Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Ashurra attacks

We woke up yesterday to gruesome scenes of dead, bloody, and mutilated Iraqis at Karbala and Kadhimiyah. Yet more attacks and 270 more dead Iraqi civilians and no one is counting any more. I've lost count of the number of suicide attacks we've experienced over the last 8 months a long time ago. And I think we've broke the record.

This years congregation at Karbala was probably the largest in its history. For the first time in 31 years the city was choking with hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite tourists who made their way from Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Arabian Gulf countries to visit the shrine of Al-Hussein. Not to mention mawakib (processions) from all over Iraq. Someone mentioned that for the first time in history there were mawakib from Ramadi and Mosul (both largely Sunni cities).

Shia Muharram rituals were banned by the Ba'athist Revolutionary Command Council in 1973, which is the main reason this years events were so special. People are now free to practice and revel in their beliefs with no fear of intimidation or prosecution. And that's why it's terrifying to see that someone would still dare to commit such a vile act against those people despite the huge security precautions.

The perpetrators are unknown as usual. And it seems the GC and coalition officials have already made up their minds and linked the attacks to Zarqawi and foreign terrorists, which I admit is a large possibility. However, there are still several parties operating independently from each other in Iraq. It would be foolish to assume that since attacks against the coalition have declined over the past few weeks that therefore the influence of remnants of the former regime is over (holy sites at Karbala were bombed in the past by the Republican Guard). Sunni extremists have attacked Shia mosques in Baqubah and Baghdad before, and I've heard many people calling these Shia festivals provocative, so why rule out that possibility? Even some Shi'ite organizations with agendas for Iraq might benefit in many ways from such attacks.

Statements like 'No Iraqi would commit such an atrocity' or 'No Muslim would do that' are stupid, as if all Iraqis were saints and haven't committed atrocities before. One GC member even went far as to say 'No human being did that'. Of course not, dude, they were Greys from the Zeta Reticuli system.

The reaction of the Shi'ite margi'iyah wasn't a surprise, blaming the coalition. First they ask coalition forces to keep out of the holy sites and stay as far as possible from the festivals, and when something goes wrong they are the first to blame for not providing adequate protection. I'm wondering why someone didn't wisely proclaim 'It was the joooz, you know', or maybe they did and I haven't noticed.

Iraqis are very bitter. Just as everything was looking so promising after the announcement of the Interim Law recently there's this. And I don't think it's going to stop any soon.

The shameful silence must end. Where are the cries of outrage from the Arab and Islamic world? Where is the condemnation and denunciation? Where are the fatwas? Where is the seething and shaking fists? Or are these preserved for other people?

Bring back the Mukhabarat, and start trying those captured regime officials and foreign terrorists before it's too late.