Thursday, June 15, 2006

Attacks dip after Iraqi security operation - Yahoo! News

You know it was killing them to write that headline.

Attacks dip after Iraqi security operation - Yahoo! News

But, don't worry. Plenty of blood and guts and fear a little further down in the article. What was really interesting was this:

"If this security plan really works, then perhaps I will be encouraged to go out of my neighborhood," Mohammed Yehia, a 30-year-old father of two, said at the marble-tiled plaza outside the Grand Imam Abu Hanifa mosque in Azamiyah.

Yehia said fears of being killed by Shiite militants have prevented him from venturing out of Azamiyah since the Feb. 22 destruction of a revered Shiite shrine — an attack which unleashed the worst and longest bout of sectarian violence since Saddam's ouster.

"It has been three years," said Yehia, who makes a living doing odd jobs at the Grand Imam mosque. "We have had enough. We are all yearning for normal lives."

Now, let me explain the best parts about this fellow they are interviewing. As much as I agree with his sentiments, I wonder if the reporter actually had any clue what "odd jobs" a 30 year old man might be doing around the mosque. Why?

First, reading down the entire article, you should have seen the section that talks about recent rais in Azamiyah and the presence of Sunni insurgents, particularly the jihad kind, who are blowing things up and forcing the shops to close. Largely because Zarqawi, before he died, outlined a plan to close all of the bakers/bread sellers and meat sellers in Sunni neighborhoods because he considered them a security risk. Why? Because they are the local coffee shop. These sellers have small shops or stands in the neighborhood and everyone goes there for their morning bread or to get meat for dinner. They are often vendors with carts in the neighborhood but because they are such a fixture, people talk around them without concern for "secrets". The falafel (Iraq bread) sellers know who has guests, who isn't home, etc, etc, etc.

Azahmiyah is a hotbed of activity as well with continued ieds.

Secondly, the Abu Hanifa mosque has been raided a number of times for giving "sanctuary" to insurgents; buried bombs or weapons in the compound (repeatedly) ; is associated with the Muslim Scholar Association which is connected with all the Sunni insurgent groups (often negotiates for hostage freedom), has the clerics routinely arrested for hiding, aiding and abetting as well as their routine anti-American anti-Iraq government sermons even broadcasted over loud speakers.

So, I think it's interesting that a 30 year old (military age) guy is just at the mosque doing "odds and ends" jobs.

Like what? Carrying money? Sniping from a mosque mineret?

Linked at the Castle

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