Golden Mosque Bombing - Who Benefits?
By Dahr Jamail
The most important question to ask regarding the bombings of the Golden Mosque in Samarra on the 22nd is: who benefits?
Prior to asking this question, let us note the timing of the bombing. The last weeks in Iraq([search]) have been a PR disaster for the occupiers.
First, the negative publicity of the video of British soldiers beating and abusing young Iraqis has generated a backlash for British occupation forces they,ve yet to face in Iraq.
Indicative of this, Abdul Jabbar Waheed, the head of the Misan provincial council in southern Iraq, announced his councils, decision to lift the immunity British forces have enjoyed, so that the soldiers who beat the young Iraqis can be tried in Iraqi courts. Former U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer had issued an order granting all occupation soldiers and western contractors immunity to Iraqi law when he was head of the CPA
but this province has now decided to lift that so the British soldiers can be investigated and tried under Iraqi law.
This deeply meaningful event, if replicated around Iraq, will generate a huge rift between the occupiers and local governments. A rift which, of course, the puppet government in Baghdad will be unable to mend.
The other huge event which drew Iraqis into greater solidarity with one another was more photos and video aired depicting atrocities within Abu Ghraib at the hands of U.S. occupation forces.
The inherent desecration of Islam and shaming of the Iraqi people shown in these images enrages all Iraqis.
In a recent press conference, the aforementioned Waheed urged the Brits to allow members of the provincial committee to visit a local jail to check on detainees; perhaps Waheed is alarmed as to what their condition may be after seeing more photos and videos from Abu Ghraib.
Waheed also warned British forces that if they didn,t not comply with the demands of the council, all British political, security and reconstruction initiatives will be boycotted.
Basra province has already taken similar steps, and similar machinations are occurring in Kerbala.
Basra and Misan provinces, for example, refused to raise the cost of petrol when the puppet government in Baghdad, following orders from the IMF, decided to recently raise the cost of Iraqi petrol at the pumps several times last December.
The horrific attack which destroyed much of the Golden Mosque generated sectarian outrage which led to attacks on over 50 Sunni mosques. Many Sunni mosques in Baghdad were shot, burnt, or taken over. Three Imans were killed, along with scores of others in widespread violence.
This is what was shown by western corporate media.
As quickly as these horrible events began, they were called to an end and replaced by acts of solidarity between Sunni and Shia across Iraq.
This, however, was not shown by western corporate media.
The Sunnis were the first to go to demonstrations of solidarity with Shia in Samarra, as well as to condemn the mosque bombings. Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunni and Shia went off over all of Iraq: in Basra, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, Kut, and Salah al-Din.
Thousands of Shia marched shouting anti-American slogans through Sadr City, the huge Shia slum area of Baghdad, which is home to nearly half
the population of the capital city. Meanwhile, in the primarily Shia city of Kut, south of Baghdad, thousands marched while shouting slogans against America and Israel and burning U.S. and Israeli flags.
Baghdad had huge demonstrations of solidarity, following announcements by several Shia religious leaders not to attack Sunni mosques.
Attacks stopped after these announcements, coupled with those from Sadr, which I,ll discuss shortly.
Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, shortly after the Golden Mosque was attacked, called for "easing things down and not attacking any Sunni mosques and shrines, as Sunni religious authorities calledfor a truce and invited everyone to block the way of those trying to generate a sectarian war.
Sistani,s office issued this statement: "We call upon believers to express their protest ... through peaceful means. The extent of their sorrow and shock should not drag them into taking actions that serve the enemies who have been working to lead Iraq into sectarian strife.
Shiite religious authority Ayatollah Hussein Ismail al-Sadr warned of the emergence of a sectarian strife "that terrorists want to ignite between the Iraqis by the bombings and said, "The Iraqi Shiite authority strenuously denied that Sunnis could have done this work.
He also said, "Of course it is not Sunnis who did this work; it is the terrorists who are the enemies of the Shiites and Sunni, Muslims and non Muslims. They are the enemies of all religions; terrorism does not have a religion.
He warned against touching any Sunni Mosque, saying, "our Sunni brothers, mosques must be protected and we must all stand against terrorism and sabotage. He added: The two shrines are located in the Samarra region, which [is] predominantly Sunni. They have been protecting, using and guarding the mosques for years, it is not them but terrorism that targeted the mosques
He ruled out the possibility of a civil war while telling a reporter, "I don,t believe there will a civil or religious war in Iraq; thank God that our Sunni and Shiite references are urging everyone to not respond to these terrorist and sabotage acts. We are aware of their attempts as are our people; Sistani had issued many statements [regarding this issue] just as we did.
