Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Where are the Shi'a?

I think almost no one even heard of the Shi’a except maybe in Iran and Lebanon, until after the removal of Saddam. Most people probably did not know Iraq was a Shi’ite majority country until after the removal of Saddam or maybe until the elections.

The majority of Iraqis are Shi’a, whether the Arab neighbors like it or not, and they do not. Of course, Iran is majority Shi’ite, and one thing that the Sunni Arabs like to do is say that all Shi’a are Persian or Iranian and this makes them more of foreigners than anything else. This is of course not true it is just slander from hateful people. Bahrain is majority Shi’ite, although it is ruled by the Sunni Khalifa family. They face discrimination in many ways from the ruling regime. The other country with a definite Shi’ite majority is Azerbaijan. In Lebanon, the Shi’a are the biggest of many groups but not more than 50% of the population.

In other Arab countries there are Shi’ite populations that are minorities but significant. In Saudi Arabia there are many Shi’a, and many are in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, which has a lot of oil. The Saudis are Wahhabis and so they hate all of the Shi’a and also for that matter hate all people who are not Wahhabis, although Shi’a are the worst to them usually, sometimes even worse than Jews. There is also a big Shi’ite minority in Kuwait. Kuwait is ruled by the Sunni Sabah family and Shi’ites in Kuwait and all Kuwaitis actually got some more rights after the US kicked out Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait in 1991 and then the US forced the Kuwaitis to be a little bit more democratic.

Outside of the Arab countries, there is a significant Shi’ite minority in Pakistan and also in Afghanistan. Right now there is a Grand Ayatollah who is Pakistani (Bashir al-Najafi) and another who is Afghan (Mohammad al-Fayadh), and both live in Najaf. India, which has the biggest Muslim population in the world except for Indonesia, also has a Shi’ite population in its Muslim population.

So there is some information for you. I think that more and more people will be learning about the Shi’a because the Shi’a are important and powerful now that there is a democracy in Iraq. A lot of Arabs and other Sunnis outside of Iraq and other Sunnis really don’t know much about the Shi’a and I have even learned this by talking to some of them.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Al-Qa’ida’s “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq

Like all good people of course I hate al-Qa’ida. Their ideas says that all people who aren’t Wahhabi (extremist Sunni type) should be killed. Being Sunni doesn’t matter, only a Wahhabi Sunni is good enough for them, otherwise they are allowed to kill you, so they think! Their actions all over the world are just for killing people, many of them. And of course in Iraq they have done very much damage, killing Iraqis and attacking holy sites.

In Iraq I think al-Qa’ida can already say their “Mission Accomplished” at least for a few years and I can tell you why. First we know al-Qa’ida has gone by many names and now they are part of this gang of whores called “Islamic State” of Iraq, which is a insult to Islam and also shows us that they really want to be a government and have a state in Iraq and everywhere else. So maybe they do not have a state in Iraq, although sometimes they control some areas. But to succeed in Iraq they have said they hate the Shi’a and want to kill them and they don’t only kill Shi’a themselves. They make sectarian hatred worse, causing more killings on both sides, Shi’ite and Sunni. Some Sunnis helped al-Qa’ida and that is true. Even now though some Sunnis are turning against them. Still, damage is a lot. The Shi’a have been massacred by al-Qa’ida and have a lot of hatred and frustration in them. The Sunnis who have suffered from Shi’ite striking back, which has killed innocent Sunnis and made them hate the Shi’a more. And you could see after the bombing by al-Qa’ida of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, one of the holiest Shi’ite sites, how Iraq exploded.

Here is my thought… If al-Qa’ida disappeared completely tomorrow from Iraq, the damage from them is all over the place and the effects of al-Qa’ida would unfortunately stick around for a long time. Everyone remembers the massive killings on both sides and the attacks on holy sites. Sectarian hatreds were made much worse by al-Qa’ida and that was their plan. So it will take a long time to make things better.

I have to blame al-Qa’ida first of course. Also I have to blame the people who supported them in Iraq, which means Ba’thists who thought they could work with al-Qa’ida to win back control. Also anyone who let them in their neighborhood and actively supported them, like I have talked about before (different from people who were just scared to work against them). And of course many of the Sunnis and Arabs all over the world who thought that it is “resistance” and of course they don’t give a damn how many Iraqis are killed by the “resistance” of this evil called al-Qa’ida. The Iraqis and foreign people who supported them before or now, bastards, who are more moved by hatred than anything. They are the garbage of Iraq and the world, like Saddam and his supporters.

