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Positief nieuws!

17 maart 08:29, 2006

Op 22 februari werd in Samarra de gouden koepel van de Askariya-moskee opgeblazen. CNN:

The Samarra attack happened at 7 a.m., when gunmen dressed as Iraqi police commandos bombed the site, which has deep historical significance in Shiite Islam.

Reuters meldt een paar uur later een vergeldingsactie:

Gunmen in police uniforms seized a dozen Sunni men suspected of being insurgents from a prison in the mainly Shi'ite city of Basra on Wednesday and later killed 11 of them, police and British forces said.

Voor meer verkleedpartijen bij de Britten in Basra zie Ira(n)(k).

Fox News zag de gebeurtenissen als potentieel positief nieuws: Could It Be A Good Thing? vroeg het panel zich af.

Je kunt die vraag filosofisch benaderen, maar voor een antwoord dat iedereen begrijpt, kunnen we het beste terecht bij Daniel Pipes, door Bush Jr. ooit benoemd als lid van de US Institute of Peace. Zijn vader Richard was voorzitter van Team B, dat van Bush Sr. bellen mocht blazen tijdens de koude oorlog. Daniel stond onlangs nog in de belangstelling vanwege de rol die hem werd toegeschreven in de cartoonaffaire. Een rol die hij met graagte vervult. In een interview over de dreigende Iraakse burgeroorlog gaf hij een heldere analyse (video):

Well, in the first place, there would be fewer attacks on our forces in Iraq as they fight each other. More broadly outside Iraq. There would be fewer attacks on us as the Shi'ites and the Sunnis attack each other.
[..]
[T]he victors in democracy, whether it be Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have in all these cases been our most extreme enemies - the Islamists. And I think as developments in Iraq slow down the democracy process, so it will elsewhere and we will be the better for it.
[..]
I'm just saying should there be a civil war, it is not necessarily all that bad for our interests. By no means am I endorsing it, by no means do I want one. I'm looking at it in a cool way and saying there are advantages to it.
[..]
After all, we are looking at Iraq from our national interest point of view. Will we be all that set back by this? I say no.

In hetzelfde Australische TV-programma gaf Midden-Oostenexpert Robert Fisk college (video):

Iraq is not a sectarian society, but a tribal society. People are intermarried. Shiites and Sunnis marry each other. It's not a question of having a huge block of people here called Shiites and a huge block of people called Sunnis any more than you can do the same with the United States, saying Blacks are here and Protestants are here and so on. But certainly, somebody at the moment is trying to provoke a civil war in Iraq. Someone wants a civil war. Some form of militias and death squads want a civil war. There never has been a civil war in Iraq. The real question I ask myself is: who are these people who are trying to provoke the civil war? Now the Americans will say it's Al Qaeda, it's the Sunni insurgents. It is the death squads. Many of the death squads work for the Ministry of Interior. Who runs the Ministry of Interior in Baghdad? Who pays the Ministry of the Interior? Who pays the militia men who make up the death squads? We do, the occupation authorities.
[..]
Yeah, look, in August, I went into the same mortuary and found out that 1,000 people had died in one month in July. And most of those people who had died were split 50/50 between the Sunnies and the Shiites, but most of them, including women who'd been blindfolded and hands tied behind their backs - I saw the corpses - were both Sunnies and Shiites.
[..]
I go into the Interior Ministry in Baghdad and I see lots and lots of armed men wearing black leather. Who is paying these guys? Well, we are, of course. The money isn't falling out of the sky. It's coming from the occupation powers and Iraqi's Government, which we effectively run because, as we know, they can't even create a constitution without the American and British ambassadors being present. We need to look at this story in a different light. That narrative that we're getting - that there are death squads and that the Iraqis are all going to kill each other, the idea that the whole society is going to commit mass suicide - is not possible, it's not logical.

Fisk gelooft dus niet zo erg in een doorsnee burgeroorlog. Fox News ook niet, op een flexibel standpunt sta je immers het sterkst.

In zijn exposé gaf Fisk aan dat de gunmen niet zozeer verkleed waren, maar dat die gunmen deel uitmaakten van de veiligheidstroepen die door de coalitie worden gesponsord. Een boude stelling.

Afgelopen zondag werd dat echter bevestigd door de Iraakse ministers van defensie en binnenlandse zaken: "The deaths squads that we have captured are in the defense and interior ministries."

Wie zit er achter die infiltratie? Algelopen week viel daarover veel te speculeren. De oude Baath partij van Saddam Hoessein? Onwaarschijnlijk, "Saddam never planned insurgency", zegt het Pentagon zelf. Iran misschien? Zoals Bush afgelopen maandag nog zei: "Some of the most powerful IEDs we're seeing in Iraq today includes components that came from Iran." Onzin, zegt de voorzitter van de Joints Chiefs of Staff een dag later. Dan blijft alleen het fantoom over, dat vóór 2003 nimmer in Irak werd gezien: Al-Qaeda, na Samarra bezig met een 'Big Bang' in Irak. Inderdaad, afgelopen dinsdag meldt het Iraakse ministerie van defensie: "Security officials foiled a plot that would have put hundreds of al-Qaida men at guard posts around Baghdad's Green Zone."

De Amerikanen laten er geen gras over groeien. Sinds shock & awe, maandag drie jaar geleden, is Operation Swarmer de grootste luchtaanval, met als centrum Samarra.


Noot:

Militaire zorgen over de recente toename van het aantal Amerikaanse luchtaanvallen waren vorig jaar al te lezen in het door Alt-F4 gelinkte artikel van Seymour Hersh:

"Will the Iraqis call in air strikes in order to snuff rivals, or other warlords, or to snuff members of your own sect and blame someone else?"
"Will some Iraqis be targeting on behalf of Al Qaeda, or the insurgency, or the Iranians"

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