The recent bombing of the mosque at Samarra, known as the al-Rawda al-Askari shrine, has almost faded from public consciousness in the U.S. Most Americans have simply accepted the medias line that it was Sunni versus Shia that produced it, and have gone about their business.
But Laith Saud, an analyst appearing on the Arab television network Al Jazeera, offers a very different viewpoint. American analysts were quick to put the blame for the bombing on non-Iraqi insurgents or former members of the Baath Party that backed Saddam Hussein. They argued Muslims were behind the bombing because they want to trigger violence in Iraq, and so U.S. troops must remain to try to keep order.
Saud said: On the Iraqi street, of course, the perception of events is quite different, and many would argue that Israel or the United States carried out such an attack to maintain civil discord at a politically convenient time.
He said Iraqi resistance fighters have made it very clear that they condemn any attack on Iraqi sites (holy, historic or otherwise) and civilians. Logical analysis, Saud said, doesnt support a theory that Iraqis carried out the attack.
From the Wilderness publisher Mike Ruppert concurs with Sauds analysis, at least in the main. He noted U.S. media failed to report that practically no one in the Muslim world is buying the claim of Shia-Sunni violence.
Sami Ramadani, writing in Britains Guardian, noted that the angry crowds shown on Arab television protesting the bombing were not waving Sunni religious symbols, but were waving and burning U.S. and Israeli flags. The unifying slogan bringing Shia and Sunnis together was no to America, no to terrorism.
Leaders of both religious factions strongly urged their followers to not attack the other religious group. Israeli cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was reported by the BBC as calling for revenge on Sunnis. Ramadani said he actually called for revenge on the occupation.
The whole thing, Ruppert asserts, was a U.S. covert operation intended to set off a civil war and allow the Americans to carve up Iraqi oilfields. The plan blew up in U.S. faces. Ruppert wrote: This is the worst debacle in covert operations I have witnessed in 30 years. It is the same thing as someone going to a black tie party in a smelly sweat suit with skid marks. Times have changed and, for the covert world, they have changed momentously.
He said the only thing that would unite the Arab world faster and more fully would be an attack on Iran. That is something the Bush administration is contemplating and propagandizing to bring about.
Ramadani wrote: Two years ago, I argued…that the U.S. aim of installing a client pro-U.S. regime in Baghdad risked plunging the country into civil war but not a war of Arabs against Kurds or Sunnis against Shias, rather a war between a U.S.-backed minority (of all sects and nationalities) against the majority of the Iraqi people. That is where Iraq is heading.
Saud observed that, It is very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the level of sophistication of the Samarra bombing with that of the local resistance fighter planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices) roadside.
He bases that statement on the fact that it required considerable time to neutralize the shrines guard and then to place all the explosives precisely in order to bring down the golden dome and shatter some of the buildings interior supports.
Saud said it is well known that Samarra has only limited points of entry, and they are all very secure. He asks how a large quantity of explosives got into the city without detection.
He said chaos perpetuates and magnifies the need for foreign troops to maintain security and second, sectarian violence would undermine any national opposition to the occupation. Saud said it makes no sense for opponents of the occupation to try to start a civil war.
The Americans, he said, created the general possibility for civil war in Iraq the minute they invaded, because of their mindset to view all Iraqis in terms of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.
Ruppert holds that what happened at Samarra was not merely the defeat of a single U.S. covert operation, but defeat of the entire U.S. battle plan with the biggest battles yet to be fought. He said we are close to the point where they will have to be fought anyway, thus intensifying the chances of starting a row that will be composed solely of unintended consequences.
Ruppert sees two prime movers behind these developmentspeak oil and the way money works. He said: This is a well-orchestrated (perhaps subconsciously and systemically-orchestrated) campaign being directed at uneducated or brainwashed masses with one intent, and one intent only: to bring about a global conflagration that will run eastward from Nigeria, all the way to the Philippines. In that band is where more than 80 percent of the worlds known conventional oil reserves are located; 60 percent are centered around the Persian Gulf alone. Off the cliff, into the darkness we plunge headlong like blindfolded fools, drunk and desperate.
From the March 22-28, 2006, issue