Afternoon Roundup: 2010-05-11

Al-Qaeda rampage in Iraq leaves over 100 dead. Debka:
In an unprecedentedly wild rampage, even for al Qaeda, raider-units, speeding drive-by gun squads, car bombs, and homicidal suicides mowed down checkpoints, liquidated Iraqi soldiers, police and security personnel and murdered civilians, in eight Iraqi cities including the capital, Baghdad, Monday, May 10. By the end of the day, more than 100 people were dead and 300 injured.

The gunmen broke new ground in terrorist tactics when they used automatic weapons fitted with silencers to creep up on their victims. debkafile's military sources report that at dawn, the raiders appeared simultaneously at checkpoints in most quarters of Baghdad. They lowered the windows of their cars when asked for documents, then opened fire with the silenced automatic weapons on the officers manning them. ...

Meanwhile, everyone is talking about the meeting between Nouri Al Maliki and Ayad Allawi. A deal is getting worked out among the parties. Everyone wants the killings and bombings to stop. Everyone is so tired and fed up that you can smell the frustration in the air.

A writer appears to understand what Iraqis are experiencing. He says in the LAT: "It would be a tragedy if, after having spent hundreds of billions of dollars and sacrificed thousands of lives, the U.S. were to lose the endgame in Iraq. Yet that could very well happen unless senior administration officials — including the president himself — get more engaged in the process and show more flexibility in implementing the troop drawdown."

Iran regime executes five. Azarmehr:
Five Iranians including a woman were executed this morning. Farzad Kamangar, the dissident Iranian Kurdish teacher, Shirin Alamhouli, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian were hanged in the early hours of this morning.

View From Outside Iran (formerly View From Iran) writes:
Together with a number of volunteers, we have been preparing a campaign to mark one year of crackdowns on dissent in Iran. That campaign focuses on prisoners of conscience in Iran and those political prisoners in danger of execution. This morning, when we got up and turned on my email, the first message was from a dear colleague who linked to the AP article on the early morning execution of 5 of the people we had come to know through our work. "I can't stop crying," she wrote. "I do not know what to do." ...

Go to the link to learn about their lives.

Irshad Manji on Faisal Shahzad. Irshad Manji:
I’m convinced that Islam is not the intrinsic problem. Rather, the tribal culture of honor in which many of these would-be terrorists are steeped is the real source of their “religious” motivations. Among mainstream Muslims, tribal culture has become synonymous with faith. A lethal mistake.

Young Muslims often come of age being taught that they have a religious duty to avenge the Muslim community’s honor. In fact, it’s not God-given faith but man-made culture that dictates this “duty.”

And the tribal culture of honor travels well beyond traditional Islamic nations, colonizing the hearts and minds of even second- and third-generation Muslims in North America, Europe and Australia. ...