October 25, 2009

147+ Dead in Baghdad

POLITICS - If you thought the violence in the Middle East was going down you've thought wrong. Since George W. Bush made the choice to invade Iraq the violence has only gone from bad to worse to horrific.

And leaving Barack Obama to clean up his mess is hardly very presidential. Its the act of a man who has been avoiding public attention ever since.

Yesterday's tragic events for example: Multiple car bombings in Iraq killed over 147 people and injured over 721. The death and injury toll is continuing to rise in the deadliest attack in 2 years as the warring Shia and Sunni Muslims continue to battle for dominance.

Shia Muslims believe that the descendants of Muhammad should rule the land, whereas Sunni Muslims believe in following the actions, words and examples of Muhammad.

Needless to say that planting bombs in cars and killing innocent people of the opposing sect isn't very Islamic (the word Islam itself ironically means "peace"), but its not really about religion any more.

Its more of a blood-feud that is as old as Irish and British people killing each other. Last I checked the IRA's biggest religious beef for Catholicism Vs Anglicanism, but there's nothing "Catholic" about attacking British people with car-bombs and letter-bombs.

Yesterday's bombing also had political motivation. It targeted two government buildings and the dead include 35 employees at the Ministry of Justice and 25 staff from the Baghdad Provincial Council.

Three American contractors were wounded but not killed.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is currently seeking re-election. al-Maliki is a Shia Muslim, but he's been making efforts to reach out to Sunni Muslims and attempting to bring peace to Iraq. Its one of the reasons why he was elected in 2006 in the first place, taking over from Ibrahim al-Jaafari (also a Shia Muslim and a direct descendant of Muhammad). Before al-Jaafari was Ayad Allawi, also a Shia.

Saddam Hussein and many of political allies were Sunni Muslims.

Its important to note however that both factions seem equally willing to conduct violence and murder innocents for the sake of political posturing. Iraq is basically in a state of civil war as the two sects compete for control. Its also important to note that the USA originally helped the Sunni's and Saddam Hussein into power in 1979 and later helped Iraq against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Yesterday's explosions were about two hundred meters from Iraq's Foreign Ministry, which is being rebuilt after massive bombings there in August 2009. Sectarian violence has been on the rise since 2006 and there is no sign of it going down.

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