Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Minarets on Shiite Shrine in Iraq Destroyed in Attack

From The New York Times:
BAGHDAD (AP) -- In a bold blow to Iraqi hopes for peace, suspected al-Qaida bombers toppled the towering minarets of Samarra's revered Shiite shrine on Wednesday, adding new provocation to old wounds a year after the mosque's Golden Dome was destroyed.

The attack stoked fears of a surge in violence between Muslim sects....

Wednesday's stunning attack came in near-simultaneous explosions at about 9 a.m., completely bringing down the two slender golden minarets, 100 feet tall, that had flanked the dome's ruins. No casualties were reported.

How the attackers evaded the Askariya shrine's guard force, strengthened considerably after the 2006 bombing, was a mystery....

A U.S. statement, from Ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus, unequivocally blamed al-Qaida, saying the terror group sought ''to sow dissent and inflame sectarian strife.''

Actually, they seem to be very proficient at that--rather more so than US and Iraqi-government troops in preventing it.

If the bad guys can hit Samarra's (formerly) Golden Dome mosque this successfully--again--why should anyone think we have any business staying in Iraq? While I'm waiting for Administration and US military leaders to figure out how to claim this as some kind of a victory, memories of the Tet offensive in Vietnam are flooding back.

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