- 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 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- This is what was shown by western corporate
- 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
- 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
- Baghdad had huge demonstrations of solidarity,
following announcements by several Shia religious leaders not to attack
- 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
- 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.
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