Iraq: Terrorists Now the Chief Targets of Terrorism

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September 18, 2006: The worst trends of the week include; Sunni Arabs fleeing the country, corruption in the police, Shia and Kurd death squads, government corruption and Sunni Arab terrorism. The Sunni Arabs are getting out of Iraq because the Kurd and Shia, especially the Shia, death squads are operating more frequently in formerly "safe" Sunni Arab areas. Anbar province (western Iraq) is becoming particularly active, and the government has told tribal leaders out there to either do something to reduce the terrorist attacks launched from bases in Anbar, or face escalating attention from death squads and army (American and Iraqi) raids. A coalition of Sunni Arab tribes has agreed to do something about the terrorism. But it will take a few weeks to see if this latest pledge is worth any more than the last few. The Sunni Arabs show more enthusiasm for anonymous terrorism, than tribal warfare. However, over the last two years, several tribes have expelled all al Qaeda members from their territory. However, there are plenty of Sunni Arab nationalist ("we should run the country") terror groups to fill in. While the Sunni Arab terrorists have not brought down the Shia dominated government, they have kept the Sunni Arab tribal and religious leaders terrified. That may be changing, as more tribal leaders improve their own militias, and learn from the tribes that have chased out the terrorists and assassins. The government has made it clear that, until the terrorist violence stops, the entire Sunni Arab community will be held responsible. The government is saying, in effect, that they will not try too hard to halt the anti-Sunni death squads until the Sunni Arab leadership makes an effort, a real effort, against the terrorists.
September 17, 2006: Three car bombs went off in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least 25. Sunni Arab terrorists have apparently turned their attention to Kirkuk, a Kurdish city Saddam tried to convert to a Sunni Arab one by chasing out many of the Kurds, and replacing them with Arabs from the south. Now the Kurds are reversing the process, and the Sunni Arabs don't like it, mainly because Kirkuk sits in the midst of the northern oil fields. The three bombs were set off near police targets. The Kurds control most of the police in Kirkuk.
September 15, 2006: While most of the terrorist cells in Baghdad have been put out of business, the Sunni Arab and al Qaeda terrorists are simply driving in their car bombs and gunmen from Sunni Arab controlled towns west of the city. So the police propose to increase the number of checkpoints (where cars are inspected to explosives), and dig trenches in areas known to be used by cars and trucks trying to avoid the 21 (soon to be 28) checkpoints.
September 14, 2006: One senior Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq was captured, and another was killed, and found to be carrying letters to Osama bin Laden. The content of the letters was not released. Sunni Arabs are now the majority of victims from terrorist attacks. Since last February's Sunni Arab attack on a Shia shrine, the terrorism has been escalating. The Sunni Arab minority is now suffering the majority of terrorism deaths. There is growing panic in the Sunni Arab community, with the realization that the three year terror campaign has not gotten them any closer to regaining control of the country, but has greatly increased the death rate among Sunni Arabs. The police are subduing the Sunni Arabs, not by making arrests, but by grabbing random Sunni Arabs off the street and killing them.
September 13, 2006: Sunni Arab terrorists are taking a beating, and you can see that in how they are pulling away from other targets so they can concentrate on Baghdad. For example, in the last three months, attacks on oil facilities, long a favorite of the Sunni Arabs ("if we can't have it, no one can") have fallen by nearly 60 percent.
September 12, 2006: It would take another year or so to train Iraqi troops and police sufficiently to take control of Anbar province (the Sunni Arab heartland). American troops could do it now, but this would slow down the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

 

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