They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, September 29, 2005

U.S. Forces Raid Homes of Sunni Officials - they appeal for UN intervention

Guardian: U.S. forces raided the homes of two officials from a prominent Sunni Arab organization on Thursday, arresting bodyguards and confiscating weapons, Sunni officials said.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, secretary-general of the Conference for Iraq's People, was present during the early morning raid on his home in western Baghdad, the group said. No violence was reported when the U.S. soldiers arrested four of his bodyguards and confiscated 20 AK-47 assault rifles, said Mehdi Salih, a spokesman for the conference.

The other raid took place at the Baghdad home of Harith al-Obeidi, another senior official in the organization, said Iraq's largest Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party.

The U.S. military said it conducted several raids in those areas of Baghdad on Thursday, but couldn't immediately say which homes or Iraqis had been targeted.

"These raids are based on false tips from people who want to marginalize Sunnis and hinder their participation in the political process,'' al-Dulaimi said in an interview with Associated Press Television News. "So I appeal to the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union and the U.S. government to intervene to solve this problem.''

Both Sunni groups condemned the action, calling it an abuse of Iraq's Sunni minority, and suggested the raids could derail efforts by Sunnis to get last minute changes in the country's draft constitution, which will face an Oct. 15 national referendum.

The document has sharply divided Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority and the Sunni minority that forms the backbone of the insurgency. Some Sunnis feel the constitution would divide Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni areas, with the Sunni one having the least power and revenue.

The Conference for Iraq's People, a coalition of Sunni groups, and the Iraqi Islamic Party, which boycotted the Jan. 30 election that chose Iraq's transitional government, have both urged their members to vote "no'' in the constitutional referendum. Read more