Iraq: July 3, 2004

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Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen offered to send troops to help with peacekeeping in Iraq. These were the first Moslem nations to do so. Iraq declined the offers, citing fears of interference in internal affairs. Iraq is already upset at Turkey and Iran for sending agents into Iraq to interfere with Iraqi politics. Turkey and Iran both deny the charge, but there is much evidence to the contrary. The new Iraqi government says it has, and will soon produce, evidence that neighboring countries have been supporting anti-government violence.  

Meanwhile, Sunni Arab Iraqi and foreign Arabs (al Qaeda) struggle to disrupt the new government, halt reconstruction, and stop the coming elections, without much effect. The opposition has begun to release most of the foreign Moslems it was holding, and threatening to kill if the countries the captives were from did not withdraw from the Iraqi reconstruction effort. It's become obvious that murdering foreign workers, especially if they are Moslem, just creates ill will among the Iraqi population. Since the anti-government forces are trying to gain more support among all Iraqis, this is a good move. But the Sunni Arabs are still hated by the majority of Iraqis (the Shia and Kurds) for the atrocities committed during Saddam's reign. While fighting against "occupiers" and "foreigners" is popular with many Iraqis, the armed opposition cannot get away from the fact that many of their members used to serve as Saddam's enforcers. Iraqis cannot get behind the idea of being "liberated" by people with so much blood on their hands. 

 

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