Iraq: June 16, 2004

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On one side, we have Iraqis fighting to destroy oil production and electric supply, halt elections and return to dictatorship. On the other side, you have Iraqis who want democracy and freedom. Most of the Arab and Islamic media sides with the destroyers, because the Iraqi democrats are backed by American, and other non-Moslem, troops. To the Moslem media, this isn't a battle between tyranny and freedom, but a replay of a 700 year old religious war between Christians and Moslems. But Iraqis have been increasingly ignoring non-Iraqi media reports on Iraq, because this reporting is so at odds with what is actually happening in Iraq. What scares Iraqis the most is the growing violence from Saddam's secret police and foreign terrorists like al Qaeda. While the anti-government forces have a hard time operating in Shia and Kurdish areas, there are many Shia and Kurdish neighborhoods that are mixed, and contain Sunni Arabs who will support the anti-government gangs. 

In the last two days, two attacks have been made on the southern pipelines, shutting down the exports. A new security forces had been installed for the oil fields over the last six months. But the attackers have apparently studied the new defenses and found vulnerabilities. Also, gunmen attacked and killed the Kurdish head of security for the Northern Iraqi oil company.

Meanwhile, American marines are saying that the experiment with allowing former Saddam era soldiers and security troops keep the peace in Fallujah is not working. The "Fallujah Brigade" formed for that purpose has been unwilling to face down the heavily armed Baath Party and Islamic radical gangs in Fallujah. As a result, despite the marine checkpoints on the roads coming out of Fallujah, hostile gangs continue to operate in the city. This was spotlighted recently when six Shia truck drivers were stooped in Fallujah by a militia working for a local Islamic conservative Sunni Arab religious leader. The six Shia were turned over to another radical gang, and murdered. Shia throughout Iraq are now calling for revenge. Fallujah is seen as the center of power for those who want to bring back a Sunni Arab dictatorship and Shia are now demanding that this center of terror be destroyed. The Sunni Arab controlled media from throughout the Middle East are eagerly waiting for that. Another "Battle for Fallujah" would provide dramatic video of Sunni Arabs being killed either by infidels, or Shia Arabs (who are infidels of the more conservative Sunni Moslems.) 

The new interim government, dominated by Shia Arabs and Kurds, increasingly talks darkly about taking unspecified "severe measures" against those creating the violence. One of the unspecified actions apparently involves destroying Fallujah, despite what al Jazeera thinks. 

 

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