Iraq: June 22, 2005

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In the six weeks since the new Iraqi government was formed, nearly a thousand Iraqis have been killed by terrorist attacks. Interestingly, some of these deaths have been the result of  Sunni Arab terrorists fighting foreign Arab (al Qaeda) terrorists. American Marines have actually witnessed some of these battles in western Iraq. Since late last year, Sunni Arab and al Qaeda terror groups have been feuding over the al Qaeda policy of indiscriminate attacks on Iraqi civilians. The Sunni Arab groups (mainly Baath party and pro-Saddam factions) want to use terrorism on an individual basis, going after Iraqis, or their families, who work  for the new government, or foreigners. It's these Sunni Arab thugs who are behind most of the assassinations and other small scale, and specific, attacks on Iraqis (like going after police stations, prisons and government buildings in general). Al Qaeda prefers high profile (attractive to the international media) attacks that kill a lot of people in a spectacular way. This means large car bombs, directed against high profile targets (like American bases). But these bases are very well protected, so  the al Qaeda attacks fail to reach their targets, and end up killing lots of Iraqi civilians. These make the news, but also incurs the wrath of the Iraqi people. While many Iraqis still rail against American troops for "not protecting them" from these terrorist attacks, they also realize that it's Arabs carrying out these attacks. Many Iraqis also realize that the Americans are not magicians, and cannot protect Iraqis from their own unwillingness to cooperate in the fight against terrorists. While there are more tips coming in from Iraqis, too many are still willing to look the other way. This is a major difference between Iraq and, say, the United States, Israel and Egypt. These nations have populations that turned against the Islamic terrorists, and largely eliminated terrorism within their borders. The Iraqis are slowly becoming aware that this is how it works.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda and Sunni Arab terrorists are seen battling each other in towns and villages along the Syrian border. Closer to Baghdad, the terrorists are knocking each other off on a more personal level. Some tips, about where terrorists are hiding, are believed to have come from rival terrorist groups. The Sunni Arabs are under pressure from other Sunni Arab groups because of these continued al Qaeda attacks. The Sunni Arab terrorists are being told, by other Sunni Arab groups, that if al Qaeda is not stopped, the majority of the Sunni Arab community, in addition to the the 80 percent of the population representing the Kurds and Shia Arabs, will come after the Sunni Arab terrorist groups. That would be very bad for the Sunni Arab terrorists. But they are finding that al Qaeda does not care. The al Qaeda guys are on a mission from God, and are basically unreachable when it comes to discussing compromise. It's this characteristic of al Qaeda that has caused it's defeat in so many other countries. It's deja vu all over again.  

 

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