Iraq: Not a Safe Place For Some People

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November27, 2006: In the past week, Sunni terrorist attacks against Shia civilians have become more spectacular, although fewer in number. The terrorists know to go for the kind of attacks that the media considers "most newsworthy" (in other words, lots of dead civilians). The Shia responded with more attacks on Sunni Arabs, including burning down Mosques, and going into the homes of those Sunni families still living in Sunni neighborhoods, and killing all the men. What is going on here is a battle between extremists. The Sunni Arab terrorists (both al Qaeda and Baath Party) continue to be mesmerized with the idea of a "civil war" that will somehow put Sunni Arabs back in charge. But the terrorists are split on what their new government would be like. Al Qaeda, and several other Sunni Arab groups, want a Sunni religious dictatorship. Most Sunni Arab terrorists favor a secular dictatorship. This, however, is out of touch with reality. Kurds and Shia Arabs outnumber Sunni Arabs by nearly nine to one, have more guns, have American troops to back them up, and want revenge. The Shia Arab radicals, namely the Badr Brigades and Mahdi Army (the Sadr gang), want a Shia religious dictatorship. The Shia radicals are a minority in the Shia community, but they run the Shia death squads that have been terrorizing Sunni Arabs. With each new Sunni Arab terrorist attack, the Shia population cries for vengeance.  The Shia radicals produce dead Sunni Arab civilians, and that is an increasingly popular thing.

The government is obliged to try and protect all its citizens, but the Shia cheer on the Shia death squads as they commit atrocious attacks on Sunni Arab civilians. For three years now, Kurds and Shia Arabs have talked about getting rid of the Sunni Arabs, and this outrageous option is becoming more accepted. The government, however, cannot get behind expelling its most educated, and indictable, minority. Not officially, anyway. But many non-Sunni Arab members of the government wouldn't miss the Sunni Arabs. Everyone reads the papers and views the TV images of yet another Sunni Arab terror attack. If the Sunni Arabs were gone, so would be most of the violence. 

Now American media are featuring something else Iraqis have known for a long time, that the Sunni Arab terrorists are tight with the criminal gangs that worked for Saddam, and are still in business. Kidnapping, embezzlement, extortion, drugs, you name it, the gangs do it. Terrorism is just another tool for gangsters, and the suicide bombers and attacks on civilians keeps the government off balance. But these guys are crooks, not a rebel movement. Recent attempts to capture territory have led to high body counts among the terrorists. Two recent attempts to capture police stations resulted in bloody repulses. More terrorist safe houses are being given up, for the reward money could enable a Sunni Arab family to flee the country. Iraq is no longer safe for Sunni Arabs.

November 22, 2006: The UN and the government are at war over statistics. The UN says 3,709 Iraqis died in civil violence during October, and 7,000 died in the past two months. The government says the real number is a quarter of that. The UN is very unhappy with American activities in Iraq. The UN won't say it openly, but, as an organization, it does not support the overthrow of tyrants and dictators. That's because many UN member nations are run by such thugs. Moreover, the UN is on a "war crimes" rampage at the moment, which makes thuggish rulers even more determined to hang onto their jobs. The UN does, after all, represent its membership. 

November 21, 2006: After 24 years, Syria and Iraq resumed full diplomatic relations. Both nations want to halt the terrorist violence in Iraq, and the use of Syria as a staging area for al Qaeda terrorists going to Iraq. Syria and Iraq split in the 1980s because, while both countries were ruled by Baath Party dictators, they could not agree on which wing of the Baath Party was in charge. On top of that, Iraq had invaded Iran in 1980, and Iran offered Syria money, and other benefits, to take Iran's side. Syria had very little oil and, at the time, and it's neighbor to the west, Lebanon, was in the midst of a civil war. So Iranian aid was helpful. But Syria had other problems. The country was run by a Shia minority dictatorship. Most Syrians are Sunni Arab, but attempts by them to take control of the country have been brutally put down by a very efficient secret police force. But there's also a lot of give and take, and for the past three years, Syria has let Sunni Arab extremists to freely pass through Syria, on their way to get killed in Iraq. Several hundred thousand Iraqi Sunni Arabs, most of them former Saddam supporters, have taken refuge in Syria. The alliance with Iran is getting ragged, with Syria now looking at the prospect of Hizbollah (more radical Shia) controlled Lebanon to the west, and Shia run Iraq to the east. Syria's Sunni Arab minority doesn't want to end up like Iraq's Sunni Arabs. Friendly gestures must be made, Sunni Arab terrorists must be arrested or killed. Something must be done, quickly, before everything changes.