Interesting article regarding the inexplicable killing of civilians that’s going on in Iraq, possible motivations of the various terror factions, etc:
Get it while it’s hot, folks; NYT links expire in a couple days.
Meanwhile, on that “radicalization of Sistani” thing – you know, the Shi’ite theologian whose say-so is largely responsible for what success we’ve had in democratic measures in Iraq:
[quote][T]he ayatollah, his patience spent, demanded that the transitional government, which is led by Shiites, “defend the country against mass annihilation.”
If that was a call for tougher military action against the insurgents, it played into a situation made all the more volatile in recent months by signs that hard-line Shiites have begun to strike back. There have been persistent reports, mostly in Baghdad, of Shiite death squads in police uniforms abducting, torturing and killing Sunni Arab clerics, community leaders and others. In Baghdad, a police commando unit composed mainly of Shiites raided a hospital two weekends ago and abducted 13 Sunni men accused of being insurgents. Sixteen hours later, the bodies of 10 were delivered to a morgue, the victims of suffocation in a locked metal-topped police van in a temperature nearing 120 degrees.[/quote]
One possibility. Would certainly explain a lot of otherwise-inexplicable recent events.