Guerrillas Kill 3 GIs
15 Iraqis Dead in Violence
Muqtada Emerging as Kingmaker
Guerrillas killed 3 GIs in Babil province south of Baghdad on Friday.
Friday morning, Five bodies were found in Ramadi. Presumably these are either local Shiites or are Sunni Arabs whom the guerrillas considered to be collaborators with the Shiite-dominated Baghdad government.
There were assassinations and firefights elsewhere, including especially Samarra, which has been tense for the past 3 days because of the killing of the commander of the neo-Baathist Army of Muhammad there. Al-Hayat says that altogether 15 Iraqis died in guerrilla violence.
KarbalaNews.net reports that [Ar.] the deputy chief of autopsies in Baghdad says that 35 to 50 corpses come into the morgue every day, most of them Shiites. [Graphic photo.]
Al-Hayat says that [Ar.] the US has found a new Zarqawi video that encourages the ethnic cleansing of Shiites and "spies," and pledges the declaration of an Islamic emirate in some part of Iraq within three months.
Muqtada al-Sadr and his bloc are king-makers in Iraq, argues Sami Moubayed. They want the the ministries of Education, Youth, Commerce, Agriculture and Electricity. Commerce and Agriculture would give them enormous patronage in the economy. Youth and Education give them the opportunity to shape the next generation of Iraqis. And, although electricity generation is not going to improve soon, the ability to decide who gets most of this scarce commodity will buy a lot of clients and voters.
Sadr al-Din al-Qubanji, preacher at the Fatimiyah Husainiyah in Najaf, said in his Friday sermon that militiamen must be recruited into the state security forces, and that no government can be strong in their presence. Al-Qubanji is a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), whose Badr Corps paramilitary is increasingly being absorbed into local police forces and the national Interior Ministry special police commandos. In Najaf context, he is probably saying that the Mahdi Militia of Muqtada al-Sadr is a problem for the regularized Badr in the local police force.
The Sunni hard line Association of Muslim Scholars had said on Thursday that the cancer of militias has spread in Iraq and that the paramilitaries were responsible for horrendous abuses against the human rights of Iraqis.
The preacher at the (Sunni) mosque attached to the shrine of Abdu'l-Qadir Gilani, Shaikh Mahmud al-Isawi, said that the murderous activities of the militias boggled the mind. (Al-Isawi belongs to the mystical, Sufi form of Islam that opposes hard line militant Salafism and Wahhabism). He detailed bloody attacks and asked "Where is the mercy? Where is Islam?"