[Marxism] RE:Explosion in Iraq Mosque

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 4 08:44:14 MST 2004

>Calvin Broadbent wrote:
>There seems to be very little logic though to British and American
>claims that it was Al Qaeda...Why would Al Qaeda slaughter muslim
>worshippers? ...
>The most likely explanation seems to me that of divide-and-rule
>agent-provocateurism, possibly supported via intrigues in the IGC or
>pro-American Iraqi exile groups. Is it so hard to believe that a country
>up to its neck in bombing the life out of a country for 13 years, and
>particularly recently killing something like 12,000 civilians since last
>April, and seeking the division of the country into three 'autonomous'
>(balkanised) regions, might wish to encourage sectarian warfare?...
>I am surprised more list members are not commenting on this.
>They're busily dissecting the latest Militant editorial. :)
>No doubt the Americans and their Iraqi agents can and do use these
>incidents to justify the US military presence in the country, But if
>they're somehow connected to these bombings, it seems to be a strategy
>which is backfiring. Anti-American sentiment among the Shias is inflamed
>every time there is an attack, and this is the one community which the
>US cannot afford to alienate. Moreover, as commentators have noted, the
>Bush reelection effort is hurt by the perception of continued
>instablility in Iraq which the bombings dramatize.

Do you believe then that the attack was al qaeda, even though they have 
deined it, and was designed to increase anti-american feeling? I am not sure 
that if the Americans were involved that their strategy has backfired. There 
is a prevalent racist demonology of Iraq, like there is in Haiti and 
elsewhere, which suggests that Iraqis can't govern themselves, and that 
there need be an iron fist to keep their ethnic and religious squabbles 
under control. Would America not love to play the role of Leviathan in Iraq? 
Furthermore, it is easy for the US government, and the British, to say that 
they were right to invade (to get rid of Saddam) and right to occupy (to 
keep anarchy from reigning).

>My sense is that events in Iraq are controlling the administration, more
>than the administration is controlling events. The situation has become
>very complicated and unpredictable for it since the invasion – and all
>because of the Sunni uprising, which it didn't anticipate. The Sunni
>resistance has prevented it from repairing infrastructure, creating
>jobs, and attracting investment into the oil industry.

Is the Sunni resistance really what is preventing America from preparing the 
infrastruture? Certainly British Petroleum (BP) has made massive profits 
since last April- clearly the oil is flowing alright for them. What jobs do 
the occupiers intend to create? Is the resistance solely of a Sunni 
religious composition?

It has forced it
>into an uneasy alliance with the more independent Shia clerics, when it
>would have preferred to exercise colonial control through the exiled
>secular bourgeoisie represented by Ahmed Chalibi and the generals
>favoured by the CIA. And the political dependence on the Shias has in
>turn complicated its relations with the Kurds, whose autonomy the Shias
>want to limit.
>I'm also not sure how much "balkanization" the US favours. Balkanization
>is often accompanied by vicious wars over borders and resources, the
>break-up of Yugoslavia being the most recent example. A balkanized Iraq
>would also extend the influence of Iran in the south and invite the
>intervention of Turkey in the north, which would be further

I think America does not mind Balkanisation if it gets the job of securing 
political dominance over nominally sovereign nations done. Yugoslavia is a 
recent example of this (as is US pushing for a two-state solution in 
Palestine). At any rate, America might opt for a Iraq federation of three 
semi-autonomous (ethno-religious) regions.

>Stability is what the US needs above all, and both the bombings and
>balkanization work against that interest. In terms of the politics of
>divide-and-conquer, they can probably play off each of the communities
>against each other more easily within the framework of a single state,
>then if they're all off running their own statelets, although given the
>dependence of each on US investment and markets, it probably doesn't
>matter much one way or another.

>I have to think the oil multinationals would almost certainly rather
>deal with one state rather than three, and it would be easier for the US
>to only have to negotiate military basing rights with a single
>Finally, except in the case of the Kurds, I'm really not able to
>identify any significant separatist currents within the Shia and Sunni
>communities. It may come to this as the situation deteriorates, but for
>now there seems to be a shared recognition of the need for some form of
>federal state, although, as the constitutional discussions showed, the
>trick will be to devise one which can accomodate the differing
>interests – especially over the division of oil revenues, continued
>control of Kurdish territory by a Kurdish army, and clerical influence
>in the legal and political system.
>Marv Gandall

I agree- I can't see either the Shi'a or the Sunni leaders advancing a 
separatist agenda. That is exactly why I am puzzled at the identity of the 
culprits of the mosque explosion. As I have sadi, I also doubt it was Al 
Qaeda, given their denial and given their pan-Islamic ideology. I still tend 
to think it was the work of agents, possibly even paid al qaueda 

Thanks for your replies Marv- I think it is an important discussion.

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