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From the LA Times:
It's hard to think of a more graphic illustration of the horror the U.S.-led coalition is fighting in Iraq than the mass murder on Sept. 26, in which terrorists disguised as policemen (a New York Times headline called these butchers "fighters") burst into a primary school in Iskandaria, south of Baghdad, seized five teachers (all Shiites) and shot them dead. Children stood weeping through this atrocity.Hard to think of a more graphic illustration? Perhaps not.
A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden SUV killed at least 27, including an American soldier, late this morning in the deadliest insurgent attack in more than two months.Another example from the same link:
Many, if not most of the dead were children loitering and playing near U.S. soldiers at an impromptu checkpoint in Baghdad al-Jadida, a lower-middle class residential district populated by Shiites, Sunnis and Christians.
Iraq's interior minister said Monday that insurgents used a handicapped child as one of the suicide bombers who launched attacks on election day.And yet another incident from the same roundup:
Falah al-Naqib told reporters in Baghdad that 38 attacks were carried out on polling stations in Iraq on Sunday and that one of the suicide bombings was carried out by a disabled child.
"A handicapped child was used to carry out a suicide attack on a polling site," al-Naqib said. "This is an indication of what horrific actions they are carrying out."
Iraqi health officials said 35 of the 42 fatalities from Thursday's blasts were children.Try this disturbing passage from Pamela Hess' report from Iraq:
At the morgue, stunned mothers and fathers left with only body parts to take home and bury.
In all that time, as far as I knew, I was never in immediate danger. There was a grenade thrown once, ineffectually, at the back of a Warrior I was in. On one Blackhawk ride near Mosul machine gunners fired on men scrambling on the ground with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. In Fallujah I saw a single improvised explosive device explode, but from a safe distance. And I watched a car bomb burn at a police check point in Tall 'Afar, the explosion killing no one but the people inside the car -- a man, a woman and two young children.No additional details on that car bomb are provided.
Perhaps there's an explanation here:
A suicide bomber captured before he could blow himself up in a Shiite mosque late last week claimed he was kidnapped, beaten and drugged by insurgents who forced him to take on the mission. The U.S. military on Sunday said its medical tests indicated he was telling the truth.Which brings to mind this story from last January:
In a confession broadcast on state television Friday, Mohammed Ali, who claimed to be Saudi-born, said he was kidnapped and coerced to agree to the mission. He said he fled after another suicide attacker killed at least 12 worshipers Friday at a mosque in the northern city of Tuz Khormato.
Results from medical tests on the young man were "consistent with his story and characterization of his treatment," Col. Billy Buckner, a U.S. military spokesman said.
His head and hands were wrapped in bandages and his uncovered face looked like bubbled tar.Perhaps this is all the explanation needed:
The young Saudi man told investigators this month that he wants revenge against the Iraqi terrorist network that sent him on the deadly mission that he survived.
Ahmed Abdullah al-Shaya, 18, told Iraqi investigators during an interrogation early this month that he was recruited to drive a car rigged with explosives to Baghdad and blow it up.
He said the objective was ?to kill the Americans, policemen, national guards and the American collaborators.?
But Shaya said he was injured even before he went on the mission when insurgents detonated a truck bomb he was supposed to leave at a target site.
?They asked me to take the truck near a concrete block barrier before turning to the right and leaving it there,? he says. ?There, somebody will pick up the truck from you,? they told him.
?But they blew me up in the truck,? he says.
Ahmed's truck bomb killed nine people, including a family of seven in their house nearby.
In the Syrian countryside north of Aleppo where Abu Ibrahim grew up and married, his fundamentalist impulses took their present shape when he met "a group of young men through my wife's family who spoke to me the true words of Islam. They told me Sufism was forbidden and the Shiites are infidels."Which Zarqawi explains here:
Abu Ibrahim credited Zarqawi with revitalizing the insurgency, especially since October, when he pledged fealty to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader. Abu Ibrahim said that union helped cement an alliance among several resistance groups in Iraq that formed a joint treasury.
"Six months ago, Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden were different," he said. "Osama did not consider the killing of Shiites as legitimate. Zarqawi did that. Anyone -- Christian, Jew, Sunni, Shiites -- whoever cooperates with the Americans can be killed. It's a holy war."
Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq said in an audio tape dated October 7 that the militants under the principles of Islam have what justifies killing civilian infidels.I suppose that whether or not any of the above examples are more graphic than the slaughter of teachers in front of their students is up to the individual reader, but whatever your thoughts on the topic I do think you should read the rest of that Times column here.
The audio tape thought to be by Zarqawi?s voice was published on website believed to be owned by Al-Qaeda in Iraq and it his speech, Zarqawi said that Islam doesn?t distinguish between people on the basis of civilian vs. military but on the basis of Muslim vs. kaffir (infidel) and that ?an infidel?s blood should be spilled regardless of his occupation or position unless he had a treaty or a promise of peace?.
Then finish with these words of wisdom from Iraqi blogger Alaa.