Guerrilla War Leaves 24 Dead in Iraq
The Financial Times reports that guerrilla actions, including bombings and ambushes, left at least 24 persons dead on Thursday in Iraq. There were bombs in Baghdad, as well as shootings and assassinations elsewhere. Police were killed near Kirkuk and a bomb exploded in Basra, hurting two civilian passersby (the target was a police vehicle)
One official took comfort from the evidence that the suicide bombings in Baghdad mainly killed motorists and street sweepers, rather than more strategic personnel, leading to the conclusion that today’s suicide bombers are not as well-trained.
The aim of the bombers is to destabilize society by making everyone feel insecure. My Iraqi contacts say you still hear bombings and machine gun fire all night in Baghdad. Those bombs on Thursday added to the atmosphere of insecurity, making it less likely that the new Iraq can pull itself together. You don’t need a lot of training for that.
Patrick Cockburn reveals the insecurity that still plagues the northern city of Mosul. He says the current deputy governor can’t trust the police of Ninevah province, many of whom are actually working for the guerrillas. The police may have helped in the assassination of the previous governor! The Kurdish deputy governor says, “I tell my bodyguards not to trust the police and don’t tell them our movements.”
The next time you hear Bush or Rumsfeld say that 140,000 Iraqi police and troops have been trained, remember what Khasro Goran said about the 14,000 in Ninevah province.
Al-Hayat reports today vice-president Ghazi al-Yawir’s complaints that Sunni Arabs are being discriminated against. He said that mere Baath party members not guilty of crimes should not be denied positions. He also blamed the Shiite leadership for not doing more to draw in the Sunni Arabs, and rejected the idea of reducing the number of the 31 cabinet posts set aside for the Sunni Arabs from 6 to 4.
Two Fallujah updates: