Who Did this Terrible Thing?

Friday, April 07, 2006
From Iraq the Model reports on the bombing in Baghdad today which claimed the lives of 79 people:

A new massacre has struck Baghdad when three suicide bombers attacked the Buratha mosque in Baghdad this afternoon. "More than 70 people were killed and more than 150 were injured" a doctor from Baghdad's medical city told me in a phone call.

A closer look at the targeted mosque makes me think that the ramifications of this massacre can possibly be much worse than the immediate death and pain this terror attack brought, the Buratha mosque is not an ordinary mosque, it has a special religious value for Shia Iraqis as it's thought to be one of the places where Imam Ali stayed and prayed. But that's not the most important thing because this mosque is of considerable political significance, the preacher in this mosque is Jalal Addin al-Sagheer, a cleric from the SCIRI who was the first SCIRI member to publicly urge Ibrahim al-Jafari to withdraw his nomination for office.

This mosque is one of the headquarters of the SCIRI and its clerical wing in Baghdad, even that Abdul Aziz al-Hakeem's son Ammar al-Hakkem preaches occasionally in this mosque when sheikh Jalal is not available.

A military confrontation between the Sadr militias and the American (and possibly Iraqi) army is imminent and it's the Sadrists themselves who are pushing in this direction and preparing their forces for a battle they want to have to disrupt the political process and drag Iraq into an irreversible state of civil war.
There are powers in the region that want this to happen, primarily Syria and Iran but I think they realized that a Sadr Vs. US battle is not enough and can only result in a big defeat for Sadr without reaching their desired objective of ruining Iraq.
So, it is logical to think that Iran and Syria would try to drag as many Iraqi parties as possible into this battle and the first candidate they would choose would be the SCIRI, the powerful Shia party that is not getting along well with Sadr and has recently sided with the Kurds, Sunni and secular powers in calling for Jafari to step away and even considering forming a united political front with them.

read it all.

I still maintain that the removal of Saddam Hussein from power was not only justifiable it was in all likelihood inevitable. What will happen to Iraq now? I don't know, but this battle is for more than Iraq, it is a test for the Arab world.

There are times when I wish I had never heard of this place and its people. I grow weary of the violence and the seeming intransigence that has kept the Muslim world in the dark ages for all these years. But then I think, if Jimmy Carter had dealt with this years ago would the disease have spread so far and can we really walk away now, will AlQaida and its Jihadi warriors let us?


Fresh Air said...

I have been reading a biography of Saddam written in 2002. The author gives a lot of background on Iraq. It has always been a violent place, in many ways more so than any other country in the Middle East.

Even those of us who comb the Iraqi blogs really only have a dim sense as to what's going on over there. Those who rely upon the MSM have virtually none.

I do think that Mookie Sadr needs to be arrested and his militia disarmed. Even more important, the president needs to deliver the sternest warning possible to Iran and Syria, which both continue to meddle in Iraq, that they are playing with effing fire.

Rick Ballard said...

"There are times when I wish I had never heard of this place and its people."

Me too, but it's not a matter of choice. We didn't choose to focus on them, they chose to focus on us. Which is why Tehran delenda est continues to tug at my heartstrings.

Luther McLeod said...

I agree Rick. My simpleton self does not understand why we are not pushing Syria and Iran much harder. I obviously would not have had a career at State. It just makes me wonder what other paths we are pursuing.

Rick Ballard said...


We simply can't know how pressure is being applied. Iran is pretty tightly closed wrt news stories concerning internal unrest but I've seen reports of the Kurds in the north and the Baluchis in the south actually blowing things (and mullahs) up.

We're doing the UN charade thing again but I'm like you - the pressure applied isn't really very visible. I do 'sense' (rather than know) that we are approaching another tipping point but I don't believe that ground forces are going to be used very much.

I just think that the mullahs will be out of office before Bush is.

Luther McLeod said...

Well, that's an optimistic thought Rick. And well put as well.

I know GWB is a stay the course man, I know that we are not doing nothing. But yet...I worry. In my view now is not the time for reticence, though that could be one more reason why I'm not in State. I just think it is well past time to put cards on the table.

Rick Ballard said...


The difficult part of the equation is guaranteeing a relatively uninterrupted flow of oil. That's probably the real underlying reason for the continued attacks on pipelines in Iraq. If Iraq were able to pump at capacity then the problem would become one of keeping the straits of Hormuz open - which is definitely within our capabilities.

China, India and Japan all have to be assured that oil will continue to flow or they will become a bit tetchy about us flattening Iran.

