If the news reports of firing missiles into or bombing at or near a mosque filled with people are accurate, we may have done more to obliterate any hopes for success in Iraq than we can recover from. An AP story indicates “Shiite-inspired violence spread to nearly all of the country.” Remember, the Shiites are the majority population in this country and were the ones most repressed by Saddam’s Sunni-dominated government. Thus, they must been the ones Cheney was referring to before the war when he said “there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to [invade].”
Final judgment must, of course, await not only the accuracy of the reports but knowledge of the surrounding circumstances and who was in the mosque: worshippers (as the AP story and The Guardian indicate) or combatants (which an earlier NY Times article on another mosque indicates is entirely possible). There is no doubt how this will play in the Arab world, though. As Jessica Stern points out in a Salon article (subscription or free “day pass” required), even lesser actions reinforce the idea we are embarked on a new Crusade against Islam. (Stern article via Orcinus).
As Sick of Bush and Warblogging.com have noted, this at least eliminates one of the liar-in-chief’s lies. He has done well being a “uniter, not a divider” of the Shia and Sunni in Iraq. Too bad they’re uniting in hatred of America and to kill our troops.