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Both Sunni and Shias Iraqis have accused the U.S. of being behind the bombing the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, one of the holiest Shia religious sites, in order to further incite sectarian violence between the two rival Islamic groups and provide a justification for the American surge.
Sunni Muslim leaders belonging to the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq have questioned how terrorists could get access to the site which has been heavily guarded by about 60 Federal Protection Service forces and 25 local Iraqi police and closed to the public since it was attacked last year in a bombing which many also believed to be the work of US forces.
In a statement on their website the group comments:
After the government forces surrounded the area, the explosion of al-Hadi Mosque performed in Samarra as using the method done last year. One of the highlights of this terrorist act, many government snipers positioned on the surrounding roofs of buildings in the place from all directions. The doors of the shrine also closed and nobody was allowed to enter. The explosion took place this morning under two minarets in a very similar way like what happened to the golden dome more than a year ago, which implies the involvement of apparatus and forces of the Iraqi Government in this new crime.
Former British Ambassador Suspects Government Stoking Iraqi Civil War
Former British Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, writes today that he suspects the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq has been intentionally provoked and continued by US and UK special forces in occupation of the country.
"As the catastrophe in Iraq continues to unfold, an unresolved question remains on the role of Bush, Blair, and the US/UK military. To what extent were they passively incompetent in facilitating the decline into civil war, and to what extent were they actively pursuing policies that promoted that outcome?"
Murray suspects that as part of a "divide and conquer" strategy, the same strategy used by British forces in Iraq 85 years ago, Special forces are being used to intentionally foment civil war by training and equipping Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers.
The adoption of the 'Salvador Option' by the US in Iraq was reported and discussed from the beginning of 2005 onwards.
"Let's Divide Iraq as We Did in Yugoslavia!"
The New York Times published an editorial on November 25, 2003 carrying Leslie Gelb's by-line. He's an influential man who, until recently, presided over the very important Council of Foreign Affairs, a think tank that brings together the CIA, the secretary of state and big shots from U.S. multinational corporations.
Gelb's plan? Replace Iraq with three mini-states: "Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south." The objective? "To put most of its money and troops where they would do the most good quickly -- with the Kurds and Shiites. The United States could extricate most of its forces from the so-called Sunni Triangle, north and west of Baghdad.... American officials could then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate their ambitions or suffer the consequences." In short, starve the central state around Baghdad because the Sunnis have always spearheaded the resistance to U.S. imperialism.
`P2OG' allows Pentagon to fight dirty
Its Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a 2002 "Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism". Excerpts from that study, dated August 16, were leaked and obtained by the Federation of American Scientists, which posted them on their website. The report was produced by a 10-member panel of military experts that included Vice Admiral William O Studeman, former director of the National Security Agency.
According to the leak, the United States is engaged in a global war on terrorism that is "a real war" in case anyone doubts it. This means, among other things, a "committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach" against whom the US will wage "a long, at times violent, and borderless war" which "requires new strategies, postures and organization".
That explains why the United States has, so to speak, decided to fight fire with fire. Although the study is filled with lots of the usual buzzwords and phrases that Pentagon planners love, such as "robust connectivity, agile ground forces, adaptive joint command and control and discriminant use of force", one thing that does stand out is its call for "preemption/proaction/interdiction/disruption/quick-response capabilities".
Civil War in Iraq?
- Invite Syrian and Iranian participation, hastening the possibility of an American confrontation with those two states, with which tensions are already high.
- Terminate the dream of Iraq serving as a model for other Middle Eastern countries, thus delaying the push toward elections. This will have the effect of keeping Islamists from being legitimated by the popular vote, as Hamas was just a month ago.
- Reduce coalition casualties in Iraq. As noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Rather than killing American soldiers, the insurgents and foreign fighters are more focused on creating civil strife that could destabilize Iraq's political process and possibly lead to outright ethnic and religious war."
- Reduce Western casualties outside Iraq. A professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Vali Nasr, notes: "Just when it looked as if Muslims across the region were putting aside their differences to unite in protest against the Danish cartoons, the attack showed that Islamic sectarianism remains the greatest challenge to peace." Put differently, when Sunni terrorists target Shiites and vice-versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt.