Iraq: June 14, 2004

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The war in Iraq is now between a small group of Saddam diehards and Shia religious radicals against the Shia Arab dominated government. The Shia group, led by Muqtada al Sadr, has been defeated by American troops and his unpopularity among Shia Iraqis. Al Sadr is desperately trying make amends with the Shia dominated interim government, not just to try and retain some political clout, but to deal with the murder charges against him. 

The Sunni terrorists are most active group. They have set off at least one car bomb a day so far this month, and Iraqi government leaders expect that to continue for the rest of the month. Six police stations have been attacked this month, and three destroyed. Murders of government officials are also up, with there being 2-3 a day, and many more being directly threatened by "the resistance." The terrorist groups don't agree on who should run Iraq, being split on a Sunni Arab dictatorship or a Sunni Arab religious dictatorship. Democracy is not on their menu of choices.

The new interim government is threatening unspecified "severe measures" to deal with the terrorists. What this means is isolating Sunni Arab neighborhoods and rural areas where the terrorists are known to operate from. This approach has been resisted in the past, in order to try and maintain the fiction that there was no support for such violence among the Sunni Arab minority. But as the terrorists increase their violence, their victims have to either just keep taking the hits, or strike back.  This is almost all Iraqi versus Iraqi violence, and the Iraqis are going to have to deal with it. 

 

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