Omani Embassy Killings
Iraqis Suspected in Jordan Bombings
First, Secretary of State Condi Rice called Friday for more Arab states to open embassies in Iraq. Then, guerrillas staged a drive-by shooting at the Omani embassy in Baghdad, killing 2 and wounding 4 persons. I think we may conclude a) that her visit is being monitored by the guerrillas with frightening closeness and b) her forces are not in control of the capital.
In fact, it would take at least a little time to plan an attack like the one on the Omani embassy. So one plausible scenario is that Rice arrives in Baghdad on Thursday, and mentions to someone in the Iraqi government that she plans to make this appeal, and the Iraqi government is leaky and infiltrated by the guerrillas, who immediately begin planning Friday’s attack. Of course it could also be a coincidence. Me, I don’t believe it was a coincidence.
Claims were made on the internet that the four suicide bombers who attacked tourist hotels in Amman, Jordan on Thursday were Iraqis, including a wife-husband team. Although the four were claimed as members of “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia” by “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” this allegation makes little sense. Zarqawi’s group is alleged to be made up primarily of foreign fighters, including Jordanians, Saudis, Algerians, etc. So where did they get these Iraqi members, and why send them to Jordan, when Jordanians from say Zarqa would have been under less scrutiny than foreigners? Some eyewitnesses heard one of the bombers speaking with an Iraqi accent. This information bolsters the case I made yesterday for the remnants of the Baath Party being behind these bombings. I believe that they blame their worst misdeeds on “al-Qaeda,” so as to divert attention from their own sinister role. The Iraqi nationalists and post-Baathists fighting the guerrilla war routinely punish “collaborators” with the Americans. Since those tourist hotels are typically full of “collaborators,” and since the Jordanian regime cooperated extensively with the US invasion of Iraq, the Baathists intended the bombings to punish King Abdullah II.
The LA Times is certainly correct, in any case, that this ominous piece of information indicates that the turmoil in Iraq is now spreading in the Middle East. The great danger is that the whole region will go up in flames, taking the world’s energy supply with it. Now might be a good time to get that hybrid and put solar panels on the roof.
Some of the terrorist attacks in Iraq have been carried out by Jordanians, so President Jalal Talabani was particularly ungracious in suggesting that the chickens just came home to roost.
Two analysts of US national security have concluded that the present troop levels in Iraq are not sustainable for the US:
‘ “It has become clear that if we still have 140,000 ground troops in Iraq a year from now, we will destroy the all-volunteer army,” said the a report written by the center’s Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis. Korb served as assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. ‘
Hmmm. Bush dissolved the Iraqi military, which paved the way for the present guerrilla war. I guess he wants to deal with the resulting inequality by dissolving the US military, as well. (Black humor alert.)
Al-Zaman reports that Shiite nationalist Muqtada al-Sadr has decided to launch a petition and fundraising in several Shiite regions, including Pakistan and Lebanon, in a drive to build a Shiite shrine at the Jannat al-Baqi` Cemetery in Saudi Arabia. The statement said that surely the Saudis did not have an objection to do so.
The Jannat al-Baqi` cemetry in Medina contains the graves of Shiite holy figures.
As Muqtada knows, the Saudi Wahhabi branch of Islam abhors shrines and has often attacked and defiled them.
Will be traveling Saturday, and may not get to posting comments until the evening.