The Happy Arab News Service

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Full Circle

On Saturday a truck loaded with explosives targeted worshipers as they were leaving a mosque west of Baghdad. The initial reports put the number of casualties at 100 with 35 dead. While technically speaking shit of this kind happens in Iraq and almost daily there was something out of ordinary about this attack. This is because it was a Sunni mosque and the victims were Sunni Muslims. AP reports:

The imam of the mosque in Habbaniyah, about 50 miles west of Baghdad, had spoken out against militants fighting the U.S.-backed government, including the group al-Qaida in Iraq.

. . .

There was no claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on battles between Sunni groups in Anbar province west of Baghdad. Militants have increased attacks against Sunni leaders who support the government and denounce violence.


Given that the Shia militias are still falling far behind the Sunni insurgents on everything related to transforming manslaughter into an art in its own right, this is indeed a plausible suggestion. The Shia militiamen usually practice outdated shoot-to-the-head style techniques when it comes to harassing the Sunni population. Either out of general backwardness or for the lack of trucks but the attacks of this kind are unpopular with the Mahdi Army and Badr brigades.

Yet if the truck was indeed brought to the mosque by the Sunni insurgents, then it's a truly landmark attack. Because as far as I remember until now the insurgents avoided targeting Sunnis near their places of worship. This was a truly Al Kaida week in Baghdad. First, gas attacks using chlorine canisters and now an attack on a Sunni mosque.

Probably in the same way as the chlorine attacks were largely ignored, the attack on the mosque will be blamed in the Arab world on the Shia or the CIA & Mosad agents as the so called moderate Sunnis find it much easier to blame everything on the US/Israel or on the rising Shia crescent. The Sunni mainstream is in no mood to admit its share of responsibility for creating these monstrous insurgencies and terror groups (remember Qardawi ? NB). The moderate Sunnis clearly prefer to ignore the Sunni extremism in Iraq and elsewhere.

There is a small problem though. As this attack shows, the extremists are not going to ignore the moderate Sunnis.


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