It's really much more of a diplomatic and economic problem than a military problem. That's why I'd like to see us trade the Iranian fields to India for the use of about ten divisions of Indian troops. Pity this isn't a game of Risk where you couild try out the solution a couple of times before making a final decision.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I remember Jimmy Carter and I remember what my attitude toward the world at the time was and I remember the attitude of the American people as a whole. We had just been through the Vietnam fiasco; the belief was that we could no longer conduct military actions; the belief was that our time in the sun was over; the (wishful thinking) belief was that it was no longer necessary to conduct military actions. When the Iranians took the embassy Jimmy Carter dithered and the American public argued vehemently. When he finally screwed up the courage to send a team in the helicopters failed in the desert and we looked even more foolish.

We can't blame Jimmy Carter. Honesty dictates that we blame ourselves.

Not much has changed since that time. There's still a large contingent within the country that cheers the thought of American decline, that has convinced itself that we are the source of all evil, that believes that all countries are the same and we have no right whatsoever to assert our beliefs or defend our interests. The only thing that has changed is that a small contingent, following 9/11, has swung back into a belief that we have the right to defend ourselves. Just barely enough to reelect Bush.

We the People are to blame here. Nobody else.

Luther McLeod said...

OK, I get the oil, many players in this equation.

But, for a different tack, it sounds by your scenario that we hold the ace, in a sense. Are we telling C, I and J that they should prepare for a short term depression, due to a lack of oil? No, is the answer, too many internal conflicts for them to face that we might survive. Funny, China is now absolutely dependent on the capitalist model, of which the largest component is OIL.

We are close to the same. But as yet, no one has asked for sacrifice, at least not here. That is the one thing that bothers be most. All is normal, continue the economic growth, go on with life, this war is just a minor thing. No backyard gardens, no recycled tires, steel, aluminum, etc. Overly dramatic, but you get my point.

The only way to win this war is to get folks to believe that we are "IN" a GD war. Otherwise it is just media. Been there, done that.

MHA, you are correct, I voted for that dumb bastard.

By the way, good essay here:

Hear me Roar

Skookumchuk said...

Luther McLeod:

But as yet, no one has asked for sacrifice, at least not here. That is the one thing that bothers be most.

Me too. But that is because, thankfully, the Islamofascists don't have the military strength to compell such sacrifices. This paradoxically can make the war harder for us to wage, since the threat is still amorphous for so many.

It will be interesting when the first nuke goes off, or when the biowarfare begins.

Skookumchuk said...


A great essay, summed up for me in the line Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

terrye said...

MHA struck on the reason for the fact that no one has asked for a sacrifice, they won't get it.

With Paleos and lefties acting as any problem that can be solved by the simple removal of America from the scene, obviously no one is asking us for anything. We might say no way Jose.

Barry Dauphin said...

My crazy speculation based on things others have said better than I:

The radical Islamists fully accept the rhetoric of America as the Great Satan, namely America as perpetrating "evil" via temptation. The idea is that American culture basically weakens the will of those who come into contact with it. The corollary is that the Americans are already pleasure-loving and weak-willed (and only pleasure-loving and weak willed). The strategy is that democracy and liberty will be used against the Americans.

The US military is very powerful, so direct confrontation should be avoided to the degree possible. But they military is ultimately controlled by people that are accountable to the pleasure-loving, weak-willed voters. Chaos should be created. It should be something that makes "no sense" to Americans. A very important part of the strategy is to create the conditions that will cause the Americans to say, "oh the hell with this, we're going home."

When America becomes isolated, then there will be room for much mischief. With various groups entrenched within Europe, civil unrest can be stirred that will be difficult if not impossible to manage.

I think an active long term strategy ofr al Qaeda et al is to create feelings of futility.

gumshoe1 said...

"I think an active long term strategy of al Qaeda et al
is to create feelings of futility."

no offense,Barry.
you've done it well,
but you've just described the
modus operandi of terrorism
as government model.

Mohammed's government model,
to be precise.

imo, it is the reason that
for many recent centuries
the Islamic worldview was describable by the words
"In'shallah"("It's Allah Will")
and by the turgid fatalism of
the Islamic regions of the world

of course,it's all the Jooos fault.

i don't see that much has changed
in regards to the worldview
or cultural models in the Islamic world.

the world itself has changed:
technology transforms
the values all cultures hold.

the facile use of terms like
"disruptive technology" from the
90's and the internet boom
didn't bargain on psycho-paths-
without-limits-or-bounds in an era of compact,transportable WMD.