"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 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 communiqu� 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.
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
Whether the communiqu� 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 in Iraq
represents a larger struggle between the United States and Iran for regional
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 sow 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
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 (P20G) 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 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 statelets.
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
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
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 follows.
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
Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com.