Leftism and Islamism Part Ways in Iraq?

The Financial Times reports that truly Iraqi insurgents may be looking for an exit strategy:
Many of Iraq's predominantly Sunni Arab insurgents would lay down their arms and join the political process in exchange for guarantees of their safety and that of their co-religionists, according to a prominent Sunni politician.

Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, who heads Iraq's main monarchist movement and is in contact with guerrilla leaders, said many insurgents including former officials of the ruling Ba'ath party, army officers, and Islamists have been searching for a way to end their campaign against US troops and Iraqi government forces since the January 30 election.

Rumors of this sort have been floating about for a couple of months now, and one can only hope that negotiations are working out. As Ba'athists are National Socialists, they can be correctly categorized as "Leftist". But it seems that the Iraqi Left is beginning to learn to cope with change by trying to become part of the process instead of obstructing. And the process is important. As Glenn Reynolds and others consistently remind us all, democracy is a process. It's an accident of history that the Iraqi Communist Party was on board sooner with the new political process than the Ba'athists. (Then again, the last major contest between National Socialism and Communism also saw Communist victory. With American assistance, as this time around.)

As I've argued in " Coping with Modernity - Leftism and Islamism", while both Leftists and Islamists are looking for control, the Left is generally forward-looking and positive-thinking, and radical Islamism (and not the soft Islamism that can be comparable to American televangelism or even the Million Man March, wherein the call is for individual accountability to God) is backward-looking and negative. People respond better to hope than to despair (although, as mentioned in "State of Fear", fear-mongering may nonetheless be used, and is a political tool rather than an overall message), and with Iraqi citizens getting a taste of finally being able to punish the perpetrators and defend their own bright hopes for Iraq's future and the future of their families and neighborhoods, the trend is clear.

This means that the Zarqawistas' days are numbered. Already, as Arthur Chrenkoff reports, some of the captured insurgents and foreign terrorists are the laughing stock of Iraq:

"Television program has discredited the mujaheddin and their professions of religious fervor by showing captured insurgents who said they were homosexuals -- still not a socially acceptable group in much of the Middle East. As a result, the word mujahid 'once worn as a badge of pride by anti-American insurgents has become street slang for homosexuals'."

If that's not justice, if that's not victory, then little else can be.

[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]

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