The other, and more prominent Sadr, Muqtada Al-Sadr, who has already lead two uprisings against occupation forces, held Takfiris [those who regard other Muslims as infidels], Ba,thists, and especially the foreign occupation responsible for the bombing attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra.
Sadr, who suspended his visit to Lebanon and cancelled his meeting with the president there, promptly returned to Iraq in order to call on the Iraqi parliament to vote on the request for the departure of the occupation forces from Iraq.
"It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, God,s peace be upon him, but rather the occupation [forces] and Ba,athists God damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I ordered Al-Mahdi Army to protect the Shi,i and Sunni shrines.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, urged Iraqi Shia not to seek revenge against Sunni Muslims, saying there were definite plots "to force the Shia to attack the mosques and other properties respected by the Sunni. Any measure to contribute to that direction is helping the enemies of Islam and is forbidden by sharia.
Instead, he blamed the intelligence services of the U.S. and Israel for being behind the bombs at the Golden Mosque.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that those who committed the attack on the Golden Mosque "have only one motive: to create a violent sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites in order to derail the Iraqi rising democracy from its path.
Well said Mr. Blair, particularly when we keep in mind the fact that less than a year ago in Basra, two undercover British SAS soldiers were detained by Iraqi security forces whilst traveling in a car full of bombs and remote detonators.
Jailed and accused by Muqtada al-Sadr and others of attempting to generate sectarian conflict by planting bombs in mosques, they were broken out of the Iraqi jail by the British military before they could be tried.
(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
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Whose Bombs were They
Tell A Friend
by Mike Whitney
“The only viable strategy, then, may be to correct (Iraq’s) historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south” Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations; from “Three-state Solution” NY Times 11-25-03
“We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq’s unity.” Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
There’s no telling who was behind the bombing of the al-Askariya Mosque. There were no security cameras at the site and it’s doubtful that the police([search]) will be able to perform a thorough forensic investigation.
That’s too bad; the bomb-residue would probably provide clear evidence of who engineered the attack. So far, there’s little more to go on than the early reports of four men (three who were dressed in black, one in a police uniform) who overtook security guards at the mosque and placed the bombs in broad daylight.
It was a bold assault that strongly suggests the involvement of highly-trained paramilitaries conducting a well-rehearsed plan. Still, that doesn’t give us any solid proof of what groups may have been involved.
The destruction of the Samarra shrine, also known as the Golden Mosque, has unleashed a wave of retaliatory attacks against the Sunnis. Overnight, more than 110 people were reported killed by the rampaging Shia. More than 90 Sunni mosques have been either destroyed or badly damaged. In Baghdad alone, 47 men have been found scattered throughout the city after being killed execution-style with a bullet to the back of the head. The chaos ends a week of increased violence following two major suicide bombings directed against Shia civilians that resulted in the deaths of 36 people.
The public outrage at the desecration of one of the country’s holiest sights has reached fever-pitch and its doubtful that the flimsy American-backed regime will be able to head-off a civil war.
It is difficult to imagine that the perpetrators of this heinous attack couldn’t anticipate its disastrous effects. Certainly, the Sunni-led resistance does not benefit from alienating the very people it is trying to enlist in its fight against the American occupation. Accordingly, most of the prominent Sunni groups have denied involvement in the attack and dismissed it as collaboration between American and Iranian intelligence agencies.
A communiqué from “The Foreign Relations Department of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party” denounced the attack pointing the finger at the Interior Ministry’s Badr Brigade and American paramilitaries.
The Ba’ath statement explains:
“America is the main party responsible for the crime of attacking the tomb of Ali al-Hadi…because it is the power that occupies Iraq and has a basic interest in committing it.”
“The escalation of differences between America and Iran has found their main political arena in Iraq, because the most important group of agents of Iran is there and are able to use the blood of Iraqis and the future of Iraq to exert pressure on America. Iran has laid out a plan to embroil America in the Iraqi morass to prevent it from obstructing Iran’s nuclear plans. Particularly since America is eager to move on to completing arrangements for a withdrawal from Iraq, after signing binding agreements on oil and strategy. America believes that without the participation of “Sunni” parties in the regime those arrangements will fail. For that reason ‘cutting Iran’s claws’ has become one of the important requirements for American plans. This is what Ambassador Zalmay spoke of recently when he declared that no sectarian would take control of the Ministries of the Interior or Defense. Similarly, America has begun to publish information that it formally kept hidden regarding the crimes of the Badr Brigade and the Interior Ministry.”
Whether the communiqué is authentic is incidental; the point is well taken. The escalating violence may prevent Iraq from forming a power-sharing government which would greatly benefit the Shia majority and their Iranian allies. Many critics agree that what is taking place Iraq represents a larger struggle between the United States and Iran for regional domination.
