“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”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

01/30 Morning Report

Today will be a bit different, for those who are regulars here.

I know this gets covered a lot in Blogdom. Still, lest we forget too quickly, MSNBC posted an interactive map of Sunni and Shiite regions. Iran is almost entirely Shia. As the Saudi's are saying--and have been acting on since the wahabbists rose to power, Iran's interest is in exporting its version of Islam. So, we must remember that when Iran says it wants to support "the people of Iraq", the truth is pretty clear they are only interested in supporting other Shia. The same would apply to Lebanon.

There were apparently two terrorist groups behind the bombing yesterday in Israel. USA Today posted this information in their side bar on the situation today:

Two Palestinian militant groups, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, claimed joint responsibility for Monday's suicide bombing in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat, the first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months and the first ever to hit Eilat, Israel's southernmost city:

Islamic Jihad, a radical group backed by Iran and Syria, has been behind most of the Palestinian attacks against Israel since the sides declared a truce in February 2005. It says the violence is a legitimate response to an Israeli crackdown on its members.

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for nine of ten suicide attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the cease-fire declaration, and its militants in Gaza continue to fire homemade rockets at Israel on a daily basis.

The group is believed to have at least 7,000 militants in Gaza, with hundreds more in the West Bank, armed with M-16 and AK-47 automatic rifles, grenades and anti-tank weapons. It considers the 1979 Iranian Revolution to be the beginning of a new era for the Muslim world and wants to turn all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza into an Islamic state. It rules out compromise with Israel.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, is considered more moderate but has also carried out numerous suicide attacks against Israelis.

It has at least about 20,000 members, many of whom are also part of the official Palestinians security services. The group has a large weaponry arsenal that includes homemade rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, land mines, heavy machine guns and a bevy of automatic rifles. The group does not have a central command, and its members often carry out rogue attacks.
Did anyone notice the groups are tied to Iran? Perhaps not. A bit of history...The PLO split into two main factions: Fatah and Hamas. The principle difference between the two groups is Fatah is more secular. Arafat and Abbas are from Fatah, which means they were more willing to use secular means of attaining their goals. Hamas is more religiously based. that means they are more prone to use the violence of Islam in attaining their ends. But, the important point is the PLO was primarily a Sunni group.

(...if all that does not make you wonder about Iranian intentions in Iraq, what would?...)