Monday, November 15, 2004

The Nature of the Enemy

From the New York Times:
In Al Wehda, a neighborhood of Mosul, insurgents slit the throats of two Iraqi National Guardsmen in the street, witnesses said.

"When I was driving back to my house, I saw a huge gathering of people, so I stopped the car and went to see what was the matter," said Muhammad Hazim, a resident. "I saw a number of insurgents holding two Iraqi National Guard soldiers and reading a statement calling them traitors and collaborators with the enemy, and then they slaughtered them by slitting their throats and yelling, 'God is great!'"

From the Guardian:
One man said they had forced him to keep arms in his house, threatening to take him to the rebel leader Omar Hadid to have his throat slit if he refused. ... In one house, marines came across the bodies of five Iraqi men, shot in the back of the head.

From AFP:
..with one wounded policeman taken from his hospital bed, butchered and his corpse strung up, the interior minister said.

Even fellow Jihadis don't think they can suceed in Iraq with this savage brutality. From MEMRI, an interview with a former Jihad fighter:
As far as tactics, they, Al-Zarqawi's group, carry out acts that we regard as mass slaughter, and [we see] scenes of the slaughter of military personnel or civilians and the issuing of declarations boasting of these actions and counting the dead. The GIA has made these things a matter of common occurrence and subsequently they pay the price for it. Now it seems to me that the group of Al-Tawhid Wa-Al Jihad [Al-Zarqawi's group, 'Monotheism and Jihad '] have contracted the worse form of this [disease] from the GIA - namely, [mode of] operation of displaying your force and asserting your existence and maintaining continuity by choosing very easy targets, usually unarmed civilians… These methods, in my point of view, will eventually lead to the isolation of Al-Zarqawi's group."

Update, more here: Mujahidin terrorised Fallujah, residents say
...residents who stayed on through last week's offensive were emerging and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.

Flyposters still litter the walls bearing all manner of decrees from insurgent commanders, to be heeded on pain of death. Amid the rubble of the main shopping street, one decree bearing the insurgents' insignia - two Kalashnikovs propped together - and dated November 1 gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city's library or face execution.

The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the "Mujahidin Advisory Council" through which they ran the city.

Another poster in the ruins of the souk bears testament to the strict brand of Sunni Islam imposed by the council, fronted by hardline cleric Abdullah Junabi. The decree warns all women that they must cover up from head to toe outdoors, or face execution by the armed militants who controlled the streets.

Two female bodies found yesterday suggest such threats were far from idle. An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress, lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets to the head. ...

Such is the fear that the heavily armed militants held over Fallujah that many of the residents who emerged from the ruins welcomed the US marines, despite the massive destruction their firepower had inflicted on their city.

A man in his sixties, half-naked and his underwear stained with blood from shrapnel wounds from a US munition, cursed the insurgents as he greeted the advancing marines on Saturday night.

"I wish the Americans had come here the very first day and not waited eight months," he said, trembling.

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