Iraq: October 20, 2004

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 Despite the publicity given to the coalition troops in Iraq, some 90 percent of casualties are now Iraqi. The anti-government forces have not given up attacking coalition troops, but realize that it's a lot more dangerous to take a shot at better trained and armed coalition troops. Most of the coalition casualties are American, because U.S. troops cover the Sunni Arab areas of central Iraq where the anti-government forces are most numerous. The Sunni Arabs gunmen are reluctant to venture into Shia or Kurdish areas in the north or south, for there the locals are armed and have a long standing hatred of Sunni Arabs coming into town to hurt people. What you're seeing is the Iraqi civil war few people outside the country  wants to admit exists. The Sunni Arab minority, that has ruled the country for centuries, does not want to give up power, and does not want to face the vengeance of the Shia Arabs and Kurds, who are 80 percent of the population. The Sunni Arabs are aided by foreign Sunni Arabs, especially al Qaeda. The Sunni Arab al Qaeda terrorists want to rule the world, but are willing to start with Iraq. 

The attacks are mainly at economic targets, especially the oil industry. Without the oil, the government can't, as the Sunni Arabs did, use the money to buy loyalty, and weapons to use against those who can't be bought. The other major target is the new police and security forces. Foreigners are mystified at how Iraqis continue to join the police and army, despite the car bombings and other attacks directed against them. It's not just for the money. For many of these recruits, there is a dead relative, murdered by some Sunni Arab thug working for Saddam. It's civil war, and the coalition wants to prevent it from turning into an orgy of revenge. What gets little reported in the West is the enthusiasm among Iraqis, and especially members of the government, for just bombing Fallujah into rubble. For the majority of Iraqis, Fallujah represents the murderous oppressor. "Kill them all, for they are all guilty," is an attitude shared by too many Iraqis, and a little too bloody minded for most Western journalists.

 

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