Iraqis all need to unite against al-Qa’ida and maybe it is happening, more and more I think it is. But they also need to somehow get rid of the higher level of hatreds that al-Qa’ida brought into Iraq. It is one big problem and we know Iraq has so many more of them as well. Iraqis also need to deal with Saddam and Ba’thism, so much to deal with, maybe I will write about that soon. But how can it be done when it is just a struggle to stay alive for your average Iraqi in so many parts of the country?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Smoking and football

I should stop smoking. I have said that many times and now hearing about Sayyid Hakim I think about it again. Smoking is of course bad for your health (lung, heard, everything) but also I really like doing it. I like the feeling you get from smoking, I like smoking action by itself, and it is a social action with friends and people always offer cigarettes as part of being polite and nice.

Just a thought I had a little while ago. I guess the people visit my blog to read about Iraq and usually that is what my thoughts are anyway, but maybe sometime I will just post other things as well. I hope that I can write about good news from the Iraqi football team soon also. I love watching them play because it makes me happy to see Iraq in normal activities like other countries do. Also it is a good way to get away from all the concerns of life and enjoy something that all people enjoy, especially kids. Would be nice if there really was not big problems in Iraq. I wish Iraqi kids could grow up like normal ones, without having to see or worry about family disappearing, hear explosions, and see horrible things like dead bodies. What kind of adults will they grow up to be?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hakim in US, has lung cancer

Before I wrote about some Iraqi politicians who went to the US for political reasons. A few days ago Sayyid Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC, which was before SCIRI), went to the US for medical check and now people report he has lung cancer. This is not good news and also I wish Hakim good health.

Hakim is of course the leader of SIIC, the largest group of the largest list in parliament. So he is very powerful. He is the son of the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohsen al-Hakim, who was the most important leader of the Shi’a before Sayyid Abul-Qasim al-Khoei and Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. He is also the brother of Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, who was the starter of SCIRI and was assassinated by Sunni terrorists along with many other people in 2003 at the shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf.

Hakim is one of the only politicians who can be treated well and respected and listened to by the USA and Iran. Of course the USA is the most important other country in Iraq, but now Iran is influential as well and is causing problems in Iraq like most of the other neighboring criminal states. The USA will probably need someone who can communicate with both sides, and Hakim is definitely the best person. Hakim has spoken against terrorism in Iraq. He and his family fought Saddam and there were many people from the Hakim family killed or forced out from their homes by Saddam.

So I wish Hakim good health and am sad to hear this news. Also reports are that the Iraqi President Talabani will be in the US for some time for medical checks although this was planned. It is not good for Iraq for such leaders to be having health problems and so I hope that their health will improve.

Of course there are so many sad stories in Iraq. Hakim getting sick is just one thing out of very many, but I still like I said before I think there are some very good things about Hakim and also if Hakim is not acting as a leader for Iraq because of his health, it is bad for the Iraqi people and a sad story not only for Hakim and his family (who has plenty of sad stories already) but also for millions of Iraqis.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The USA in Iraq

So like I said before the USA is a part of life in Iraq and really the USA has been it for a long time. Of course the first Western country to come to Iraq was Britain. When the Ottoman Empire fell apart (a good thing), the Europeans took parts of the old empire. France got Lebanon and Syria and that is why some Lebanese people think they are European French and even they speak Arabic with some French words and when some of these Lebanese men talk they sound like fancy French women. Also they wear fancy clothes and spend a lot of time doing their hair. That is a different story I think.

So Iraq was basically three Ottoman provinces put together, they were Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul. These were very big provinces, not like the ones today. Kuwait was part of the Basra province… but that is also a different story. So Britain ruled Iraq and gave Iraq a kingdom with a Sunni king from Saudi Arabia. Then Iraq became independent and then it became a republic. So anyway Britain was the Western country most involved in Iraq.

