BAGHDAD (AP) — The fliers began turning up at Sunni households in the Iraqi capital's Jihad neighborhood last week bearing a chilling message: Get out now or face "great agony" soon.
The leaflets were signed by the Mukhtar Army, a new Shiite militant group with ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard. "The zero hour has come. So leave along with your families. ... You are the enemy," the messages warned.
Such overt threats all but disappeared as the darkest days of outright sectarian fighting waned in 2008 and Iraq stepped back from the brink of civil war. Their re-emergence now — nearly a decade after the U.S.-led invasion — is a worrying sign that rising sectarian tensions are again gnawing away at Iraqi society.
Iraqis increasingly fear that militants on both sides of the country's sectarian divide are gearing up for a new round of violence that could undo the fragile gains Iraq has made in recent years.
1. While Unfortunate, This Has To Be Ironed Out By The Iraqis
Iraq has to decide whether they want to be dominated by Iran, as this suggests. Outwardly, it is hard to see where the Muktar Army is different than al Qaeda in Iraq other than one being Sunni and the other Shiite. Both go after civilian targets.
The neocon's will press to send in American troops, using NRA logic that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. Except that there are no good guys, only bad guys, so beware.