This theory, however, is at odds with the response of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei following the bombing. Khamenei said, “The occupation forces and Zionism, which seeing their plans dissolve, have planned this atrocity to sew hate between Muslims and fuel divisions between Sunnis and Shiites….Do not fall into the enemy trap by attacking mosques and sacred places of your Sunni brothers….The enemy wants nothing more than weakening of the Islamis front right as Muslims with a single voice have been protesting against the continual provocations of their enemies.”
The belief that the attack was the work of American and Israeli covert-operations (Black-ops) is widespread throughout the region as well as among leftist political-analysts in the United States. Journalist Kurt Nimmo sees the bombing as a means of realizing “a plan sketched out in Oded Yinon’s “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties” (the balkanization of Arab and Muslim society and culture.) Nimmo suggests that the plan may have been carried out by “American, British or Israeli Intelligence operatives or their double-agent Arab lunatics, or crazies incited by Rumsfeld’s Proactive Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) designed to ‘stimulate’ terrorist reaction.”
Nimmo is not alone in his judgment. Other prominent analysts including, Pepe Escobar, Ghali Hassan, AK Gupta, Dahr Jamail, and Christian Parenti all agree that the Bush([search]) administration appears to be inciting civil war as part of an exit strategy. Certainly, the Pentagon is running out of options as well as time. Numerous leaked documents have confirmed that significant numbers of troops will have to be rotated out of the theatre by summer. A strategy to foment sectarian hostilities may be the last desperate attempt to divert the nearly 100 attacks per day away from coalition troops and finalize plans to divide Iraq into more manageable statlets.
The division of Iraq has been recommended in a number of documents that were prepared for the Defense Department. The Rand Corporation suggested that “Sunni, Shiite and Arab, non-Arab divides should be exploited to exploit the US policy objectives in the Muslim world.” The 2004 study titled “US Strategy in the Muslim World” was to identify key cleavages and fault-lines among sectarian, ethnic, regional, and national lines to assess how these cleavages generate challenges and opportunities for the United States.” (Abdus Sattar Ghazali; thanks Liz Burbank)
This verifies that the strategy to split up Iraq has been circulating at the top levels of government from the very beginning of the occupation.
A similar report was produced by David Philip for the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) financed by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation a conservative think-tank with connections to the Bush administration and the American Enterprise Institute. According to Pepe Escobar:
“The plan would be ‘sold’ under the admission that the recently elected, Shi’ite dominated Jaafari government is incapable of controlling Iraq and bringing the Sunni-Arab guerillas to the negotiating table. More significantly, the plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq—an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East.”
Is the bombing of the Golden Mosque the final phase of a much broader strategy to inflame sectarian hatred and provoke civil war?
Clearly, many Sunnis, Iranians, and political analysts seem to believe so. Even the Bush administration’s own documents support the general theory that Iraq should be broken up into three separate pieces. But, is this proof that the impending civil war is the work of foreign provocateurs?
The final confirmation of Washington’s sinister plan was issued by Leslie Gelb, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in a New York Times editorial on 11-25-03. The CFR is the ideological headquarters for America’s imperial interventions providing the meager rationale that papers-over the massive bloodletting that inevitably follow. Gelb stated:
“For decades, the United States has worshipped at the altar of a unified Iraqi state. Allowing all three communities within that false state to emerge at least as self-governing regions would be both difficult and dangerous. Washington would have to be very hard-headed and hard-hearted, to engineer this breakup. But such a course is manageable, even necessary, because it would allow us to find Iraq’s future in its denied but natural past.”
There you have it; the United States is only pursuing this genocidal policy for ‘Iraq’s own good’. We should remember Gelb’s statesman-like pronouncements in the months and years to come as Iraq slips further into the morass of social-disintegration and unfathomable human suffering.
Mike lives in Washington State with his charming wife Joan and two spoiled and overfed dogs, Cocoa and Pat-Fergie.
The night before the bombing: Two eyewitnesses
The US is caught red-handed, just like the British covert unit in Basra, and the best the guys who swore Saddam had nukes can come up with is "they were 'insurgents' in disuise!".
It Didn’t Work
"I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes — it is America." The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. "Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America."
Mr. Buckley seems sadly married to the reasons given in the Bush/PNAC Propaganda, which of course never came to fruition, because they were never real to begin with.
But the Criminals who created this war got exactly what they wanted. Billions into their coffers, unrest in a vital region, from which they draw their fortunes, and examples of "terrorism" to which they can point, scaring their poor citizens into supporting their desire for Perpetual War, and ultimately, total and utter Fascism.
Old Colonial Trick