When a crime is committed, the obvious question to ask is: what was the primary motive and who stands to benefit. The answers would lead to building up a list of suspects. Therefore, at the very least, let us ask the obvious questions before apportioning blame to a particular community or group. Almost everyone concurs that, the primary motive behind the bombings of the Askariyah shrine was to ignite civil war along sectarian lines. The main beneficiary would be the US led coalition forces, as they would face less resistance due to the Sunni-Shia infighting. A deeply divided Iraqi population is less able to channel and focus their collective opposition against the US-led invaders.
It is an axiom that power in the international arena is always determined by the power of rival nations. Naturally, if civil war in Iraq ignites, that would further weaken its position in relation to Israel; another significant beneficiary of a civil war. Logic dictates that the primary suspects behind the bombings of the Askariyah shrines are the US, UK and Israel, most likely a joint CIA, MI5 and Mossad operation. Many would simply dismiss it as a conspiracy theory, but remember to suit the interests of the state, political analysis are often dismissed as conspiracy theory or disseminated by the state as a legitimate point of view.
As expected, the western dominated media wasted no time in blaming the ubiquitous Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Musab Al-Zarqawi and the likes. Blaming the Sunni-led Iraqi resistance for the recent bombings is bizarre, as they have the most to lose from a civil war, as explained above. The city of Samara where the Askariyah shrine is located was under the control of Sunni-Arab resistance, but the Shi’ites places were never attacked, the same can be said for other places that the Sunni-Arab resistance was in control of. Moreover Islamic laws clearly prohibit attacking any place of worship, e.g. Mosques (Sunni or Shi’ites), Churches and Synagogues.
If you examine the mass media, the statements from political commentators to senior politicians, they are the ones who have been promoting the idea of a civil war; it has been constantly on their lips, and constantly amplified by the media. From the onset of the invasion the occupational forces have tried to inflame the sectarian violence to ignite a civil war. It was they who constantly talked about dividing Iraq into the three regions, by constantly alluding to Sunni-Arabs and Shi’ites-Arabs and Kurds (note majority Kurds are also Sunnis). To incite the Shi’ites, they kept reminding them of how the minority Sunni-Arabs have dominated the country for centuries. Likewise, to incite the Kurds, they kept reminding them of their rights over the Kirkuk oil fields and the domination by the Arabs for centuries. Indeed, divide and rule has always been a very effective colonial tool.
Accordingly, the US began to appoint people on the basis of promoting a sectarian conflict. They filled the military, police and other influential positions largely with the Shi’ites and the Kurds. The US forces used these sectarian based militias to attack the Sunni dominated town of Fallujah and other similar towns; this naturally incited the Sunni-Arabs. Then, elections were held under US occupation, which clearly favoured the groups that provided the least resistance to the US occupational forces. Only recently dead bodies of Sunnis were discovered, tortured to death by the Shi’ite dominated regime.
The US hoped that Shia-Sunni schisms would eventually surface – when this did not occur they tried to ignite it themselves. The bombings of Shi’ite Mosques and other similar places were never carried out by the Sunni-led resistance, and no genuine group came forward to admit this. In fact, most of the killings and kidnappings have been blamed on a particular community with little or no evidence in order to incite sectarian feuds, hoping that it would culminate into a full scale civil war. This was largely part of the counter-insurgency activity; and clearest evidence for it was shown by the capture of the two British soldiers last September, who were dressed as Arabs armed with explosives and remote detonations.
Can anyone explain how it would server the interest of any Iraqi group by killing so many Iraqi academics, which the main stream press have kept quiet about? Not surprisingly, many of Iraq’s senior nuclear scientists have been eliminated. Is this the work of the Sunni-led resistance? Nuclear scientists are an asset to any nation. Another clear proof of the coalition forces engaged in terrorism and counter-insurgency activities.
Fortunately, many of the Iraqis have realised the conspiracy to ignite civil war and have resisted all the provocations to their full credit. It is commendable that both Sunni and Shi’ite leaders have called for restraint, and have denied that Sunnis were behind the bombings as no clear evidence has been provided. Another pertinent point is that, in its entire history, Iraq’s sectarian-based conflict never took place, so why should it erupt now? If it does, it cannot be down to coincidence but directly related to the designs of the foreign occupational forces as they have the most to benefit from a civil war.
Some of the Shi’ites are angry towards Sunnis as they are the prime suspect in their eyes, but most have started to blame the US and Israel. Even it is found that some extreme Sunnis were behind the bombings, primary blame still lies with the US, because there were no such attacks prior to the war. The war and the subsequent occupation created the climate for such types of attack.
Moqtada as-Sadr has called on the Sunnis to join the Shi’ites in condemning those Sunnis who have attacked Shi’ite places, but how many have called on the Shi’ite to join the Sunni-led resistance. On the contrary, seeking sectarian interests, Shi’ites and Kurds have provided the greatest level of cooperation to the US forces. For example, Ayatollah Sistani, the most influential Shi’ite scholar in Iraq ordered his followers not to resist the US forces, therefore implicitly aiding the US forces against the Iraqi resistance. He was treacherously silent over Abu-Ghraib and the Fallujah massacre. Therefore, by his conduct, he participated in killing the men, women and children in Fallujah alongside the Americans.
Shi’ites ought to consider the point that anyone cooperating with the US is a legitimate target for the Iraqi resistance. Hence, the Sunni-led resistance targeted all collaborators, Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds. Attacks were never driven by ones sectarian identity but the degree of cooperation with the US-led forces.
Many of the commentators view the recent events in the context of the US preparing for an attack on Iran.
Recent bombings of the holy shrines were designed to ignite a civil war and give the US an excuse to drag Iran into the conflict or initiate an attack on her.
The Danish cartoon incident was engineered by the neo-cons behind the scene to magnify the anti-Islamic climate in Europe, which would reduce the level of opposition in Europe, if Iran is attacked jointly by the US and Israel.
The nuclear crisis with Iran is always looming to escalate even though Iran has not violated the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) treaty. Clearly the crisis has been manufactured by the West as pretext to attack Iran and like Iraq’s WMD it is a lie.
Finally, Iran’s oil is now being traded in euros instead of the US dollar and they are preparing to establish an oil bourse to trade oil using the euro ˆ this will threaten to eradicate the petro-dollar, and weaken the US dollar significantly, posing a serious threat to the US economy and its super power status. No wonder Iran is part of the axis of evil. This may be the most significant reason behind the conflict with Iran.
Yamin Zakaria (www.iiop.org)