You Take the High Road, I'll Take the Low Road
More than 300,000 Shiite Muslims from southern Iraq have signed a petition condemning Iran for fomenting violence in Iraq, according to a group of sheiks leading the campaign.
Yes, you read that right.
"The Iranians, in fact, have taken over all of south Iraq," said a senior tribal leader from the south who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his life. "Their influence is everywhere."
The unusually organized Iraqi rebuke illustrates the divisions that Iran has provoked among Iraq's majority Shiites. The prime minister and major political blocs are closely tied to Iran, but the petition organizers said many citizens are fiercely opposed to Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Does this signal the opening clash between the forces organized at the grassroots and those picked by Iranian influence peddlers in the backrooms? Is the Surge now shifting its emphasis from al-Qaeda to Teheran? What a reversal of roles between Iranian insurgents and MNF-Iraq.
The petition, which the organizers said was signed by 600 sheiks, calls on the United Nations to send a delegation to investigate what it termed crimes committed by Iran and its proxies in southern Iraq.
This is the kind of organizing strategy the Left, back when it supposedly championed this sort of thing, would have been proud to espouse. Too bad it left the job of fighting dictatorships to MNF-Iraq. Iraq has been a tragedy for the Left in a way that it has never been for conservatives. Never mind. MNF-Iraq is probably better at it anyway. "De Oppresso Liber".
Bill Roggio describes an incident which illustrates how seriously the terror cells fear the grassroots movements.
"Gunmen dressed in Iraqi army uniforms launched an attack on Howr Rajab, a Sunni village south of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding three," the Associated Press reported. "They then commandeered a military vehicle and charged into the village where they assaulted the headquarters of the Howr Rajab Awakening Council, a local anti-Qaeda front, killing 10 of its members and wounding four."
The Howr Rajab Awakening teamed up with the Iraqi Army and repelled the attack. Upwards of 18 civilians were killed in the fighting. "Dozens of men wearing Iraqi army uniforms entered the area and opened fire randomly at people," an Awakening member told the Associated Press. "The Iraqi army intervened and along with Awakening members fought back. There were fierce clashes ... which are still ongoing." ...
Al Qaeda in Iraq also struck at the village of Al Kulaiyah in Diyala province. "Villagers from Shiite Al-Ambagiyah tribe defended themselves and in the ensuing clashes nine people were killed," AFP reported. "Seven fighters from Al-Qaeda and two from the Ambagiyah tribe were killed in the gun battle that lasted an hour," said police Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Abdullah.
MNF-Iraq has been headhunting the al-Qaeda leadership in addition to the grassroots opposition.
As al Qaeda attempts to bring down the Awakening movements, US and Iraqi Security forces continue to target al Qaeda's leadership network nationwide. Over the past week, US and Iraqi forces killed or captured three senior leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq's network.
Maybe the Iranian "Special Groups" should start worrying too.