A needed step

Monday, February 11, 2008

Many Shiite Muslims feel it is their turn to rule Iraq after many years of oppression by Sunni Muslims. Sunnis dominated the Baath party through which Saddam Hussein, himself a Sunni, controlled the country.

This feeling by Shiites is understandable but would ensure continued strife. The only hope in the uphill struggle toward peace is to create a genuine partnership of power between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Recently, Iraq's presidency council issued a law that will allow thousands of Saddam Hussein-era officials to return to government jobs, enacting a measure passed by parliament on Jan. 12. The presidency council cited reservations in approving the measure and may attempt to dilute its effects.

So far, any steps toward reconciliation result from U.S. pressure on the Iraqi government. Genuine progress awaits conciliatory words and actions by Iraqis themselves.