“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iraq Thoughts

And, the big news item: Iraq Ministry Kidnapping. According to the NY Times there was either over 100 kidnap victims or 50. No one officially seems to know. But at least 37 have been released. According to a government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, just 39 people had been kidnapped in all, and that only two were still being held. But, Abed Dhiab al-Ajeeli, the minister of higher education, said that more than 100 hostages were taken in the incident, which took place at one of his ministry’s office buildings, and that 52 were still missing. A Reuters report added a little more detail:

"I have suspended my participation as a minister with the government until those people who have been kidnapped are released," Higher Education Minister Abd Dhiab told Reuters.
the minister also said Sunnis, as well as Shi'ites, were among 68 people so far freed, joining other senior officials in playing down indications that the raid had a sectarian motive.

This incident brings up a vital point. We must remember the Sunnis and the Shiites have death squads and militias. Both groups have to be dealt with. Consider these two facts:
*Sunni areas such as Adhamiya, Amiriya, Ghazaliya and Doura have become all but out of bounds for Shi'ites who fear fake security checkpoints where gunmen may ask for identification that reveals their identity.
*On Tuesday, dozens of gunmen dragged as many as 100 men out of an office run by the Higher Education Ministry. The minister said they were taken to a Shi'ite area where a powerful militia, accused by Sunnis of targeting them, is based.
The media is very quick to bring up Maliki’s political alliances with Shiite militias. And those need to be addressed. But, who is demanding the Sunnis deal with their militias?
(…personally…I see the Sunnis throwing a temper fit because they don’t have the political control they once did…and I see the Shiites throwing a fit over letting the Sunnis have any because of always being “second rate”…while it’s pretty normal, politically and culturally speaking, they all need to grow up before they wipe each other out…)

Which brings me to Gen. John Abizaid testifying before Congress about Iraq. McCain accused him of merely wanting to keep the status quo. Typical of the Left, Senator Clinton “saw no evidence that conditions inside Iraq were improving. "Hope is not a strategy," she said.
In response, Abizaid said he was not arguing for the status quo. He said the key change that is needed now is to place more U.S. troops inside the Iraqi Army and police units to train and advise these forces in planning and executing missions.
This Reuters report further revealed that
“op intelligence officials, speaking to the Senate panel, also pinned responsibility for Iraq's security on Iraq's government.
(…hhhmmm…sounds a little different than the “staus quo” to me…or just blind hope…)

And, for the record my thoughts haven't changed since well before the election. Go back and read them.