I do not want to write about Iraq. It is a tragedy. It is a debacle. It is a horror. But we should not ignore it or simply listen to whatever politicians are saying about it. We need to watch the events in Iraq. The hospitals are no longer safe for Sunnis to use.
In Baghdad these days, not even the hospitals are safe. In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq's Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed, according to patients, families of victims, doctors and government officials.As a result, more and more Iraqis are avoiding hospitals, making it even harder to preserve life in a city where death is seemingly everywhere. Gunshot victims are now being treated by nurses in makeshift emergency rooms set up in homes. Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces.
These women who are giving birth outside of hospitals aren't doing that because they are insurgents. The Shia death squads are obviously not discriminating enough to only target real Sunni insurgents.
People in the democratically elected Iraqi government (which is of course an ally of the US government against the insurgencies) are probably involved in killing the hospital patients.
According to patients and families of victims, the primary group kidnapping Sunnis from hospitals is the Mahdi Army, a militia controlled by anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that has infiltrated the Iraqi security forces and several government ministries. The minister of health, Ali al-Shimari, is a member of Sadr's political movement. In Baghdad today, it is often impossible to tell whether someone is a government official, a militia member or, as is often the case, both.
If you are American or British your tax dollars support that regime. People world over support it when they buy gasoline.
The Mahdists claim they are killing people who are themselves killers. But I suspect they are not so discriminating.
Before Feb. 22, when the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra unleashed a wave of sectarian killing and retribution, U.S. authorities and others believed the primary force behind Shiite death squads was the Badr Brigade, the militia of another large Shiite organization, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. But since the bombing, the Mahdi Army appears to have taken the lead in extrajudicial trials and executions, according to Joost Hiltermann, a project director in Jordan for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
For suspected enemies taken by the Mahdi Army, the outcome is swift, with guilt and punishment already determined, the commanders said.
"If we catch any of them, the takfiris, Saddamists, bombers, we don't hand them over to police. He could be freed the next day," the Sheik said.
Bush pretended (or was he deluded) that Iraq has something to do with the war on terrorists who want to attack Westerners. But Osama Bin Laden was supported by wealthy Wahhabi Sunni Arabs from Saudi Arabia, not from Iraq. Bin Laden got his recruits from many countries but mainly Saudi Arabia. Bush still wants us to believe we are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq. But mostly we are fighting Sunni and Shia groups that hate each other even more than they hate us.
Fuel and electricity prices are up more than 270 percent from last year’s, according to Iraqi government figures. Tea in some markets has quadrupled, egg prices have doubled, and all over the country the daily routine now includes a new question: What can be done without?
Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll, who was held captive by Sunni insurgents before finally being freed, reports that the Sunni insurgents see Shiites as greater enemies than the Americans and they didn't even see the Shias as Muslims.
could also see that Shiites were high on their list of enemies. Once, when attempting to explain the historical split between Sunnis and Shiites, Abu Nour, the leader of my captors, stopped himself after he referred to "Shiite Muslims."
"No, they are not Muslims," Ink Eyes said. "Anyone who asks for things from people that are dead, and not [from] Allah, he is not a Muslim."
He was referring to Shiites appealing to long-dead Islamic leaders to intercede with God, asking for miracles such as curing the sick. It's a practice similar to that of Catholics praying to saints.
But after the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya Shrine, and rampant Sunni-Shiite killing, nearly every captor I came into contact with would tell me about their hate for Shiites first. Abu Nour now simply referred to them as "dogs."
The Shias and Sunnis need a divorce. They distrust and hate each other too much at this point. Separate them. It is the most humane thing we could do. Then leave. Or leave now.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 September 04 10:56 PM Mideast Iraq Ethnic Conflict|