ABC News' Reporters in Iraq Answer Your Questions

Shirley from West Palm Beach, Fla.: Why do some Muslims choose to die for "Satan" rather than spend time with their families, work at making their lives and country better, and just enjoy being alive?

Answer: Muslims believe that if they die doing something in the name of Islam they will be rewarded in the afterlife by God (not Satan) for their act.

But many, many Iraqis (and the same is true in other Muslim countries) condemn these violent acts and particularly the taking of innocent lives.

The percentage of people supporting the terrorist acts that happen each day in Iraq is very small. Iraqis are frightened about what is happening to their country and the daily terrorism that recently reached around 100 deaths a day on average.

My Iraqi friends yearn for the days that they can go to the parks and spend time with their families. They want jobs to support themselves. The number of terrorists in Iraq who carry out these terrifying acts is probably a smaller number than the total of criminals who operate daily in the United States.

John from Anoka, Minn.: When are we going to let the military have a free hand and quit the political correctness war the politicians are trying to fight?

Answer: I am not a military historian, but our military operations and temporary authority in this country ended when the coalition handed back power to the transitional government more than a year ago.

The role of the U.S. (and coalition) troops is to support the Iraqi government to rebuild the country. The U.S. forces have flattened towns in their fight against Saddam loyalists, but they also have been going back in and working to rebuild what they have destroyed. All of this costs a lot of money.

Last year the U.S. forces tried to take on the militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, but they realized the risk of fanning the flames. The situation as we have been reporting lately is that the Iraqi government (and there is a lot of suspicion and problems there) has been given the lead to try and rein in the militias. Prime Minister Jafaari said in a recent interview that had been one of his successes to bring the Sadr folks into the fold.

Charles from Brandon, Miss., asks: Would a mass death of American military force a complete withdrawal ? And is al-Sadr gaining more of a following than al-Sistani, in light of the mosque attacks?

Answer: The Americans have suffered more than 2,300 deaths since this conflict began. I wouldn't want to speculate if a single act killed a large number of troops what that would do to public opinion.

I can say that I have met and talked with a number of troops here and while some don't like being here and some don't like Iraq, the vast majority of soldiers, Marines and sailors is just trying to get the job done they were assigned to do, and that is what we have been reporting.

The Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani is the most powerful and popular person in all of Iraq. His influence is far superior to Moqtada al-Sadr. Where al-Sadr is a firebrand who is not afraid of the limelight, the Grand Ayatollah works from the behind the scenes. The Grand Ayatollah is opposed to clerics playing a role in politics, but both clerics have cordial relations with their Shia brothers in Iran. The Grand Ayatollah has not called for a government anything like that of Iran. You are correct though that the Sunnis are very distrustful of closer ties with Iran.

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