Sunday, December 09, 2007

So it goes

Al-Hayat ties current wave of suicide bombings throughout Iraq to the campaign announced by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in his recent speech, writing:
The steep growth in suicide operations targeting tribal leaders and the awakening councils indicates that "AlQaeda" [in Iraq] is continuing to carry out the warnings of its leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi who announced a few days ago the formation of the "Al-Sadiq Brigades" to take revenge on the Sunni "rebels" who formed, with the assistance of the Americans and the government, armed militias and rebelled against AQI expelling them from most of their areas."
(Baghdadi speech outlined here). The two incidents in Diyala province in Friday at awakening-council locations killed 26 people in all. And there was another pair of suicide bombings in Baiji on Saturday that reportedly killed 17 people in all, these targeting not the awakening councils but Iraqi police.

The current suicide-bombing campaign is clearly the work of Baghdadi's group, as the Al-Hayat reporter says. As he explained in his speech, the point is to kill apostates in the interest of promoting the one true state. This is the mirror opposite of the ideology of the national-resistance groups, whose theme is not true-religion/apostates, but rather Iraqi/occupation, and for that they need to bring anti-occupation groups together, not have them killing each other.

The American information-operations people are intent, as always, on blurring this distinction, grouping takfiiris and nationalists together under the heading of "the Sunni Arab guerilla movement", as if this opposition between takfiiris and nationalists didn't exist.

The writers' strike continues in Hollywood, but this hasn't affected Washington or Baghdad. Remember Baath resistance leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (or al-Duri)? He was killed in fall 2004, then he was arrested in fall 2005, and in December 2006 he ordered his followers to lay down their arms following the execution of Saddam. That was according to the NYT, AP, and the rest. In real life none of that happened. He wasn't killed, or arrested, nor did he order anyone to lay down their arms. Obviously the arrest/killing story was getting a little stale, but al-Douri is still in play as far as the writers are concerned, precisely because he hasn't ordered his followers to lay down their arms. How to go about this? To make a long story short (NYT version here), what happened last week was that they discovered, not the man himself, but a cache of documents which amazingly enough showed that he is linked to AlQaeda! No actual documents have been, or will be, produced, but it is enough of a leg-up for Juan Cole and the others to resume their descriptions of the takfiiri depredations as part of "the Sunni Arab guerilla movement".

Plus ca change...


Anonymous John said...

A common archetype of the reportage out of Iraq - and in commentary on the region more broadly for decades - denying the nationalist and localised grievances. Ignore them and you need not address "rational" queries by those doubting Thomas' at "home".

6:29 PM  

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