Attention, shoppers: Go to the mattresses
What a day to commemorate dead soldiers: Iraq nears a meltdown into civil war, thanks to separate suicidal gestures by crazed insurgents and stupid U.S. officials.
As the Washington Post reported today:
The attack targeted about 1,000 police commandos who were gathered for the second consecutive day to protest a decision by the governor of Babil province to disband their units.
Bloody hell. It was said to be the worst attack in Iraq in more than a year. The report by the Post‘s Saad Sarhan, Khalid Saffar, and Jonathan Finer continued:
Now for our own suicidal gesture: U.S.-led troops stormed the house of Sunni moderate Mohsen Abdul-Hamid (left), put a bag over his head, cuffed him, and hauled him and his three sons away. Adrian Blomfield of the Telegraph (U.K.) reported:
“It was determined that he was detained by mistake and should be released,” US central command said in a statement. “Coalition forces regret any inconvenience and acknowledge Mr Hamid’s co-operation in resolving this matter.”
What a heavy-handed blunder—I thought Jerry Bremer had already left Iraq.
Abdul-Hamid is the last Sunni you’d want to arrest. The head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, he’s also a noted Koran scholar—do we get an apology now from the Pentagon for trashing, if not the Koran, at least a Koran scholar? I didn’t think so.
This guy is perhaps the most influential Sunni politician who’s willing to deal with the Bush regime and its puppet administration in Baghdad. Of course, Abdul-Hamid doesn’t always agree, but he has been trying to pull his fellow Sunnis into the political process. Or at least he had been until the blustering raid. As the AP’s Patrick Quinn reported:
Abdul-Hamid was taken from his home in the western Baghdad suburb of Khadra at about 6 a.m., along with his three sons and four guards, said party secretary-general Ayad al-Samarei.
“This is a provocative and foolish act and this is part of the pressure exerted on the party,” al-Samarei said. “At the time when the Americans say they are keen on real Sunni participation, they are now arresting the head of the only Sunni party that calls for a peaceful solution and have participated in the political process.”
Despite what Quinn says, this is a U.S.-led operation. Hell, the Iraqi “government” didn’t even know this raid had taken place. And Abdul-Hamid and his party won’t soon forget what the troops did. The indefatigable Dahr Jamail, known for The Face of War and other images and words from Iraq, blogged on the Italian site uruknet.info:
It was also stated that he accused American soldiers of removing items from his home, including a computer. This is standard operating procedure with home raids—I can’t tell you how many Iraqis I’ve interviewed after their homes were raided who complained of money, jewelry, and other belongings being looted by American soldiers.
The Islamic Party released a statement after the release of Abdul Hamid which said, “The U.S. administration claims it is interested in drawing Sunnis into the political process but it seems that their way of doing so is by raids, arrests, and violating human rights.”
As far as Jamail is concerned, the civil war has already started:
Keep in mind, the vast majority of the Iraqi security forces are either Shia or Kurdish battling against a primarily Sunni resistance (for now). It can easily be argued that we are witnessing a US-backed Iraqi government who is deliberating using its power to wage a civil war.
Of course, maybe the only thing that could stop a civil war is a united hatred of the bungling U.S. occupation. As the Telegraph‘s Blomfield wrote of the reaction to Abdul-Hamid’s arrest:
It appeared that the Americans had not sought permission for the raid from the Iraqi government, again raising questions about its supposed sovereignty.