Guerrilla Violence Leaves 9 Iraqis, 4 GIs Dead
Shiites Targeted during Festival
CBS says that Sunni-Shiite violence in Iraq is increasing, as is Sunni frustration with Shiite death squads.
Bombings and other violence in Iraq killed 9 Iraqis on Tuesday. The head of the Fallujah city council was shot dead, as was a clerical follower of Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad.
On Monday, guerrillas had attacked Shiites in Baqubah and then in the shrine center of Kahdimiyah in northeast Baghdad. The country is tense because Thursday is Ashura, a big day of processions and mourning sessions commemorated the martyred grandson of the Prophet, Husayn. Since the American invasion, Ashura has often seen bloody violence from Sunni guerrillas targeting Shiites in hopes of provoking a civil war.
Guerrillas targeted the Iraqi minister of education with a roadside bomb, but the assassination attempt failed.
Senator John Warner upbraided Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over the mistakes made in Iraqi reconstruction. Rumsfeld now says that rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructue could take decades and that the US should not make Iraqis “dependent” (apparently by helping them out of the mess Bush and Rumsfeld have made of the country).
Rumsfeld, whose administration of Iraq has been the most corrupt Western government of a colony since King Leopold of Belgium looted the Congo, had the gall to blame Iraqi problems on Iraqi corruption.
Al-Zaman alleges that a secret agreement between the Iraqi government and the International Monetary fund provides for at least some private sector involvement in the Iraqi petroleum industry (state-owned since 1971), as well as the end of the UN oil for food deliveries to families. The latter have kept many Iraqis from feeling the worst effects of the horrible economy.
The US invasion and the subsequent guerrilla war has been damaging to the mental health of Iraq’s children.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat says that the United Iraqi Alliance now won’t try to choose a prime minister until Saturday. The Virtue Party (Fadhila) says that it was offered a powerful cabinet post if its candidate for prime minister would withdraw.
Kurdish independent politician Mahmoud Othman is alleging that the US encouraged the foreign jihadis to come to Iraq, so that it could fight them there. He blamed the US and the Iraqi governments for the deteriorating security situation in the country. Othman, a member of parliament, once served on the Interim Governing Council, but seems to be becoming more and more anti-American. You wonder if it is a larger trend. (-Al-Sharq al-Awsat)