Sunday, June 11, 2006

to reiterate - via Juan Cole

An autopsy
Zarqawi Autopsy

Jordan Refuses
Repatriation of Body

The US is sending a
forensics team to do
an autoposy of
Abu Musaba al-Zarqawi.
Al-Hayat reports
that his family is demanding to know the results
, after a local villager at Habhub
near Baqubah told a story
to a Western wire service
and other Western news sources
about Zarqawi's death.
He says that after the bombing,
villagers rushed to the site,
and found a survivor,
putting him in their ambulance.
US troops then arrived,
said the villager,
and pulled the man out
of the ambulance and
beat him to a pulp or
in one version,
strangled him
with his headscarf.
This story is implausible,
but may gain purchase
in the Arab world
after the Haditha massacre
and the news that Guantanamo prisoners were found hanged.

in Iraq is
major attacks
in revenge
for the killing

As elsewhere
in the region,
there were mixed feelings
in Zarqa, Jordan,
about Zarqawi's death.
The Jordanian government is taking full credit
for its role in tracking him down,
calling it "Operation Hotel Martyrs,"
i.e. revenge for Zarqawi's operation
that killed dozens at 3 hotels
in Amman last fall.
The announcement comes
as Jordan celebrates
the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918,
during which the Hashimite ancestors
of the present king
waged a successful guerrilla revolt
against the Ottoman Empire
to attain their independence.
They had been unafraid to ally
with the British in this endeavor.
The celebrations in Jordan,
held Saturday,
are a kind of Army Day,
in which there are parades
and pride is expressed
in the Jordanian military.
This complex of celebrations
underlines a secular or at least civil dimension
to Jordanian nationalism.
Some Islamists code
the last Ottoman sultans as revered caliphs or Sunni popes,
but the leaders of the Arab revolt
declined to see them that way,
just as tyrants.
Some Islamists would decry
the cooperation of Faisal and others
with the British in attaining their independence,
but the leaders of the Arab
revolt were unapologetic about it.
(Lawrence of Arabia incorrectly
made himself the hero of the revolt
, but the David Lean film is a good start in understanding all this).
So the official ideology of Jordan
is anti-Islamist and has a strong element of civil nationalism
around the monarchy and Bedouin history,
and is unafraid to be an ally of the West
. In this light, it is easy to see why
Jordanian authorities
absolutely refuse
to allow
to be
buried in Jordan.

As Reuters reported, the Iraq Civil War ground on Saturday:

In the ethnically mixed
oil city of Kirkuk in the north,
guerrillas shot dead 2 members
of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan,
including a security employe.
Guerrillas also shot a civilian
and injured another
as they were driving in the city.
Some 7 guerrillas had been arrested
by a joint US and Iraqi (likely Kurdish)
force on Wednesday.
The reports,
maddeningly enough,
never say whether the guerrillas
are Arab
or Turkmen,
or Peshmerga
from other parties.

In Falluja,
west of the capital,
guerrillas killed a man and
a woman in their car.

Just north
of Baghdad
in Tikrit,
guerrillas killed
two civilians
in their car,
and police found
the beheaded
body of a soldier
that had been thrown in a river.

In north
Baghdad, guerrillas
used a roadside bomb
to injure an important
police officer, Major Gen. Ali Husain,
and to kill
his driver and wound
one other person.
In south Baghdad,
guerrillas set off a roadside
bomb targeting a police patrol,
but only managed to wound 5 civilians.

In the south, in Amara,
British troops were taking indirect fire,
and they moved into the city
from their base outside.
There appears to have been fighting,
probably with the Mahdi Army militia
or Marsh Arab tribesmen,
and a "multinational force soldier" was wounded.

Pakistan launched a major
raid against al-Qaeda fighters being
trained in Waziristan,
in which some 30 are said dead

Not to forget The Rude Pundit


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