Now everyone had relations with Iraq for many years and the USA supported Saddam against Iran but of course later things changed and Saddam invaded Kuwait and threatened the Wahhabi Saudi terror state, which is some sort of friend to the USA. The USA and Saddam were big enemies. Since threatened and fought Saddam the USA has been the most involved Western country in Iraq and always every Iraqi new that the fate of Iraq was in USA hands. And the USA then came and got rid of Saddam and occupied Iraq so now more than ever the USA is very involved in Iraq.

I remember in 2003 as Saddam was kicked out of power I was thinking how the future would be. I thought about how now the USA and Iraq were very closely linked and I also wondered how kids growing up in Iraq would learn about the USA and think about it. Under Saddam the USA was said to be evil and you started a school day praising Saddam and his 17 July revolution. I remember after on 17 July in 2005 some friends and I were relaxing and one guy said, “Happy 17 July.” And another said, “Remember when at school you said long live Saddam and long live 17 July?” So this guy raised up his glass and said, “Death to Saddam and death to the 17 July.” And actually we said other very profane things about the bastard Saddam and his gang of whores, but I wont repeat it here! Anyway I thought that the USA got rid of the murderer and bastard Saddam so maybe the future would be very much better.

Unfortunately things have gotten very bad in Baghdad and some people want the Americans to leave and some don’t but still I don’t think that the next generation of Iraqis will think of the USA as a hero. Still, no matter what, the USA and Iraq are linked and it was not a choice of Iraqis but that is how it is. I can only think about how the next generation will live and think about this. Hopefully at least they can live in peace without a dictator like Saddam or battles in the streets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Iraqi politicians in DC

If we like it or not, the USA and Iraq are very closely related in so many ways and now more than before. Right now Iraqi politicians are in Washington, DC trying to talk to members of the government that has the most power in Iraq, the American government.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Barham Saleh, went over there. He is a Kurd from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and he has lived and worked in DC before. The other person with him is the National Security Advisor, Mowaffak al-Ruba’i, who is a Shi’ite who praises the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr. Both of them are asking for support for the Americans to stay in Iraq until it can be more stable and Iraqi forces are stronger and do not need help. They know that the effort in Iraq is not popular with Americans so they are going to ask for the Americans to support the Iraqi government and American soldiers in Iraq.

Another Iraqi politician is also going but not with these two top officials and this is Mohammad al-Dayni, MP from Saleh al-Mutlag’s list. He is meeting with people who opposed the war on Saddam. Dayni is a real bastard and a Sunni sectarian who speaks in the same way as typical racists when talking about the Shi’ite majority. He was the major source for a documentary on “Shi’ite death squads” in the West. Also he displayed a picture of the Iranian politician Mohammad Khatami in a wax museum with wax displays of tortures and said that it was actually a Sunni man (not a wax statue) from Haifa Street in Baghdad being tortured at the Buratha mosque, which is the most important Shi’ite place in Baghdad outside of Kadhimiya. Dayni also calls Iraqi Shi’a Iranians, just like other Sunni racists like Saddam love to. Now he is going to the US and meeting with the people who oppose war on Saddam. It is interesting that this son of a bitch supports killing American soldiers but still American politicians will meet with him. I do not understand why Dayni is allowed to even go to the USA and to see politicians.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sectarianism is how it is

Sectarianism is the big thing in Iraq now. It is also a bad word. You are sectarian! I even saw on a website a while ago one guy, a Sunni from Mosul (you should know Mosul is of course filled with Ba'thist supporter people of many kinds), made a graphic that changed the logo of the al-Iraqiyah (Iraqi state satellite channel) so it said “sectarianism” (al-Ta’ifiyah in Arabic). It was actually nice work with the graphics. The guy thought that al-Iraqiyah is now apparently a Shi’ite sectarian channel. I guess sectarian means being for your sect before anything else. In the ideal world Iraqis would be pro-Iraqi and pan-Iraqi before everything else, or really is that the case? Does that even make sense or is it not even human nature?

Think about this. What makes you more upset, if a random person in a far away place gets killed, or someone in your city gets killed, or if your cousin gets killed? I think it is normal for people to be more effected when something happens to their family than when it happens to someone who isn’t in their close family. And what about your community, people of your same religious beliefs or ethnicity? Isn’t it natural that they are closer to you then others in the same area who aren’t from your community? So do you blame someone for looking out for their community before the others? But that is sectarian!

