16 Killed, 39 Wounded in Guerrilla Violence
Foreign Jihadis Target Shiite Badr Corps
Al-Zaman: A statement attributed to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has announced the formation of a radical Sunni “Umar Brigades” to target the Shiite “Badr Corps”. His group also threatened to execute Egyptian diplomat Ihab Sherif for “apostasy” from Islam. (Radical Salafis accept the doctrine of Sayyid Qutb that secular governments like that of Egypt are “pharaonic” and working for them makes you “not a Muslim.” In some versions of medieval Islamic law, having been Muslim and then deserting the faith incurs the death penalty.)
Reuters rounds up guerrilla attacks on Wednesday:
In Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, guerrillas used a roadside bomb to kill one US soldier and wound two others.
In Jbeila near Hilla, two suicide bombers killed 11 persons and wounded 19.
Guerrillas in Baghdad assassinated Raqim al-Hilfi, a member of the Shiite Badr Corps paramilitary.
Also in Baghdad, this time in the east, guerrillas attacked an Iraqi police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding 11.
In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, guerrillas targeted a US military vehicle with a bomb, but missed, wounding an Iraqi civilian. (This attack may well have been carried out by radical Shiites rather than by the ex-Baath guerrilla movement, since the latter would find it difficult to operate in Karbala).
In the northern oil city of Kirkuk, a suicide bomber drove on Tuesday into a military checkpoint, killing 1 Iraqi soldier and wounding 4 others.
On Wednesday in Kirkuk, a man accidentally blew himself up while constructing a car bomb. He also wounded two relatives. (Hint: Pretty much everyone this man hung out with or even knew well should be put under some scrutiny.)
Iran’s Defense Minister has called for “a stable, secure and united Iraq which maintains good neighborly relations with countries of the region . . .” He also urged the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. He also urged that no permanent military bases be given to the US in Iraq.
More on the suggestion by a European Union parliamentary committee that the United Nations serve as a bridge between the withdrawal of the Americans and ability of Iraq to provide its own security.
USA Today profiles the new chief justice of Iraq’s Supreme Court. His main concern remains security.
Michael Jansen does her usual excellent job in profiling the massive ongoing looting of Iraq’s precious archeological sites.
Forty-nine percent of Americans in a recent poll think the war in Iraq has made the US safer. Only 15 percent think that it has made the US less safe. The American public cannot entirely be blamed for this level of ignorance, since their mass media has not told them the truth about the dangers created for the US by all the mistakes Bush has made in Iraq. The CIA believes that the place is a virtual incubator of anti-American terrorism, as do many other analysts.
On the other hand, Forty-nine percent are skeptical that Iraq will become peaceful and democratic. I suppose that they just have not connected the dots there. Friends, if Iraq remains violent and a failed state, that just cannot be good for US security.
By the way, I remember reading in several trusted sources that the State Department had ceased listing Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism in the late 1990s. I have been challenged on this by an unkind reader, and wonder if someone can explain to me why there should be a controversy on this matter.