11 Killed, 40 Wounded in Saturday Bomb Marathon
Guerrillas detonated at least 5 bombs in Baghdad on Saturday, killing 11 and wounding 40 persons. It was the second day of mayhem in the capital.
The Guardian writes,
Minutes later, another suicide bomber ploughed into a civilian convoy outside the offices of the National Dialogue Council, a coalition of 10 Sunni Arab factions that had been negotiating for a stake in Iraq’s new Shia-dominated government. The blast killed one person and injured 18.
This particular bomb was clearly targeting Sunni Arab political groupings that are willing to join the new government.
The new Shiite-dominated government in Iraq, is planning to purge many Sunni Arab (“ex-baathists”) from the security forces.
A group of Sunni Arab organizations pulled out of negotiations over joining the government on Saturday.
Al-Hayat: In his Friday prayers sermon at the Umm al-Qura Mosque in West Baghdad, Shaikh Hareth al-Ubaidi criticized the new government of Ibrahim Jaafari as having “marginalized the Sunnis.” He also ridiculed the appointment of a Sunni Arab as “minister of tourism.” (He has a point.)
In contrast, the Friday prayers leader of Najaf, Sadruddin al-Qubanji (Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq) called on the new government to “confront terorism and to enable a committee for purging Baathists, since they are behind all terrorist acts in Iraq.” He said the best gift the government could give the Iraqi people would be Saddam’s execution.
Apparently if the US were not in Iraq, Americans would be facing almost no threat of terrorism at the moment. Since Iraq was not even listed by the US government as a sponsor of terrorism in the late 1990s, the argument some make that Americans are better off fighting terror “over there” than “over here” does not hold water. No significant al-Qaeda sleeper cells have been discovered in the US, and all the logistics and planning for 9/11 came from outside the country, mainly Europe and Afghanistan. This outcome reflects the success countries like Egypt had had in fighting terrorism in the 1990s, since Cairo was inhospitable to al-Qaida.