11 Killed, 26 Wounded in Bombing of Shiite Mosque
AFP reports that a bomb killed 9 and wounded 26 at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on Friday. Other sources put the death toll at 11. Shaikh Sadruddin al-Qubanji, the clerical representative of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq in Najaf, said in his own Friday sermon, ‘ warned the faithful at prayers in the Shiite holy city of Najaf that they faced “calculated terrorist acts aimed at dividing Shiites and Sunnis.” ‘
You have to wonder how long the Shiite leadership can restrain the faithful in the face of these repeated, monstrous provocations.
A roadside bomb in Yusufiya left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead and four wounded.
With regard to US casualties, AFP writes, “A US soldier was killed and another wounded when a bomb exploded close to their patrol vehicle near the northwestern town of Tall Afar, the military said. The death followed the loss of two marines in a bomb blast west of Baghdad Wednesday and brought the overall toll since the 2003 invasion to 1,556, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures.”
Shaikh Abdul Mu’min Abdul Jabbar, brother of a prominent leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, was assassinated on Thursday. His brother, Abdul Sattar Abdul Jabbar, has been in US custody for 6 months.
The story put out by many in the Western press, that the guerrilla war was winding down after the successful elections, was never true. The guerrillas are unaffected by the elections, and work on their own timetable, in hopes of destabilizing Iraq and ultimately taking it over. Judging the intensity of the war by a week or a month’s worth of statistics is poor methodology. The guerrilla war will go on for several years at least, and the political process has nothing to do with it.
Still no sign of a government in Baghdad. The Allawi faction is demanding 5 cabinet posts and a deputy premiership. I personally cannot understand why Ibrahim Jaafari is bothering with the Iraqiya list. It only got 14 percent of the vote, and it is not needed for the United Iraqi Alliance to pass rules and laws in parliament, where it has 53% of the vote or so. Some observers have suggested that the Kurds are insisting on bringing Allawi in.
The New York Times even speculates that the Kurds are deliberately obstructing the formation of a government in hopes of running out the clock on Ibrahim Jaafari (a leader of the religious Shiite Dawa Party) and bringing Iyad Allawi back in as prime minister. I suppose there may be Kurdish politicians stupid enough or perverse enough to try this trick (though I doubt President Jalal Talabani is among them). Talabani expressed his concern about the failure to appoint a cabinet on Friday. If the Shiite religious majority in parliament is thwarted in this way, I am sure that Shiite leaders will bring tens of thousands of protesters into the streets, and the country will end up even more destabilized than it is.
The press keeps saying that the failure to finalize the government may be giving momentum to the guerrillas. Again, there is no particular connection between the guerrilla war and the political process. No one is blowing up a Shiite mosque because Ibrahim Jaafari hasn’t appointed a minister of public works yet. They are blowing up the mosques in hopes of making Iraq ungovernable, chasing the Americans out, killing Jaafari et al., and then making a putsch.