Monday, June 25, 2007

More from Michael Yon In and Around Baqubah

Michael Yon has stayed with the battle from the very beginning, and continues to report from the front.
Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had tarnished its name here by publicly attacking and murdering children, videotaping beheadings, all while imposing harsh punishments on Iraqi civilians found guilty of violating morality laws prohibiting activities like smoking. The AQI installed Sharia court had sanctioned the amputation of the two “smoking fingers” for those who violated anti-smoking laws. In part because local sentiment was shifting against it, AQI synthesized with other groups and undertook an image makeover, christening itself “The Islamic State of Iraq.” But the new name was just lipstick on a pig here.

On the evening of the 24th I spoke with a local Iraqi official, Colonel Faik, who said the Muftis would order the severance of the two fingers used to hold a cigarette for any Iraqis caught smoking. Other reports, from here in Diyala and also in Anbar, allege that smokers are murdered by AQI. Most Iraqis smoke and this particular prohibition appeared to have earned the ire of many locals. After an American unit cleared an apartment complex on the 23rd, LTC Smiley, the battalion commander, reported that residents didn’t ask for food and water, but cigarettes. In other parts of Baqubah, people have been celebrating the routing of AQI by lighting up and smoking cigarettes.

Other AQI edicts included beatings for men who refused to grow beards, and corporal punishments for obscene sexual suggestiveness, defined by such “loose” behavior as carrying tomatoes and cucumbers in the same bag. These fatwas were not eagerly embraced by most Iraqis, and the taint traveled back to the Muftis who sat in supreme judgment. Locals, who are increasingly helpful in pointing out and celebrating the downfall of AQI here, said that during the initial Arrowhead Ripper attack the morning of the 19th, AQI murdered five men. Townsend’s men found the buried corpses behind an AQI prison, exactly where they’d been told to look for the group grave. Locals also directed Townsend’s men to a torture house. Peering through a window, American soldiers saw knives, swords, bindings and drills. AQI is well-known for its macabre eagerness to drill into kneecaps, elbows, ribs, skulls, and other parts of victims.

One local Mufti who was said to have always worn a hood and sunglasses—and to have somehow disguised his voice—was pointed out to the Iraqi Army this weekend, who promptly captured him. Iraqi officials said today that although they did not previously know that this man was a Mufti, his name had been on their target list. The Mufti is being questioned and his name has not been released.
Read it all at the Source

Yes Virginia. Al Qaida is in Iraq and with the ready help of Iran and Syria, will stay as long as it takes to convince Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid that the jihadis are simply too tough to fight. For some, dhimmitude comes more easily than others.

It is dreadfully repetitive, the terror killings of civilians including women and children, the bloody torture with power drills to the head (no panties on the head for these manly jihadis). This is Pol Pot caliber terror on the populace, Taliban style terror. Communists and Islamists are very similar in that regard--both seem to reduce to the same bloody mindless tactics.

These fanatical jihadis do not rise to the level of humans, in my estimation. They have earned the most painful punishments imaginable, yet in my compassion were I to decide their fate, a single large caliber bullet in the head would likely be my merciful judgment.

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