the U.S. efforts in Iraq were Sunnis. So the Sunni-led resistance began to attack predominantly-Shiite targets, killing many innocent civilians who were not really collaborators, but just innocent people trying to worship or find a job.
By early 2006, after the Parliamentary elections, attitudes had hardened on both sides, with the Shiites mostly accepting the new government, and the Sunnis mostly rejecting its legitimacy, as shown by the opinion research data below:
Q2b. Do you think that the government to be established by the
newly-elected parliament will or will not be the legitimate
representative of the Iraqi people?
Shia Arab ..............90
Sunni Arab .............06
Will not be...
Source: "What the Iraqi Public Wants" -- a WorldPublicOpinion.org, poll conducted in January, 2006 by the Program on International Policy Attitudes
Read the questions asked and their answers here => http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/jan06/Iraq_Jan06_quaire.pdf
Under Islamic law, people who are attacked are allowed to retaliate. (If you don't believe this, search the Qur'an for "retaliation," and see what you find. You can use this link - http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/ ) And so the majority Shiites -- perhaps with silent approval from their new Government -- began to retaliate, using their militias and death squads. And the Sunnis fought back even more murderously than before.
None of this would have ever started if the United States had not destabilized Iraq by overthrowing Saddam and putting the Shiites in control of the government. Therefore it is accurate to say that the present "sectarian violence" in Iraq was mainly caused by our invasion and occupation.
Now, the situation has deteriorated to the point where all-out civil war seems to be about to erupt between the Shiites and the Sunnis. The vengeful executions of Saddam and his top officials have added support to the Sunni belief that the government is stacked against them.
And amazingly, our President now believes that more U.S. troops will help the situation, when it was really the presence of U.S. troops in the first place which ignited the whole problem.
Blessings to you. And may God help us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis is an Internet Christian minister, writer and publisher. He is Director of LoveAllPeople.org, a small private think tank in Alexandria, Virginia, and all of its related websites, including (more...)