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July 19, 2005
Zarqawi Starts Targeting Sunnis

Iraqi terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has concentrated his effort in recent weeks on inflaming sectarian passions in Iraq by targeting Shi'ites and Kurds for attack, rather than Americans or the thus-far sympathetically inclined Sunni population. That changed today as a terrorist assassinated a prominent Sunni politician working on the new Iraqi constitution:

Mijbil Issa was gunned down, along with an adviser to the committee and a bodyguard, in the Karradah area of Baghdad, according to Mohammed Abed-Rabbou, another Sunni member of the drafting committee.

Issa was among 15 Sunnis named last month to a committee charged with drafting a new constitution by Aug. 15. The Sunnis were added in an attempt to reach out to the religious community at the heart of the insurgency.

However, two Sunni committee members had already quit because of threats from the insurgents who oppose the U.S.-backed, Shiite-dominated government.

Zarqawi seems to have decided to pull out all the stops to sabotage the constitutional process in Iraq. Attacking what used to be their public-relations base risks alienating the formerly dominant sect under Saddam. These attacks and threats underscore Zarqawi's intent not to restore a Sunni hegemony but a Wahhabist tyranny akin to the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan before October 2001.

The Sunni need to decide whether they will continue to support these lunatics. They should have learned by now that terrorist proxies are like using a slippery knife; once in use, it all too easily turns on the user and can prove deadly. Whether they show the same resilience and courage of their countrymen during the January elections and use that knowledge to overwhelmingly reject Zarqawi and his goons -- and cough him up -- remains to be seen. If they don't learn it now, Zarqawi certainly has more lessons planned for these recalcitrant pupils.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 19, 2005 12:00 PM

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