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March 13, 2006

Shiite Vigilantes Execute Four Men Suspected Of Deadly Baghdad Bombing Attacks

Not sure if this is good or bad. Yes, it's destabilizing and may lead to civil war.

On the other hand, it sends a signal. "Stop killing us, or we will begin slaughtering you" is probably the best possible diplomacy at the current moment.

I only hope the Sunni insurgents get the message before the full-on ethnic cleansing and random butchery begins.

We'll see if they do:

Shiite vigilantes seized four men suspected of terrorist attacks, interrogated them, beat them, executed them and left their bodies hanging from lampposts in a Shiite slum today, according to witnesses and government officials. The graphic display of street justice was the first response to a coordinated attack on Sunday evening that killed more than 50 civilians in a Shiite market, and it seemed to only add to the seeping sense of lawlessness.

In Sadr City, the Shiite slum that is essentially a city within a city, government forces have vanished. The streets are ruled by aggressive teenagers with shiny soccer jerseys and machine guns. They poke their heads into cars and detain whom they want. Mosques blare for American troops to stay out. Increasingly, the Americans have been doing just that.

...

Against this violent backdrop, and with the threat of a Sunni-Shiite war growing, Moktada al-Sadr, the militant Shiite cleric who leads the largest Shiite militia, called for calm. At a news conference that was televised across the country, he said he had the religious authority to confront Sunni Arab insurgents β€” and the power to crush them β€” but he would not do so.

If even firebrand lunatic Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for calm, I think we'd have to guess that the media is no longer wishfully overstating the chances for full-on civil war.


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posted by Ace at 02:37 PM

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