5 GIs Dead, US Kills 36 in Qaim District;
Guerrillas Kill 16
Guerrillas at a checkpoint south of Baghdad detonated a car bomb that killed 4 US GIs.
In addition, AFP writes:
‘ A suicide car bomber killed nine people, including six Iraqi policemen, in the southern Dora district of Baghdad on Monday. Ten people were wounded in the attack which targeted a police patrol in an area known as a turbulent district of the city. ‘
In the fighting in al-Qaim district, US forces said that they killed 36 guerrillas. One Marine was killed on Sunday.
In response to Defense Minister Saadoun Dulaimi’s threat that the houses of guerrillas would be destroyed, the guerrilla movement on Monday threatened to destroy the houses of Iraq defense officials.
In east Baghdad, mortar fire killed 4 persons and wounded 6.
At Thibban north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber attacked soldiers guarding oil pipelines, killing 2 and wounding 13.
In the large city of Mosul in the north, a suicide car bomber attacked a US patrol. No word on any casualties.
Also in Mosul, guerrillas assassinated an editor of Tal Afar Today newspaper at an internet cafe.
On Sunday, at Dawr near Tikrit, a roadside bomb killed one US soldier and wounded 2 others and an Iraqi translator.
On the issue of whose fault the Iraq quagmire is, Stephen Walt refuses to let Bush and Neocon cheerleaders like Bill Kristol off the hook.
Maryam Fam has done an important follow-up investigation of the violence on October 27 between Mahdi militiamen and Sunni Arabs northeast of Baghdad. Unlike reports of the time, she is able to situate the violence in Diyala province. She says that locals allege that a Sunni Arab town was harboring guerrillas who had taken Shiites hostage, and that the police asked Mahdi Army militiamen to conduct a raid and free them. The operation turned into a sectarian bloodbath when the Shiite fighters were ambushed. The Sunni Arabs deny having held hostages and see the raid as a manifestation of blind sectarian hatred (not a very convincing explanation).
Reuters reports that Muqtada al-Sadr, the young Shiite nationalist, has not yet publicly endorsed the United Iraqi Alliance, in which his followers have a high profile. A meeting between al-Sadr and UIA leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim Sunday night did not produce a joint press conference. [I’m not sure the lack of a joint statement is actually an indication of anything. The Najaf clergy don’t behave like ordinary politicians.]
Robert Parry points to the way in which Wilkerson’s recent revelations about the marginalization of the State Department by Cheney and Rumsfeld also give evidence for the importance of petroleum in underpinning Iraq policy. The US government keeps entertaining a recurring fantasy of occupying Middle Eastern oil fields. But for what would likely happen if they tried it, see the entry under “Thibban” above.
The US military in Iraq is so strapped for personnel that it is using mechanics for security purposes. Some officers are angry about it.
Reader Roman Kropp points out that Reuters reports that Fakhr al-Qaisi survived the assassination attempt against him.
KarbalaNews.net is excited about the first Iraqi airliner flight to Iran in decades. The passengers, who landed on Monday, were mostly Shiite pilgrims on pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Reza, the 8th Imam, in Mashhad near the AFghan border. The same source alleged that US troops refused an Iranian helicopter permission to land at Baghdad International Airport. I could not find corroboration and am suspicious of this allegation, but report it to show what sorts of things are in the pro-Iranian Iraqi press.