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Sectarian Violence Surges in Baghdad

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Posted on May 24, 2007

Recent morgue figures show a rise in sectarian violence in Iraq, challenging the effectiveness of the U.S. troop surge and a three-month old security crackdown. The Bush administration had cited a drop in violence as evidence of success, but many attributed the relative lull in killings, now but a memory, to an order from Moqtada al-Sadr for his militia to temporarily stand down.


Washington Post:

BAGHDAD—More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again.

From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The data showed that the same number of bodies were found in all of January, the month before the launch of the Baghdad security plan.

Such killings are a signature practice of Shiite militias, although Sunni insurgents are also known to execute victims. The number of found bodies is a key indicator of the level of sectarian violence, but the statistics also include some who died from causes unrelated to the political situation.

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By Hammo, May 24, 2007 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Affecting the minds, hatreds and attitudes of Iraqis in some kind of positive way, at this point in time, is going to be very difficult.

Even our best PSYOP and information operations people will find it nearly impossible to make needed impacts.

Take a look at:

“Make love, not jihad: PSYOP, OSINT efforts should tackle repression of romance”

The Muckraker Report
May 24, 2007

http://www.muckrakerreport.com/id426.html

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, May 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

I’ve got just what the world needs - another glib opinion on how to solve the entire situation!

Post a notice on every outhouse in the country announcing the IMMEDIATE & COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL of ALL US and allied forces, NGOs and other “helping” companies, and ALL funding and aid for anything… including food and medicine…

... UNTIL every citizen of any religious or political stripe agrees to sit down and peacefully negotiate the terms for a new Iraq, AND, all religious and sectarian hostilities cease PERMANENTLY. There would be NO assistance whatsoever provided if someone even let off a firecracker!

It would be up the Iraquis in Iraq to decide whether they want to continue with the killing and destruction of their country, or whether they’d rather begin acting as a civilized people and build a country they’d be proud of with BILLIONS of dollars worth of help from other nations.

Their choice. It would then be their BED and they can lie in it!

I told you it would be simplistic and glib.

BUT DO YOU HAVE A BETTER SUGGESTION THAT WOULD WORK? If you have, please post it.

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By QuyTran, May 24, 2007 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

One more dirtiest spot has been engraved in the face of Bush/Cheney dynasty !

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By atheo, May 24, 2007 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/490/27/

Former collaborator discloses details of US-ordered assassinations, sectarian bomb attacks targeting Iraqi civilians


An Iraqi who asked not to be identified had disclosed some of the US activities such as assassinations and bombings in markets that aim at sparking sectarian fighting among Iraqis so as to facilitate the partition of the country.

He pointed out that he worked with the US occupation troops for about two and a half years and then was able to flee from them to an area outside Baghdad where, he hopes, the Americans will not be able to get to him.

The former Iraqi collaborator recalled: “I was a soldier in the Iraqi army in the war of 1991 and during the withdrawal from Kuwait I decided to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia along with dozens of others like me. That was how began the process whereby I was recruited into the American forces, for there were US military committees that chose a number of Iraqis who were willing to volunteer to join them and be transported to America. I was one of those,” he said…


The former collaborator said that during the 2003 invasion and subsequent war, he was transported back to the interior of Iraq to carry out specific tasks assigned him by the US agencies.


The former collaborator went on: “the unit that I was with settled in the presidential palace in the al-A’zamiyah district… the American occupation forces put me in charge of a group of a unit that carried out assassinations in the streets of Baghdad,” he said.

“Our task was to carry out assassinations of individuals. The US occupation army would supply us with their names, pictures, and maps of their daily movements to and from their place of residence and we were supposed to kill the Shi’i, for example, in the al-A’zamiyah, and kill the Sunni in the of ‘Madinat as-Sadr’, and so on.”

“Anyone in the unit who made a mistake was killed. Three members of my team were killed by US occupation forces after they failed to assassinate Sunni political figures in Baghdad. A US force that had been so-ordered eliminated them. That took place two years ago,” the former collaborator recalled.

The former collaborator said that the Americans have a unit for “dirty jobs.” That unit is a mix of Iraqis, Americans, and foreigners and of the security detachments that are deployed in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. This unit doesn’t only carry out assassinations, but some of them specialize in planting bombs and car bombs in neighborhoods and markets. This unit carries out operations in which wanted people whom the American army does not want killed are arrested.

The former collaborator said that “operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations. After the desired person is summoned to one of the US bases, a bomb is placed in his car and he is asked to drive to a police station or a market for some purpose and there his car blows up.”


