[Marxism] Rallying Around an Insurgent City

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 9 07:11:29 MDT 2004

Rallying Around an Insurgent City

By Karl Vick
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, April 9, 2004; Page A01

BAGHDAD, April 8 -- Solemn announcements boomed from mosques across 
Baghdad on Thursday beseeching Iraqis for donations of blood, money and 
medical supplies for "your sons and brothers in struggling Fallujah." 
And across the capital, Shiite Muslims joined Sunnis in rolling up their 
sleeves and reaching into their pockets.

The U.S. Marines' incursion into Fallujah, the eager contributors said, 
has recast the city long known as the epicenter of the volatile Sunni 
Triangle as a freshly minted emblem of shared religious identity.

Since a massive multiple suicide bombing on March 2 killed more than 140 
people here and in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, Iraq has been shaken 
by assassinations of clerics and attacks on mosques that religious 
leaders say were calculated to sow mistrust between Shiites and Sunnis. 
But on Thursday, residents of Kadhimiya, this overwhelmingly Shiite 
neighborhood in northern Baghdad, were giving what they could to help 
Sunni insurgents in Fallujah.

"This is the last food in my home," said Lemiya Wan, bent low by age and 
the effort of pulling a wooden cart laden with rice, sugar and a 
five-gallon can of cooking oil. "I give it for my brothers in Fallujah 
and everywhere in Iraq. God bless them. They are my brothers. They 
didn't do anything, the mujaheddin."

The old woman parked the cart at the edge of a Shiite shrine and reached 
a wrinkled hand into her enveloping black abaya. It emerged with five 
5,000-dinar notes, about $17, which Wan counted into the hand of a 
smiling Shiite cleric.

"I was going to buy for Arbaeen," she said, naming the Shiite holy days 
that commence this weekend. "But our blood is boiling for our brothers!"

The cleric, Hassan Toaima, surveyed the scene with satisfaction as 
people filled a tent erected beside the shrine, flexing and unflexing 
their fists to push blood from their veins into plastic sacks that would 
be carried to war wounded in Fallujah.

"Look!" said Toaima, his eyes dancing below a tightly wrapped white 
turban. "This is strong proof that the people of Iraq will end wars 
between Sunni and Shiite before they begin.

"And we welcome Iraqis of all religions -- Jews, Christians, everyone -- 
to come and help the people of Fallujah and Karbala and Mosul and 
Nasiriyah and Basra."

The enthusiasm was shared at the sprawling complex that was known as the 
Mother of All Battles Mosque under President Saddam Hussein. Now it is 
home to the Association of Muslim Scholars, which controls 70 Sunni 
mosques in Baghdad and organized this week's drive for blood, cash, food 
and medical supplies.

"Sunni and Shiites together," said Ziyad Hamid, a council employee. 
"Unity existed before, but now it's becoming stronger still."

Flyers cast the Fallujah donations as a means of breaching the 
roadblocks that occupation forces have set up between Baghdad and 
Fallujah, cutting off all traffic in and out of the western city while 
the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force confronts stubborn resistance 
fighters and searches for those responsible for killing and mutilating 
American security contractors there last week. Though widely and 
immediately condemned by Iraqis, that episode has been overshadowed by 
repeated reports of high civilian casualties in this week's fighting 
between Marines and guerrillas.

The bombing of a wall around a mosque, from which the U.S. military said 
insurgents were firing on Marine patrols, sharpened the focus for many 

"Prevent killing the innocents in Fallujah by all means available, or 
your turn will come," read a hand-out at the Kadhimiya blood donation 
tent that invoked the Shiite saint Hussein as well as the staunchly 
Sunni city. "Where are the lovers of Hussein and where are the heroes? 
Go there. Go to Fallujah carrying food and medicines."

full: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62783-2004Apr8.html


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