Iraq: July 24, 2005


For thousands of Sunni Arabs who worked for Saddams security apparatus, the day of judgment is getting closer, and that is a major cause of the increase in the violence. Saddams enforcers rarely hid their identities, and many Kurds and Shia Arabs know the names, and faces, of the Sunni Arab thugs that tormented, and tortured them, and murdered their friends and family. These thugs have supported al Qaedas terror campaign in Iraq, and participated in some of the non-suicide attacks on Iraqis and foreigners. For the last two years, the enforcers were able to hide out in Sunni Arab towns and neighborhoods that were free of government control. But this provided only  temporary refuge, and created other problems. The lack of police meant that criminal gangs, terrorist groups and warlord militias were in charge. These three groups didnt always get along with each other. But they all left the old Saddam thugs alone. Now, with the government taking control of Sunni Arab areas, the Saddam thugs are in trouble, and getting desperate. These guys have several options. They can leave the country. Many have already done this. But there are no real sanctuaries for former Saddam killers. Syria is safe for the moment, but that is expected to change soon. Eventually, however, these guys can expect the war crimes indictments to catch up with them. If they stay in Iraq, they can either hope for an amnesty deal, or getting themselves back into power. Both of these options are being pursued, which means that violence and peace negotiations are both getting more intense. The problem here is that the Kurds and Shia Arabs are not willing to give a lot of Saddams killers a free pass. In response to that, the killers are getting more involved in the violence. Now Arab diplomats are being attacked. The message is clear; make a deal with the Sunni Arabs, or get more reminders of how Saddam stayed in power for so long. Playing it this way only makes more Iraqis determined to join the police and army, and go after the killers where they live, and bring them to justice (often on the spot.) The bullets are going both ways.


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