Monday, December 20, 2004

The Good, the Bad, and the Very, Very Ugly

The Jihadist terrorists and the Thugs R Us Baathists are trying to make the next six weeks in Iraq ones of such bloodshed and carnage that no one will ever forget. Make no mistake about it, they want nothing more than to blow apart into little pieces as many Iraqi men, women, and children ast they can. Over this weekend, they have killed and maimed dozens of innocent bystanders, destroying families and leaving behind so many grieving Iraqi citizens.


Sam at Hammorabi asks:
Is it again the Wahabists? Are they the Iranians or the Syrians or the Saudis or the Jordanians? Are they the Baathists? Or are they all of them?

Husayn, a new Iraqi blogger, writes:
The question is who did it. Its not one full of mystery, whether it is claimed or not, it is clear to me and most Iraqis that this was done by terrorists who are trying to sabotoge our nation. They targetted major cities of the Shia who are in major support of the upcoming election. I doubt this will deter the Shia or any Iraqi who are in favor of election though. why would it? We have lived a very long time in bad conditions, are some bombs going to deter us?

I say no. I wish these terrorists would understand that what they are doing is useless. It only makes them look badder than they already look, and I am sure they will be punished. That is the end result, the terrorists will end up dead, the bad part is that they have already killed so many people who did not deserve it.

Dilnareen offers us the view from Kurdistan. After watching an interesting program about Kurdish dancers performing in Edinburgh, Scotland, her family switched back to the check the Iraqi news:
So basically it was one hour of a really good show then it finished and we switched on to other channels and we get the news of kurds being killed in kirkuk (kurds again being treated like sub-humans in their own city), kurds not being allowed to vote in kirkuk (yeah and 70,000 as well), iraqis dying on the street and in mosques, iraqis getting beheaded and iraqis getting kidnapped. These are the times when you see how different kurdistan is from the rest of Iraq... I mean in kurdistan a music festival just wrapped up in iraq its just death,death,death ok i know kurdistan is not perfect but its heavenly compare to that. And you wonder why kurds aren't even willing to integrate... honestly if this was your country would you?

Steven Vincent, a journalist who has written about traveling through post-Saddam Iraq in In the Red Zone, asks today, riffing on the French post-9/11 headline, Nous Sommes Tous Irakiens?
Here is a country struggling to stage the first democratic elections in its 3,000 year history. Meanwhile, paramilitary death-squads are attempting to delay, de-legitimize and destroy the process, even as they prod the country toward civil war. The values millions of people profess to hold dear--democracy, peace, stability, tolerance, women's rights--are at risk. And yet the world remains largely silent.
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As for the U.N.'s treatment of the Iraqis--let us pass over the Oil for Food program scandal and Kofi Annan's description of their liberation as "illegal. Rather, let us contemplate on the fact the organization plans to send 25 election monitors (perhaps a few more), far less than the 300 it dispatched to East Timor in 1999.

Wretchard at Belmont Club gives us a wide-angle snapshot of the upcoming Iraqi elections.
If the issues in Iraq have been muddled beforetime by the polemic over 'weapons of mass destruction' or Saddam's connection to the September 11 attacks, the Syrian and Iranian attempts to prevent the scheduled elections have at last put things in their proper perspective. The central issue in Iraq is whether an Arab people can win their freedom in despite of the worst efforts of tyrannical and terrorist regimes to prevent it.

J from Iraq Calling, a soldier in Iraq, clues us in on the commingling of thieves and terrorists within the insurgency:
The insurgents are far from a monolithic group. The craziest and most outrageous are Zarqawi's bunch of screwballs but the greatest long term threat may be the former regime elements who have the most experience with grass root intimidation and organization.
Some have argued that the insurgency must have grass root support because of ongoing violence. I reject that idea. A relatively small group of people can cause chaos and being intimidated is not the same as support. Another trend that the average Iraqi understands fundamentally is the merging of the insurgent and the criminal element. Now so much of the insurgent activities are funded by kidnapping, robbery and shakedowns that the ideal of the noble freedom fighter has gone right down the toilet. The insurgents may still be portrayed as such in some venues outside of Iraq but the fact is undeniable here that the insurgent ranks are populated with large numbers of criminals who are in it for personal enrichment.

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Bookmark Iraq Election Blog if you want daily updates and links to Iraqi election issues.

Eric at Dagger Jag gives us an up-close and personal view of Iraqis adapting to democratic institutions.

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Check out Sgt. Missick's recent photos from Iraq. Sgt. Missick's blog, by the way, is on the sidebar under Soldiers' Blogs.

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THE VERY, VERY UGLY: Alvaro Frota, a Brazilian commenter over at Iraq Blog Count, decides to tell us who does all the hostage-taking and beheading in Iraq:
The Iraqui Resistance are not terrorists and do not made such things as hostages and beheading. The hostages-taking are made by gangs of criminals. The beheading are made by CIA operatives, in order to persuade people like you that this war is fair.

Zarqawi is a CIA operative? Oh, why didn't I see that?

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Ambassador Fayrouz clips a photo of the terrorists killing the Iraqi election workers.

UPDATE: Wretchard at Belmont Club takes a look at the photograph and again places it in historical context.

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Over at A Star in Mosul commenter Monkey Man, evidently an American soldier with the Strykers, responds to Najma's claim that the students were injured by American bullets and not the terrorists' bomb:
Najma,

First of all I can tell you from my own account that none of the kids were shot by our bullets, the only death that occured was a result of the bomb...yes it narowly missed our Styker..and did hit the School bus..we then recieved small arms fire and an RPG..we returned fire..torwards the attackers..not the school.

Why would anyone place a bomb near a school unless they were trying to cause the chaos allways ascosiated with us accidently shooting civilians, I can tell you that it DID NOT HAPPEN, The irresponsibility does not fall on us..rather the insurgent Jihadi puting the bomb there in the first place...like I said before..Iraqis killing Iraqis..it has to stop..they dont always target our patrols with the intent of killing us..they expect us to react and loose your support..this only seems to happen in western mosul..particularly Yormuk, From your posts I assume you live in or near this area.
I am sorry this happened..but it was not our fault.

There are around 50 comments. Read the whole string. It cuts to the bone on many issues about the situation in Iraq. Lisa from New York, 2Slick, Pat in NC, strykeraunt, Papa Ray, Sara, and Michael Openshaw, among others, have participated in the discussion.
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