US Warplanes Hit Samarra
Kirkuk Official Assassinated
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that US war planes bombed two civilian vehicles in Samarra on Tuesday, killing two women and a child in the process. The US military in Fallujah fired tanks on guerrillas that attacked them. A high official of Turkmen extraction in the department of education in Kirkuk was assassinated. There have been growing and worrying tensions between Turkmen and Kurds in this major oil city of about 1 million inhabitants. Two Kurdish security men were assassinated outside their party headquarters in Mosul. As Paul Krugman correctly argues, the US is not really in control of Iraq, and may never be. Unfortunately, even if the US did turn over Iraq to Grand Ayatollah Sistani, as he suggests, the situation would not necessarily improve. Sunnis in al-Anbar province would not submit to him, and probably a lot of the angry youth around Muqtada al-Sadr would not, either.
The New York Times says that talks aimed at getting the Mahdi militia to dissolve in East Baghdad have collapsed.
There are major terrorist incidents on Tuesday in Moscow, Beersheba, Jidda and Iraq, and others recently in Spain (the Basques this time). Bush was being honest when he said the war on terror can’t be won. That it because terror is a tactic, and you can’t wage a war on a tactic, much less win one. And hardline policies don’t make terror go away. Hamas took credit for the Beersheba bombing and said it was in retaliation for the assassinations of Sheikh Yasin and Rantisi. As Gandhi said, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.