3 Killed or Injured in Hotel Attacks
Reuters reports that guerrillas launched a sophisticated strike Wednesday against the Baghdad Hotel and the Ishtar Sheraton in downtown Baghdad. The hotels were hit with rocket fire, causing three civilian casualties. A bus also exploded outside a mosque across from the Sheraton.
Guerrillas intended to make the point that they are still able to attack with impunity at the heart of the capital. They are also obviously trying to scare away foreign investment and Western businessmen, since the hotels attacked cater to the latter.
Meanwhile, Michael Ware argues that the Sunni Arab nationalists and ex-Baathists leading the resistance to the US and its Iraqi political allies are increasingly committed to seeing an Islamic state in Iraq. This development was predictable. If an imperial Power creates disillusionment with secular Arab nationalism of the Baath variety by handily defeating it, then it is natural for nationalists to seek some other, possibly more effective vehicle of dissent, and Islamism comes readily to hand. Insofar as it allows an appeal for help to the poor and the common people, who also value Islam, it may be more effective as an anti-imperialist tool than simple Arab nationalism.