Awakening Council Slaughtered as the World Yawns

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An entire Iraqi family was slaughtered as part of al Qaeda's vengeance against Sunnis who switched sides and fought with the Americans. These Sunni Muslims call themselves the Awakening Council. Unless one reads the NY Times or watches BBC News you might only note the coincidence that on both July 25, and July 19, coincidentally 48 people involved with the Awakening Council were killed. Other attacks involved less victims, down to the brother of an Awakening Council leader, who purchased what it turned out to be poison-laced orange juice.

Off the subject at this point at this point, one of al Qaeda's goals is to encourage US bankruptcy, (not that we necessarily need any encouragement), providing secure housing outside of Iraq may be far cheaper, then staying around for a while trying to protect them. And getting all the way out of Iraq might deflate some of al Qaeda's propaganda.

Something weird is going on that these reports make no effort to state or estimate the total number of Awakening Council members and relatives killed (Or at least after googling for more than an hour, I could find no such report in English). Somehow unlike in reports on earthquakes and hurricanes the limited blog and newspaper reports about attacks, lack the compassion that is in articles about hurricane and earthquake disasters. See, "Iraq's Awakening Council being picked off by assassins"
July 25 attack,
If al Qaeda was a government anti-repression, anti-capital punishment, groups and civil libertarians would get involved in noting al Qaeda's lavish use of summary justice, and keep count of the victims.

In Cambodia Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge slaughtered the educated, or even who those who owned a book or spoke a little French or English. It was considered a human rights violation for human rights groups to try to tabulate. No one discussed how Pol Pot's slaughter affected US-Vietnam policy. People didn't, during World War II, discuss how the slaughter of the Jews affected the World War II war effort. However, the slaughter of the Awakening Council members and their families, is mostly related to wondering to what extent they still support the Americans and whether it will delay Obama's timetable for withdrawing the rest of US troops out of Iraq. Image a world, in the past, where no one spoke out about the Nazi atrocities except as to how it was affecting the World War II war effort. Though there is some mention that many Awakening Council members are terrified that it will be bad news for themselves and their families, when the Americans leave and the Iraq government only half-heartedly tries to prevent al Qaeda getting even.

Why doesn't President Obama cry out for help on how to protect these people and their relatives from slaughter. Iran is pressing for immediate US withdrawal. Why doesn't Obama say he will agree if Iran managed to present a game plan for saving Iraqis marked for death by al Qaeda? What I find extremely cold-blooded even weird is that I found despite Googling for several hours, no tallies or estimates on the Internet how many Awakening Council members and relatives have been killed. Doves find discussing that al Qaeda might be dangerous and sophisticated could ruin the enthusiasm of the peace movement. Dwelling on it doesn't help Hawks advocate staying the course. Those who see 9/11 as an US or Israeli plot, aren't interested in information that might indicate al Qaeda is extremely dangerous. What happened to our basic sense of humanity? Try to look at the world from the point of view of a family member of an important or not so important Sunni Muslim who fought with the Americans. A world where one wonders whether there is no future for themselves, and their families unless there is some way to get al Qaeda to release its grip.

The talk about how al Qaeda attacks on those who switched sides in Iraq affects US policy misses the effects of this al Qaeda vengeance on Afghanistan. Obama's original Afghan game plan was to fight hard enough to corner Mullah Omar into renouncing al Qaeda and agreeing to arrest any al Qaeda agents who try to pass through Afghanistan, but Mullah Omar certainly has been warned by events in Iraq not to publicly renounce al Qaeda. Gulbuddin Hekmatyer in Afghanistan did renounce al Qaeda and threaten to arrest any al Qaeda passing through northern Iraq where al Qaeda hasn't been for many years, if ever. This makes it appear that the US is no longer interested in the al Qaeda danger, just nation-building, which may slowly be accepted by US leaders as well.

Hekmatyer is or was in his earlier years a goon. Mullah Omar's policies, by example, challenge al Qaeda. Mullah Omar renounced attacking girls' schools, no longer stops people from listening to music, or for a woman, if their husband's are also present in the examination room, for them to see a doctor. Mullah Omar no longer takes hostages for ransom the scourge of all past guerilla wars, and for a while was attempting to out do the US's efforts to win the hearts and minds, by refraining from attacking traitors, without them at first getting a direct notice to stop working for the Americans.

I think peace negotiations might start as soon as the US takes off the table the demand that Mullah Omar's directly condemn al Qaeda instead of his avoidance of al Qaeda tactics. It would do US policy no good if al Qaeda assassinated Mullah Omar. Why should Mullah Omar risk himself and Taliban leaders getting assassinated by al Qaeda, and possible ordinary Taliban inspired peasants and their families as well? Please President Obama ask the world's help and advise, including Iran's, on how to protect Awakening Council members.

A few cried out about the horrors of the Nazi crimes in the 30's. A US official was warning about the Rwandan genocide while it was happening. Can't someone note that al Qaeda seems to have no intention of leaving those who betrayed them, alone, and may be vowing not to stop until they are all dead, or the ones still left alive are thoroughly discombobulated

One answer to my claims that the al Qaeda has declared revenge war against what they consider traitors (who have effectively got in their way) is the claim that the killings are personal revenge killings, from people who have been jailed due to Awakening Council members or who lost relatives due to Awakening Council efforts.

However, suicide bombings are used for targets that can't be reached without the perpetrators being killed or to prevent a person who has important information, from having it forced out of them. Or as I contend, without documentation, to send a message to people like Mullah Omar not to cross them. However, it can be documented by the government or a Congressional committee whether or not a targeted person or group was vulnerable to attack by non-suicidal methods. And if this blog post reaches Awakening Council members they can easily discern whether or a particular victim or victims were vulnerable to attack without the attackers dying in the process.

After the Haitian earthquake Americans didn't offer Haitians a safe haven, but felt embarrassed about not doing so, and paid Jamaica to take more refugees in. The US owes something to the former Awakening Council members and should pay for others to try to protect them even back down on pressuring Iran if Iran takes some of them in, and as I pointed out in the begining paying for secure housing outside of Iraq, should be cheaper than staying around to protect them.

If we come to grips with the Iraqi situation, it might help the Afghan situation enough that at the last minute, refugees won't be pouring out of Afghanistan like refugees, who were too close to the Americans, followed US troops out of Vietnam.

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Retired in Philadelphia PA
Richard Kane