Guerrillas Kill 45 in Hilla Massacre
Security Plan May strengthen Shiites
Guerrillas detonated two bombs in Hillah on Thursday, killing 61 and wounding 150. Hillah is a largely Shiite city, and the guerrillas were likely Sunni Arabs based in Sunni areas to the north. The guerrillas are trying to throw Iraq into civil war by targetting innocent Shiites in such places.
Police found 30 bodies in the street of Baghdad on Wednesday. Guerrillas killed a dozen or so persons with mortar fire.
Tom Lasseter reports that the new US security plan may only strengthen the Shiite Mahdi Army militia. One might add that to any extend that the US cracks down on the Sunni Arabs, they will be perceived as doing the Mahdi Army’s work for it.
Liz Sly of the Chicago Tribune writes of the anxieties being expressed by Iraqi political leaders that the US and Iran will tangle with one another in the Iraqi arena. If the US and Iran are to tangle, these Iraqi politicians want it to be elsewhere.
The new National Security Estimate for Iraq will say that things are bad and getting worse.
These authors point out that the US press is falling for Administration spin again, this time with regard to Iran.
Al-Hayat writing in Arabic surveys some millenarian groups of Shiites in Iraq that expect the last days any moment. It also reports that Muqtada al-Sadr has offered to dissolve the Mahdi Army if he is told to do so by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf or Sayyid Kazim al-Ha’iri, now resident in Qom.