31 Killed in Guerrilla Violence
Kurdish Situation Angers Turkey
AP reports Iraq violence Tues-Weds. There were major car bombings in Baghdad, and some 15 bodies showed up dead there and in Karbala. There were also deaths near Baqubah and in Kirkuk. AP counted 31 dead altogether.
Al-Zaman also reports a bombing in Fallujah.
The sister of new Iraqi vice president Tariq al-Hashimi, Maysoon, has been killed in a drive-by shooting. His brother, Mahmoud, was killed two seeks ago. Al-Hashimi is a Sunni Arab from the fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front, and one of two vice-presidents. The Sunni Arab guerrilla movement is notorious for viciously punishing what it sees as “collaborators” with the new regime. Since al-Hashimi is in the protected “Green Zone,” they had to try to get at him through his familiy.
The guerrillas also killed 3 other “collaborators.”
I have been complaining for years now about this allegation that US and Iraqi officials make that the problems are “only in 4 provinces.” I say they are in 7 or 8, and they are among the more populous provinces in Iraq. Now the GAO agrees with me.
Turkey denied charges that its troops had made an incursion into Iraq. Turkey charges taht 5,000 Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) activists and guerrillas have taken refuge on the Iraqi side of the border, and they want them turned over.
The US has pledged to be more helpful to the Turks in stopping infiltration. But since the US has hardly any troops up in the northeast, and since Iraqi Kurds are sympathetic to the plight of their Turkish cousins, I’m not sure exactly what the US can do, if it if really wanted to do something.
Der Spiegel warns of a building “intifadah” or uprising among Turkish Kurds in eastern Anatolia.
The continued publicity stunt visits of Rice and Rumsfeld to Iraq (where they have to sneak in and out unanounced because otherwise they would be in severe danger) are not going over very well with Iraqis. LA Times money quotes:
‘ “It would be more appropriate if they would leave us alone,” said Mahmoud Othman, a senior Kurdish legislator. “Let us solve our problems by ourselves.”
“Enough is enough,” said Sheik Mahmoud Sudani, a politician affiliated with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. “Rice’s trip to Iraq at this critical time is just another desperate move by the Americans to try to impose themselves on our new government. But they have lost their influence.” ‘
Iraqi officials charge that 90 women become widows every day. 15 policemen alone die each day, according to this report. There are some 300,000 widoes in Iraq, and their situation is deteriorating because of the poor economy.
The 90 husbands dying per day presumably includes deaths from natural causes. But the police are mentioned as dying specifically from guerrilla violence. If 15 policemen a day really are being killed, a) we’re not hearing about it in the press and b) that is 5400 a year! By David Singer’s definition, you only need 1000 deaths a year among government forces to qualify for having a civil war.
Brain injuries among Iraq vets are sometimes hard to diagose, Robert Bazell argues. As I mentioned before, such injuries sometimes get the person discharged from the military on terms that preclude access to veteran medical care!