The Egyptian writer and former editor of al-Ahram, Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal, also noted in an interview with al-Jazeera satellite TV that there are mercenaries who practically make up an army second only to the regular US army in Iraq in terms of their numbers and equipment. This force is now called the “Knights of Malta” Haykal said, and they are the cause of many of the attacks that target Iraqi civilians. Haykal noted that there are Iraqis and Lebanese working in the ranks of that force.

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By MaryinNC, May 24, 2007 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

True motive for this deed in Iraq in about the oil, and who controls it.  The problem is that none of the Iraqis approve of all elements of HydroCarbon (Oil) Laws.  Each sect has different views, and none of them want to compromise.  But all of them don’t want ‘production sharing’ percentages that the foreign oil companies’ representatives wrote into the hydrocarbon law.  Also, there is the pipeline for water and oil extending into Israel that’s being built.  So why would Bushco let the troops leave Iraq when the mission has not been accomplished.  When these things are done, troops will come home.  It’s time for somebody in USA speak the real truth behind the Iraq misadventure.
You can get this information from any of the overseas newspapers, online of course.
I am fed up with the Bushco lies.  The DC DLC Dems are knee deep in this mess. Both parties serve the same master - corporations.  I am considering going ‘independent’.

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By Michael Boldin, May 24, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

This is just another result of crashing into a foreign country with our military - we’ve created a situation of complete chaos there, and the time has come for it to stop.

There are countless people who are so angered at America’s “foreign policy” that they’re willing to do anything to harm this country.

We’ll never find peace while we continue to wage aggressive wars.  period.

Some further thoughts:

“What Can we do About Terrorism?”
http://www.populistamerica.com/what_can_we_do_about_terrorism

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Gabir's avatar

By Gabir, May 24, 2007 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

If the Bush/Cheney Cabal had taken us into Iraq for humanitarian reasons instead of their gross , selfish , greedy reasons , the USA might have actually achieved one of the greatest liberations of a people living under the rule of tyranny since World War Two . Sadly , this administration has ignored any sensible strategies to resolve both problems of the Iraqi society in general and of the continuing battle with the “insurgency” .   
      In my opinion , the Shiites and Sunnis are both involved in the insurgency . How would the American people have any means to know what is really happening in Iraq today . We hear and read so much media spin every day , that there is no reasonable way to decipher what is truly going on in Iraq . The LANGUAGE that the traditional press uses is the only guage of what the Sunnis and Shiites are doing in respect to the terrible violence experienced by the Iraqi population and our troops on a daily basis . When the Sunnis are suspected of a violent attack on Shiites or our Troops , it is descibed as an act of the insurgency . When the Shiites are suspected , it is labeled as sectarian violence .
      The theory that the sectarian violence in Iraq is a problem which originated in the years since our invasion and occupation - based on this administration’s 1)false claims of WMD’S , and 2)the even more ridiculous assertion that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were involved in a 9/11 plot - is a gross misrepresentation of the Iraqi experience since the end of “Operation Desert Storm “.
      The sanctions imposed on the Iraqi Government were of little consequence to Saddam Hussein and the Sunnis in general . The Shiites suffered terribly under these sanctions , as Hussein hoarded money , food , medications , health care , etc. for himself and his cronies . Hussein was also Black Marketing oil to certain countries , some of whom had voted in the U.N. to impose the sanctions . It is little wonder that Sadr City is repeatedly described as a GHETTO .
      What does the average American know about Moqtada al-Sadr , except for the description of him always used by the press , that being the RADICAL SHIITE CLERIC . This man has experienced the assassination of his father and two brothers , ordered by Saddam . He has experienced his Shiite brothers and sisters dying by torture , disease , starvation , lack of medical care , etc. - all byproducts of the U.N. sanctions and Mr. Husseins greed for power and money . I say do not blame the Iraqi population for the violence . Put the blame where it belongs - On the shoulders of the Bush ,Sr. administration ,on the Clinton Administration for protecting the Kurds and ignoring the rest of the Iraqi population living in Hell on Earth , on the shoulders of the U.N. for sanctions that devastated the Iraqi population , and this Criminal administration for sins unforgivable .

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By James Yell, May 24, 2007 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of this murder grinds on and no matter how the Republicans and Democratic enablers twist and turn the fault lies with them and Bush/Cheney. Bush/Cheney may have been over eager to attack Iraq, but as head of state they had an obligation to check all the information, not just relie on their thralls to feed them what they wanted. It doesn’t matter if they actually knew the details of the lies they used, it was their responsibility to know. They failed either from design or from being too lazy to do their jobs. These two military pretenders who could not be bothered when their own lives were on the line, but have no difficulty in getting other people killed to enable them to steal the oil of Iraq, or at lest control it. Judge them by their own supposed values and they would be in jail by now.

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