Iraq: July 23, 2003

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Overnight, there was much gunfire in Baghdad, especially in Shiite neighborhoods, as Iraqis celebrated the death of Uday and Qsay Hussein by firing their weapons into the air. As usual, many people (76) showed up at hospitals with wounds from the falling bullets, with at least 31 killed outright. Many Arabs criticized the U.S. for not taking the brothers alive, but for different reasons. Palestinians wanted the two brothers put on trial, most Iraqis wanted the two brothers hauled around Iraq in a cage so everyone could see that they had been captured. Then an Iraqi court could try the two, and then execute them. Palestinians have long supported Saddam Hussein, largely because Saddam contributed money to Palestinian causes and publicly supported the destruction of Israel. 

U.S. forces captured the head of Saddam's Special Republican Guard ("Barzan Abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti), the inner security force that protected Saddam from possible attack by traitorous members of the Republican Guard (or anyone else who got close enough.) Al-Tikriti was number 11 on the most wanted list. 

The deaths of Uday and Qsay has not stopped the attacks on American troops. Attacks on two American convoys left two more U.S. troops dead and nine wounded. For the last few weeks, American troops have been suffering about one fatality a day from these attacks. Since May 1, 41 American troops have died in these attacks. The attackers are driven by either economic gain or religious fanaticism, at least according to those of the attackers who have been captured. The Baath Party, which is mostly Sunni Arabs, still has plenty of money and are passing it out to those who will make attacks on the American troops, with large bonuses for those who kill Americans.

The Baath Party attacks on Americans is part of the ongoing civil war in Iraq. For centuries, the Sunni Arabs have used force to maintain their power, and these attacks on U.S. troops is just another part of it. There are also attacks on Iraqis seen as working for the Americans. In Shia and Kurd areas, there are attacks on Sunni Arabs, mainly those who are seen as corrupt and brutal members of the Baath Party. The Kurds have never been in charge, and it's been over three centuries since the Shia ran things. The Sunnis really believe that it is their right to rule Iraq and many believe violence, dirty deeds and whatever it takes will eventually get them back in power. The Shia and Kurds support the United States mainly to help prevent the Sunni plan from coming true. 

 

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