As Many as 90 Killed
Badr Demands Khalilzad’s Expulsion
A suicide bomber struck an army recruiting station near Tal Afar in northern Iraq, killing 40 and wounding 20. President Bush recently lauded the situation in Tal Afar and environs as a US success story.
About 29 corpses corpses showed up in the streets of Baghdad, most of them strangled and tortured.
A rocket attack on a building resulted in several casualties. The building housed political offices for the Fadhila (Virtue) and Dawa Parties. Both are Shiite religious parties.
A young physician in Kirkuk confessed on Kurdistan television Monday to having been an serial killer on behalf of the guerrillas, giving lethal injections to more than 40 Iraqi soldiers and police or denying them oxygen. At the same time, he was secretly treating wounded members of the guerrilla movement.
Guerrillas abducted 16 employees of an Iraqi trading company on Monday, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry.
The governor of Baghdad province, Hussein al-Tahan, announced Monday “Today we decided to stop all political and service cooperation with the US forces until a legal committee is formed to investigate this incident.” [i.e. the US/Iraqi attack on the Mustafa Husayniyah in the Ur district on Sunday, which left some 20 persons dead).
Officials of the United Iraqi Alliance of Shiite fundamentalists, the largest single bloc in parliament, demanded Monday that security matters be turned over to Iraqis and taken out of US hands. Reuters says, ‘ “The Alliance calls for a rapid restoration of (control of) security matters to the Iraqi government,” Jawad Al Maliki, a senior Alliance spokesman and ally of Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari, told a news conference. ‘
I have to say that if the US military doesn’t even know, as its spokesmen admitted, to which branch of Islam the persons its joint operation killed on Sunday belonged, it really is acting as a bull in a china shop.
The Intrepid Ann Garrels and Joost Hilterman report that some Shiites are speaking now of a second great betrayal by the Americans of the Shiites, as they fear that the US it tilting now toward the Sunni Arabs. In spring of 1991, the US stood by while Saddam’s forces massacred rebelling Shiites after the Gulf War.
Some Shiites, according to al-Hayat, are saying that the US is deliberately attempting to provoke a civil war in Iraq. Among their concerns was the US military’s announcement that the attack on the Mustafa Husayniyah in Ur was the work of an Iraqi military unit. Which unit? Where? To whom does it report? Is it little more than a death squad? Is it commanded by the Americans? Why didn’t the Prime Minister know about this attack, which spilled over on Dawa Party offices? PM Jaafari is a member of the Dawa Party.
The Badr Organization, a political party that represents the paramilitary Badr Corps, the Shiite militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, demanded Monday that Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to Iraq, be expelled from that country.
This moment is therefore a particularly inauspicious one for Khalilzad to press for the sidelining of Ibrahim Jaafari as candidate for prime minister of the United Iraqi Alliance. Jaafari narrowly won an internal party vote, but was backed by Muqtada al-Sadr and opposes loose federalism and unrestrained capitalism. For all these reasons he is unacceptable to the Kurds and to the US.
Izzat Ibrahim Duri, one of Saddam’s key officials, is said to have issued a tape on Monday. It was played on Aljazeera but has not been authenticated. The tape calls on the Arab League to recognize the Iraqi insurgency as the true government of Iraq, and condemns the blowing up of the Askariyah shrine in Samarra, an anti-Shiite strike. Al-Duri led the charge to repress and massacre the Shiites in sping of 1991 when they rose against Saddam, so he is unlikely to get any points for his defense of the Askariyah.
Iraqi officials are concerned about a big spike in drug smuggling and use in Iraq.