But talking again about your family, sometimes being sectarian is what it takes to survive. I wrote about militias before, saying how sometimes the militias are what keep people alive. If only one choice will keep you alive, you will probably choose it. If you are a Shi’ite, are you going to vote for the big Shi’ite list (United Iraqi Alliance) that includes powerful parties that bravely fought Saddam (like Da’wa) and those who have militias who have been protecting your neighborhood? In the unstable Iraq it sounds like it makes a lot more sense to vote for them than to take a chance with a small list that probably can never protect you or a list that doesn’t really care about Shi’ite demands. And it is definitely a better choice than voting for the list of an ex-Ba’thist like Allawi or a Sunni sectarian list with politicians who cannot even admit that the Shi’a are the majority. So you see choices are limited.

Sometimes you chose sectarianism to stay alive, but I guess you should be criticized for it. Maybe this explains why so many Sunnis did vote for the bastards Dulaimi and Mutlag. They feel threatened by the Shi’a so they think that these terrorists or Ba’thist-thinking types can protect them against Shi’ite oppression. Of course, the Sunnis must feel more threatened by the Shi’a after the Shi’ite militias committed more crimes against Sunni innocent civilians. But this happened mostly in response to continued Sunni attacks against Shi’a. The worst Sh’ite attacks against Sunnis happened after the terror attack on the Askariya shrine in Samarra in February last year when the outrage just made people explode. Sectarian crimes lead to more sectarianism on both sides. If you live in a Shi’ite neighborhood and you see the Sunnis murdering your neighbors every week, then you will start to hate the Sunnis more. Same thing the other way around if you live in a Sunni neighborhood. It goes in circles and things get worse and worse, and today’s Baghdad is the proof of this.

Sectarianism is natural and makes sense. Being for your family and your community is the way things work everywhere in the world. When you are facing a huge threat (mass murderers in the case of Iraq) then you are of course going to protect yourself, your family, your community. I think only in Iraq it is automatically a bad word because people hate to see the Shi’a having power after the Shi’ite majority was oppressed for so long. Still, I think that sectarianism, if it means that you support your group against all others, and support your group in a way to harm others, then it is a crime and such people should be shown as criminals and condemned. It is a fine line, isn’t it? Never black and white and never good and bad!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Militias are bad and good

The word militia is interesting because usually it only means Shi’ite groups. It is a used as a bad term when labeling groups. The people usually talk about the militias as the Badr Brigades of SCIRI or the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr, two Shi’ite groups. Sometimes people say that the Kurdish Peshmerga also as a militia. What about the Sunni Arab militias? Well, I guess they don’t exist, because we never hear about them. This is interesting because the majority of the victims of sectarian violence have been Shi’a according to Talabani, who said that Shi’a are much more than 50% of the dead. Maybe militia means people from groups who were oppressed by Saddam and now have some guns and power.

Shi’a get killed in massive bombings and are killed on the streets or at fake checkpoints. I guess the people doing this aren’t labeled as militias, they are called insurgents or rebels or something like that. They are the pride of the Arabs and Sunnis worldwide, this is the resistance, noble unlike those filthy militias!

It is true that the Badr Brigades and Mahdi Army have been involved in killing civilians, Sunnis, targeting them for being Sunni and that is it. Do I need to say that this is criminal? Murdering innocents is criminal and that is certain. But also these groups in some places of Iraq have acted as security forces, protecting people who otherwise would be targeted by the Sunni terrorists. So there are people who would hate to see these militias shut down simply because the militias are the only thing that is between them and death. I can say it in one other way, if the only thing stopping you from being slaughtered is a bunch of bastards, then you will probably support those bastards. Unless there is an impartial security force that is there to protect Iraqis regardless of whether they are Shi’ite or Sunni or Arab or Kurd or pretty or ugly or anything else then people will have to depend on those who are providing them with security.

