I was having trouble looking for an article to write today. I was looking through newswires to see if anything would get me ticked off. I've found Monday thru Friday that this is no problem, but when it comes to Saturday news, you can compare it to the Bush Iraq-exit policy...non-existent. So I was reading through the transcript of Bush's weekly radio address, nothing really shocking in it, just the basic "As Iraqis stand up, Americans will stand down" blah blah blah. (The White House speech writing staff really do need to come up with fresh catch lines.) Anyways, I kept on looking through headlines and came across a buried article by Michael Georgy for Reuters.
It seems that the U.S. military have freed 1,000 detainees from Abu Ghraib prison...all at once. This was the largest single release of prisoners since the invasion. Had the military had a moment of clarity? Had they realized that they were detaining exactly 1,000 innocent civilians and released them? Well...no.
I told you all that to tell you this, sometimes the truth just doesn't come up and slap you in the face. You need to do a little research every once awhile. Bush went out of his way in his weekly radio address Saturday to talk about Sunnis. In fact, he didn't mention any other ethnic group in Iraq besides the Sunnis. As you probably already know, one of the major hold-ups in getting an Iraq constitution finished, are the Arab Sunnis. And the Sunnis have good reason to argue for better language in the constitution. They are strongly opposed to federalism in Iraq, which would give Shi'ite and Kurdish leaders a dominating control over Iraq's oil reserves.
What you may not know is, Arab Sunni leaders demanded that Sunni prisoners be released so they can participate in a referendum on the text of the constitution and elections planned for later this year. (Oh by the way, the 1,000 prisoners released... all Sunnis.) The press asked the military if the release of the prisoners and the constitution fight were linked. Said U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan, "I know this is a big one, but I can't say if it is related to anything that is going on."