U.S. Forces Mistakenly Arrest Sunni Chief

As reported earlier, U.S. forces arrested the leader of Iraq’s main Sunni party earlier today. It turns out that it was a mistake.

U.S. Forces Mistakenly Detain Sunni Chief (AP)

The U.S. military nearly set off a sectarian crisis Monday by mistakenly arresting the leader of Iraq’s top Sunni Muslim political party, while two suicide bombers killed about 30 police, and U.S. fighter jets destroyed insurgent strongholds near Syria’s border.

[…]

The arrest of Iraqi Islamic Party leader Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, his three sons and four guards did little to help efforts to entice Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold. The Sunnis lost their influence following Saddam Hussein’s ouster two years ago.

Many believe the Sunni fall from grace, and parallel rise to power of Iraq’s majority Shiite population, is spurring the raging insurgency, driving many disenchanted Sunnis to launch attacks that have killed more than 760 people since the April 28 announcement of the Shiite-dominated new government. Bringing Sunnis back into the political fold could soothe some tensions.

Mistakes happen in war. But, my word, this could wind up being a being one.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jim Henley says:

    Compensation, people. It’s not that hard a concept. You fvck up, you offer compensation to the victims. Particularly in societies with traditions of both blood feud and weregeld, and I understand that’s true in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it can save a person or a country a lot of grief. The ONLY problem is that you have to admit you’re not infallible and are willing to cop to goofs.

  2. narciso says:

    As I recall, the Islamic Party, threatened to withdraw from the lection; because we were
    moving on Fallujah; and was not encouraging
    Iraqi forces to due the deed. They and the
    likes of the Association of Muslim Scholars;
    have been at best, indifferent, to the Civil
    War, the insurgents have been waging on the
    rest of the population;the former is very
    much in the style of the German Junkers of
    the brief democratic interrugnum of Weimar:
    the latter is very much like the post war
    Freikorps which gave birth to the SA and the
    SS; Or to put it another way; the Southern
    Redeemers and former confederate bureacracy;
    that gave license to the Klan and the Knights
    of Camelia; against the Union ‘occupying’ army
    and their carpetbagging ‘collaborators

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  4. Anderson says:

    At least the mistake was cleared up before we turned him over to our special interrogators.

  5. LJD says:

    “The arrest of Iraqi Islamic Party leader Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, his three sons and four guards did little to help efforts to entice Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold.”

    The arrest?…And what have “Iraqi Islamic Party leader Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, his three sons and four guards” done to “entice Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold.”?

    Not much. We’re spending a lot of time walking around on eggshells to please those who seem to prefer violence and chaos.