Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Truck Bomb Hits Baghdad Mosque, And 61 Are Dead


The New York Times reported that a suicide bombing took place in Baghdad yesterday when a truck filled with explosive crashed into a Shiite mosque just as people were finishing their midday prayers. At least 61 people were killed and 130 were wounded.

Just like every article lately that's been centered around suicide bombing and sectarian strife in Baghdad, the writer, Alissa J. Rubin, mentioned that this bombing was preceded by the Strong U.S. military presence that does not seem to put much of a dent in the violence that goes on there.

As terrible as it is for me to say this, I think it is stupid for journalists and writers of the New York Times to keep reinterating that thought- i think the people and the administration get it: the security measures increase did hardly anything to help better control the situation in Baghdad (at least that's what NYT thinks.) And if they didn't get it, taking a paragraph (that's about 80 words) to repeat that day after day is not going to convince them; it just takes up front page space.

That aside, this was a pretty revealing article in terms of what the people in Baghdad think about America's inability to stop this senseless bloodshed.

"The Americans know everything, they can do everything... why do they let these things happen here in Iraq?" said Abu Muhammad, who is one of the custodians of the bombed mosque.

It's such a simple concept that a person doesn't have to be a political analyst or an anthropologist to wonder: Why is the strong military and political American presence allowing this to happen? Why are they unable to control it?

Then there is another thought that perhaps the Americans do want these terrible things to happen in Iraq. Iraqis are angry by their inaccessibility to normal lives, because they have to be constantly on their toes about any unknown vehicle or suspicious character- it's understandable for people to blame and point fingers when they are in an unceasing state of panic.

Not that the Americans don't warrant suspicion.

Anyway, reading this, I thought of an interview a while back that Jon Stewart from the Daily show had with a Middle East analyst named Reza Aslan. One of the thing he said was the Al-Qaeda is tolerated in Iraq by the American presence there. They are only about seven percent of the population (I believe the number is seven, though this would require some fact-checking on my part.) and if the U.S. got out of Iraq, the other 93 percent would immediatly slaughter them. When Aslan said that, Stewart's eyebrows went up, and he said, "Hey, I've got an idea!"

The reason why I thought of it was because one of our government's main reasons for staying in Iraq is to squash Al-Qaeda, and yet by their leaving it, they would have successfully squashed it, because there is just no way that tiny seven percent of crazy lunatics could control that country, especially since our own government failed and we had a large presence there (This is according to Aslan, by the way.) I know there are other reasons for not leaving, such as sectarian strife between the Sunnis and the Shiites- which has little to do with Al-Qaeda (though that organization completely exploit these people's distrust and fear for each other for it's uncomprehensible purposes).

One more thing about this article- Rubin mentioned that the bombing of this mosque was especially significant (Other than the 61 people dying) because it was one of the places where there were a mix of Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds who worshipped together. This shows that these terrorists are of neither sects (is that the right word?) even if they claim to be so.

Here's the video of the interview of Jon Stewart with Reza Aslan:



Link of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/20/world/middleeast/20iraq.html?ref=todayspaper