Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Biting The Hand And Freeing The Heart

Tuesday was a productive day for insurgents and terrorists in Iraq. A female suicide bomber killed 16 people and injured 33 in a town northeast of Baghdad. Six people were killed and 21 wounded in a gun battle in some of the neighborhoods within Baghdad. A car bomb exploded at the University of Baghdad killing 6 and wounding 11. And a Katysusha rocket killed a six-year-old boy and injured 17 others. This all came one day after Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his people to double their efforts in pushing the Americans out of Iraq but at the same time not killing each other. No American soldiers were reported as being killed in today's fighting.
Now I feel the need to explain the difference exactly between the insurgency in Iraq and the terrorism. While many of the tactics are the same, the ideology behind them are certainly not. The terrorists such as al-Qaeda wish to attack the U.S. and other coalition forces from western civilizations because they feel that their religious beliefs conflict with the west's sociological values. The insurgents in Iraq fight the occupation forces to drive them out so that Iraqis can govern themselves as a sovereign, independent nation. Muqtada al-Sadr leads the insurgency in Iraq and for the sake of progress in a war that is already confusing enough, should not be confused or linked to al-Qaeda.
If anything, today's violence has shown us that the security crackdown in Baghdad is only somewhat working with stiff resistance and the Iraqis have more at stake in this than we do and are thus far more willing to go to extremes if necessary to expel the "American occupiers". Diplomacy requires an open mind and that is something this administration has lacked in.
One of the main issues dividing al-Sadr from the Iraqi government is that he opposes the presidential administrations because they were forged from American hands and then voted on by Iraqis. The Bush Administration opposes al-Sadr because he opposes the government that they have backed. This Iraqi presidential administration is more closely allied with Bush than he is with Iraqi leaders. Iraq has adopted a Bushonian Democracy in which democracy is based on all parties supporting the presidential administration being accepted while anyone who disagrees with certain policies set forth by the administration is considered a threat to national security. Someone with al-Sadr's credentials and public backing has every right to be a part of Iraqi government and could probably be a valuable if not fundamental figure in stabilizing peace within the country.
But the Iraqi presidential administration will not allow this because he threatens their power that has been backed by the U.S. military. The system seems to be that the Iraqi government controls the use of its oil and so the U.S. protects those interests via the military so that that doors to the oil fields remain wide open. And why would the Iraqi government bite the hand that feeds it by allowing an opposing view to enter the political ring? In Iraq, they are enjoying the same sort of democratically-veiled dictatorship that the Bush Administration enjoys here in America.

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