There are stories from people Baghdad about militias, especially the Mahdi Army. I have heard people say they are so grateful for the Mahdi Army because they provide protection to them and take brave steps against the Sunni terrorists. I know people who have had their family kidnapped by the Mahdi Army. I know people who have had the life of a friend saved by the Mahdi Army. One person was rescued by the Mahdi Army men who took a guy out of a car when the Sunni terrorists were taking him to be executed. Another guy I know tells about how the Iraqi police refused to help when some Mahdi Army men decided to kill a bunch of innocent Sunni civilians. All I am saying is that there are two sides to the militia story. It would be nice if there was a different situation and one side was good and one side was bad and that would be so easy and the good people could take the good side and sleep without worry. But in many cases in Iraq that isn’t how it is. Nothing is so easy especially in Iraq. Both sides are bad and this is the reality of life and death in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Visiting my blog

Hello everyone, this is just a letter to my readers. First, thank you to everyone who comes to read my posts and provide comments. I am happy that people are reading what I have to say. Also, especially thank you to people who have linked to my website. And if you look at the left side of the page you can see I have already won an award (“Most Sectarian Blog Ever”), which was a surprise. I hope more awards will be won by me soon.

I guess this is like my own house so if you come by and want to visit them I will invite you in to have some tea or coffee with me and talk for a while. This means that I will welcome comments from everyone even if they do not agree with me. Soon I will start to write back to comments on this site so we can have dialogue. Most of the comments until now have been very nice but you can see I also have ones that aren’t and that is fine, but I will respond to those as well soon!

So I will continue writing mostly about Iraq but sometimes probably just about whatever other things I am thinking about because there are all sorts of things going through my mind. So one more time أهلا وسهلا, welcome and thank you for your visit.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Missing Sunni domination

All of headlines say that the international conference on Iraq called for “Sunni inclusion”. What the hell to make of this? The Arab neighbors are mad because Saddam is no longer in power and the Sunni minority of Iraqis is no longer in power. Iraq had an election with high voter participation and certain parties that claim to represent the Sunni Arabs won many seats. I said before how over 1.5 million people voted for Tawafuq, the list headed by the terrorist son of a bitch Dulaimi. Many also voted for another bastard Saleh al-Mutlag who heads a list of 11 MPs. Either you can chose democracy and count the votes or you can do something else. We already know how much democracy means to the leaders of Iraq’s Arab neighbor countries, the wonderful unelected Arab presidents and kings. I guess I should not be surprised to see King “Shi’ite crescent” Abdullah and the other King Abdullah (the fat Wahhabi bastard), and Hosni “Iraqi Shi’a are loyal to Iran” Mubarak rejecting democracy and calling for more Sunni power in Iraq. You sons of whores, your universe is falling apart and you should be scared. Damn, what happened to the Eastern Gate?!

These Arab neighbors hate the Shi’a and democracy but they should realize this is the way it is. The Shi’a are not only victims now although the Sunni terrorists who are supported by so many Arabs and other Sunnis still make sure there are plenty of Shi’ite victims even after Saddam. Iraq had elections and Iraq has a government formed by the results of the elections. This is the reality of the new Iraqi politics. Let Iraqis count the ballots and fill the seats that way, not fill them in a way to please the former lovers of Saddam and those who think that the only place for a Shi’ite is under a Sunni boot. Still they will try their best to keep the Shi’a oppressed, and the fact that they make such statements about “Sunni inclusion” is serious but nothing compared to the support they give for terrorists in Iraq, not caring as their young men go to Iraq to blow themselves up and try to kill a bunch of Shi’a.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Stability after Saddam

I wrote before about “stability” under Saddam and how I want to write about “stability” after Saddam, which means right now. Yes, there are places where there is stability, some places in the south and some places in the north of Iraq, where there is more prosperity and more freedom than under Saddam.

Like I said before, though, Baghdad is worse than it looks. In many areas, people who can leave the city, or the country, can. Baghdad is the meeting point for all of the worst people who want to fight their battles including Iraqis and foreigners backed by every imaginable force including the wonderful neighbors of Iraq who are all looking to take something from Iraq. Shi’a are blown up for committing the crime of being Shi’ite, whether they commit this “crime” in a mosque or a market. Sunnis may be shot in the streets or kidnapped from fake checkpoints by people like Moqtada’s “Mahdi Army”. Their “crime” is being Sunni. Anyone can be caught in the cross fire between the different groups fighting each other and the US soldiers fighting any of them.

Kidnapping has been a threat to Baghdad residents since the fall of Saddam. Kidnappers are frequently just part of criminal gangs, but they may sell their person to terrorist groups if they can make enough money doing it. I know plenty of people (Iraqis) who have had their family members kidnapped. Some paid for the release of their loved ones, and others still have their family missing and have not heard from them in months. Kidnapping Iraqis makes money, but kidnapping Westerners is where they can make a lot of money. If you kidnap an American you can sell him or her to al-Qa’ida for very much money.

