Gul: A Partitioned Iraq Means “Endless War”
Bombings, Killings in Baghdad Leave 50 Dead
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is warning the US not to just leave Iraq in chaos, allowing a civil war that leads to partitioning the country– a situation that he says will lead to “endless war.” Gul is right about all that. If Iraq breaks up, it will undo the post- WW I Lausanne settlement altogether and open all the cans of worms in the Middle East at once. He says it might draw Turkey into Iraq. But it would also draw Iran and Saudi Arabia in.
Bombing of a Shiite mosque in Mosul during the beginning of the month of Muharram, the most sacred 10 days of the Shiite ritual calendar: Not good.
McClatchy wire service reports that 27 bodies were found in Baghdad on Friday.
In the western Baghdad districts of Shurta, Khamsa, Rai and Muwasalat, Iraqi police and guerrillas fought running street battles.
Guerrillas detonated a bomb at Alawi al-Hilla in downtown Baghdad, killing 2 Iraqi soldiers and injuring 14 other persons.
Clashes in and around Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province east of Baghdad left several people dead and dozens injured. In Barwana and Thiyaba villages outside the city took deadly mortar fire.
Reuters reports on political violence on Friday in Iraq. A bombing of the Ghazil pet market in Baghdad killed 15 and wounded 55.
Another bombing near a Shiite mosque killed 2.
Another US GI was killed at Fallujah.
There were other assassinations and bombings around the country.
Bush says US troops are authorized to “kill or capture” suspected Iranian intelligence agents operating in Iraq. Thousands of Iranians go in and out of Iraq as pilgrims to the Shiite holy sites, so personally I’m skeptical you can know which ones are spies. And, like, it wouldn’t be good to kill the pilgrims. Might cast the US in a bad light with the Shiites and all that. I’d say this man is looking for a pretext for another war.
Plus, when you look at where US troops are being killed, it is in Sunni Arab al-Anbar Province, and Sunni Arab Salahuddin, Diyal, Mosul, and West Baghdad. Those Sunni guerrillas are not being helped by Iran. They are being helped by Sunnis in countries allied to the US.
And then, the US hold over 10,000 prisoners swept up on suspicion of insurgent activity in Iraq. What number of them is Iranians? Slim to none. More Syrians and Jordanians and Saudis by far than Iranians.
So if 99 percent of the problem is with the Sunni Arabs of Iraq, why all this big talk about Shiite Iran?
Because this man is looking for a pretext for another war.
Tom Engelhardt says that the rural areas of the US are paying the price of the Iraq War.
AP is reporting new details on the killing of 5 US troops in an operation that began at Karbala a few days ago. The troops were helping plan security precautions to stop Shiite pilgrims being blown up during the Muharram commemorations of the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, al-Husayn. Guerrillas dressed in US uniforms and speaking English showed up, infiltrated the building, killed a GI, and captured 4 others, taking them to Mahawil in Babil province, and then executing them there.
Mahawil, a mixed Sunni-Shiite city, is a Sunni Arab guerrilla arena of action, and it now seems likely to me that this was a Sunni Arab operation aimed at harming security arrangements. Shiite Mahdi Army ghetto militiamen don’t know English. If I were in charge of Karbala, I’d put extra extra security around the city for Tuesday’s Ashura commemoration of Imam Husayn’s martyrdom. The only thing I can’t figure out is that it clearly was an inside job, and so how would there have been Sunni Arab guerrilla sympathizers at this police and army meeting at Shiite Karbala. Maybe mixed units were involved?
This is a good roundup of the week’s events in Iraq. That only 160 of 275 members of parliament were present for the vote on al-Maliki’s security plan is incredible. That is barely a quorum (a simple majority is 138) for perhaps the most important vote parliament will take this year.