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June 26, 2004
Iraqis Discover A Sense Of National Mission?

The decision by the American-led CPA to remain steadfast in its decision to transfer sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government has, predictably, resulted in more desperate measures by Islamofascist terrorists in Iraq, with a wave of coordinated attacks this week resulting in over 100 dead Iraqis. Now even the more radical native elements within Iraq have come out in support of the new government, decrying the hijacking of Islam by the foreigners and calling for their expulsion from the new nation of Iraq:

The objections -- from anti-U.S. Shiite and Sunni Muslim leaders, including rebellious cleric Moqtada Sadr, and even from militia fighters in the embattled city of Fallujah -- arose in part from revulsion at the fact that victims of the car bombings and guerrilla assaults in six cities and towns Thursday were overwhelmingly Iraqis. But they also betrayed Iraqi nationalist concerns that the fight against U.S. occupation forces risked being hijacked by Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian whom U.S. officials describe as a paladin in bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

"We do not need anyone from outside the borders to stand with us and spill the blood of our sons in Iraq," Ahmed Abdul Ghafour Samarrae, a Sunni cleric with a wide following, declared in his Friday sermon at Umm al Qurra mosque in Baghdad. ... "Which religion allows anyone to kill more than 100 Iraqis, destroy 100 families and destroy 100 houses?" raged Samarrae in his sermon. "Who says so? Who are those people who do this? Where did they come from? . . . It is a conspiracy to defame the reputation of the Iraqi resistance by wearing its dress and using its name falsely. These people hurt the Iraqis and Iraq, giving the occupier an excuse to stay longer." ...

In Baqubah, where scores of fighters proclaiming allegiance to Zarqawi attacked police stations and government buildings in Thursday's offensive, clerics called on the faithful not to support such attacks. The attackers, they said in their Friday sermons, were foreigners attacking Iraqis.

"This is the first time we have heard the minaret broadcast support for the Iraqi government," said Edward Peter Messmer, the occupation authority's coordinator for the Baqubah region, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. "And it couldn't come at a better time."

Terrorists have made the predictable and probably fatal error to target Iraqis after attacks on CPA forces demonstrated little effect on their determination to stay. Also, as more and more terrorists were caught or killed in attacks on American security forces, it forced the gangsters to look for easier targets, such as hotels, buses, and other civilian-dominated areas. Iraqis that cheered on attacks on "occupiers" suddenly found themselves not just to be collateral to those attacks but to be the main target -- and now even those who oppose occupation understand that the terrorists are a far worse threat to their safety and freedom.

Iraqi national pride, at this point, provides a helpful dynamic in setting the nation back on its own footing after decades of Ba'athist tyranny. Now that Zarqawi has demonstrated the al-Qaeda plan for Iraqis, and with the promise of full sovereignty looming, they have made the decision to get rid of those foreigners who murder Iraqis by the score before the foreigners who want to rebuild a free Iraqi republic.

UPDATE: Rocket Man notes this passage from the Washington Times' coverage and is less than impressed:

"What sort of religion condones the killing of a Muslim by another Muslim?" asked Sheik Abdul-Ghafour al-Samarai, a member of the influential Sunni group the Association of Muslim Scholars, during a sermon in Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque.

Sheik Ahmed Hassan al-Taha said at Baghdad's al-Azimiya mosque, Iraq's foremost Sunni place of worship, that "it makes me sad to see that all the victims yesterday were Iraqis."

Muslim "religious" leaders don't seem to care much when infidels get beheaded, but draw the line when fellow Muslims start getting killed. My sympathy for these guys is limited.

To me, this was more of a rhetorical mechanism for making the point that Zarqawi is no Muslim and no friend of Iraqis than a discounting of non-Iraqi lives, but I understand Rocket Man's disdain.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 26, 2004 8:49 AM

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