Thursday, February 07, 2008

Playing with Fire...Brands

If we keep doing this...:

U.S. troops raided Baghdad's largest Shiite slum early Thursday and arrested 16 people, U.S. and Iraqi officials and witnesses said. The American military said one person died. [...]

Police and residents said American soldiers in Humvees backed by helicopters sealed off a block of the neighborhood and raided four houses. The front door lock on one of the houses was shattered by gunfire, and 22-year-old Arkan Abid Ali was shot in the chest and wounded, witnesses said. [...]

Ali was one of 16 Iraqis, including three teenage boys, detained by U.S. forces, an Iraqi police officer said on customary condition of anonymity.

Two women and an elderly man were also wounded and taken to Sadr City Hospital, he said. It was unclear which of the wounded had died.

...we're going to make it much harder for Sadr to overcome internal dissent sown by his decision to keep doing this:

Anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered his Mehdi Army militia to maintain its six-month ceasefire, Sadr's spokesman said on Thursday, while his militiamen clashed with Iraqi and U.S. soldiers.

Salah al-Ubaidi said the ceasefire, which expires later this month, should continue to be observed until militia members are told it is over or has been renewed.

Some members of Shi'ite cleric Sadr's bloc are pressuring him not to extend August 29's freeze on the feared Mehdi Army's activities, which has been vital to cutting violence in Iraq.

As discussed a couple weeks back. Further, unless we can better prevent incidents such as these...:

Also Thursday, gunmen stormed a house northeast of Baghdad, separated out the women and children inside and killed three brothers — all members of a U.S.-backed neighborhood watch group, police said.

The attack happened early Thursday in the Muradiyah area near Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of the capital. Such groups — comprised mostly of Sunni tribesman partnering with the Americans to oust al-Qaida from their hometowns — have become frequent targets recently because of their alliance with U.S. and Iraqi forces.

...the various civil wars will flare up again. But then, considering how many potential culprits there are behind these attacks (including our ostensible "allies" in the Iraqi government), I'm not overly optimistic about our ability to prevent these assassinations going forward.

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