Dulaim Chiefs Murder Splits Iraqis

Dulaim Chief’s Murder Splits Iraqis

Guerrillas detonated another bomb in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 2 and wounding another 2.

The murder of Khadim Sarhid al-Hamaiyim, leader of a branch of the Dulaim tribe, on the outskirts of Baghdad, has been interpreted in different ways by Iraq’s ethnic groups. The hard line Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars pointed out that the attackers had been wearing Iraqi army uniforms, and said that the attack was the work of fanatical Shiites who had infiltrated the Iraqi military. A police major named Falah al-Muhammadawi replied that uniforms are easily bought in today’s Iraq, and even official army vehicles are often stolen. Al-Muhammadawi was trying to convince us that the Iraqi army was not behind the killing, but I fear he has only convinced us that the security situation in Baghdad is truly awful.

You could easily construct a narrative wherein al-Hamaiyim was killed by Sunni Arab guerrillas to punish his brother for being willing to run for parliament. The guerrillas have forbidden Sunni Arabs from participating in politics under the shadow of foreign occupation. But it is also possible that Shiite militiamen who had joined the army were extracting revenge for the alliance with Saddam in which some tribal leaders had acquiesced.

Al-Sharq al-Awasat/ AFP is reporting that young Shiite nationalist Muqtada al-Sadr has given blanket permission to his own followers to participate in the elections. He said he hoped that they would hasten the departure of the “Occupying forces.”

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