Can you look in the face of a widow from Karbala who lost her many of her family members in the 1991 uprising and tell her that removing Saddam was a bad thing, now that her son, for the first time ever, can publicly perform Shi’ite rituals and now does not see a future of oppression as his only option in his homeland? And what can you say opposing the removal of Saddam to a Kurdish man who still cannot locate the graves of all of his family members killed during Anfal?

On the other hand, can you look in the face of an innocent man from Baghdad, maybe he is a Sunni man with 3 children, who has lost a relative or two to Shi’ite militias for having the wrong name in a false checkpoint and maybe had another killed in crossfire between US soldiers and terrorists and tell him that he should be happy about Iraq after Saddam? Maybe this poor man just did his job and shut up during Saddam, fed his family and played no role in supporting Saddam or opposing him, and now he finds himself in the midst of hell? Or maybe he finds himself Syria or Jordan working illegally and fearing being sent back to the sectarian hell of Baghdad?

How about a young woman, maybe 18 years old? She grew up in Baghdad, survived two wars she didn’t ask for, and now finds herself threatened unless she covers her head by either Wahhabi terrorists or the Mahdi Army. What is she supposed to say as she sits at home and wonder what the future has in store for her?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Stability during Saddam

So much we hear that today’s Iraq is a terrible unstable place and that under Saddam there was not freedom but there was stability. Now, some people say, you never know if you will live or die any given day. Under Saddam, the same people say, if you did not go against the government you could be fine and live your life.

This is not exactly true. Many Iraqis were killed arbitrarily. Plenty of Iraqis lost multiple members of their families for real or imagined opposition to the government. Suspicion was enough for a death sentence, and even having a meeting with friends was enough to be suspicious. One friend of mine was arrested and beaten and, by the way, still doesn’t know why he was spared death, because he got drunk with friends and was suspected of making anti-government statements during the Iran/Iraq war. And he is a Sunni Arab who was from an area in Baghdad with Sunni majority, so do not think that even Sunni Arabs were free of arbitrary arrest and torture and murder. Meanwhile, of course, any attempt to have an identity that was considered opposed to Saddam was reason enough for murder. Any Shi’ite could be executed after being accused of membership in the Islamic Da’wa Party. Plenty of Kurds were executed just because of their ethnicity during Anfal, no other reason.

It is true right now that Baghdad is a hell on earth and if you only know Baghdad from reading news reports then unfortunately you probably don’t know how bad it is. However there are plenty of areas outside of Baghdad which are better than they have ever been, with more prosperity and freedom than they could have under Saddam. So whether you long for the stability under Saddam I guess it depends where you are (and were) living in Iraq or how much you or your family did demand freedom under Saddam.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

More Sunni infighting?

Today there were reports that a leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, Abu Ayub al-Masri (who is also known as Abu Hamza al-Mohajer), was killed. Reports state that this killing was done by Sunni Arabs, either a tribal group or perhaps a faction of the 1920 Revolution Brigades. I don't know if it is true. Of course, it is good news if a terrorist leader is killed, but I just have so much trouble being too happy to hear such news because I just do not feel optimistic about Iraq, unfortunately.

It is nice to see Sunni Arab groups dealing with the terrorists, although their real motivations are always questionable. Let's not forget where these foreign Sunni Arab terrorists found refuge in Iraq: Sunni Arab areas. This so-called Abu Ayub and Zarqawi before him could not have set up in Najaf or Kadhimiyah or Kurdistan. They set up where the locals supported them. Now, after a few years, the locals finally decided that al-Qa'ida and other foreign terrorists are bad people. But they were fine a few ago when they were just butchering the Shi'a. It is so difficult to be optimistic. What is worse, a foreigner who comes to Iraq to make it hell and mass murder Iraqis, or a native Iraqi who helps such a bastard?

The good news is that the Sunni fighters who otherwise might be attacking the Shi'a civilians of Baghdad and elsewhere are busy trying to kill these foreign terrorists or each other. That is a positive development. Best of all would be if the Sunni fighters and the masses decide to work together with the Shi'a and live in peace.