Police Capt. Jamil Hussein said Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the burnings of Sunnis carried out by suspected members of the
Shiite Mahdi Army militia, or in subsequent attacks that torched four Sunni mosques and killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including women and children, in the same northwest Baghdad area...
In spite of the police and witness accounts, however, President Jamal Talabani appeared to discount the reports. He emerged from meetings with other Iraqi political leaders late Friday and said Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obaidi told him that the Hurriyah neighborhood had been quiet throughout the day.
According to Hussein, the police official, militiamen rampaged through the district, setting fire to several homes in addition to the four mosques that were bombed and burned.
Some residents claimed that the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has begun kidnapping and holding Sunni hostages in order to slaughter them at funerals of Shiite victims of Baghdad's sectarian violence.
George Bush has turned Iraq from a civil war into all-out barbarism. Let's tick off the salient details of just how much worse Iraq is today than yesterday:
- They're now burning each other alive.
- The Iraqi Army isn't worth squat, after all these years of training we gave them, and after all of these promises from Bush and the generals (and Condi, and Cheney, and Rummy) that the Iraqi Army was almost all ready to take over.
- The Iraqi president, however, sounds quite ready to take over - he sounds just like any other third world despot, denying carnage that's taking place right under his nose (Vladimir Putin, anyone?).
- You'll notice that Al Qaeda isn't mentioned even once amid all the carnage. This is all about Iraq and Iraqis hating each other, and killing each other. Iraq never had anything to do with the war on terror, and it sure as hell doesn't now. America is a full partner in a brutal religious and ethnic civil war. All because our president is an idiot, and 51% of our fellow Americans voted for that idiot a second time.
Congratulations, Republican America - you voted for it, you own it.
John in DC, AmericaBlog