Three bombs went off as a new sewage processing plant was officially opened in Baghdad. Hundreds of children, the chief victims of poor water supplies, were at the ceremony. As a result, 35 of the 42 people killed were kids. Many of the 200 wounded were children. Al Qaeda, and the various anti-government groups that take credit for these attacks, are generating still more hatred for their cause, even among the Sunni Arab Iraqis, many of whom support the return of a Sunni Arab dictator like Saddam. The Iraqi government is well aware of what happened when the Moslem Brotherhood began a similar terror campaign in Egypt in the late 1980s. The Moslem Brotherhood had a lot of popular support, because of the corrupt government and poor economy in Egypt. But several of the Moslem Brotherhood attacks killed a lot of young children. As their popularity declined, the ease with which the police were able to round them up increased. By the early 1990s, the terrorist movement in Egypt was crushed. The survivors, who were not in jail, ended up in Afghanistan with al Qaeda. Last month, Chechen terrorists killed several hundred children in southern Russia, and generated condemnation of Moslem terrorists throughout the Islamic world.
The same pattern of terrorism, dead children and public revulsion against the terrorists, has already been playing out in Iraq, as the terror attacks have killed dozens of kids in the past year. The informer network inside Fallujah provides daily targets for smart bombs. The attacks are always described as strikes on houses where terrorists are staying. In Najaf, the public dislike for the Shia Arab Islamic radicals was open, widespread and sustained.
This war against the Iraqi people, fueled by Saddams stolen money and al Qaedas twisted ideology, is going nowhere. The government says it will attack Fallujah, and a few other cities where gangsters, terrorists and anti-government forces have taken over, this month. That wont stop the bombings. More Iraqi police and more public antagonism against the bombers will stop the violence. More honest Iraqi police will be needed as well, for the current force is full of officers who will take a bribe for just about anything, even for tipping off terrorists about a police raid. For that reason, a special counter-terrorism force has been put together, of SWAT type troops and intelligence specialists. How clean this crew is remains to be seen. Corruption is an old (thousands of years old) custom in this part of the world, and the strange Western idea of clean government has been slow to catch on. But even the most ardent Iraqi traditionalist sees no future in people who kill children by the dozen with their suicide bombers and booby traps.