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Iraq's Going According to the Plan? Death Squads, Shrine Bombers, Civil War
Mysterious bombers blow up an important Shia shrine in Samarra. Government death squads murder members of the armed opposition. A wave of fury is unleashed against Sunni mosques, killing dozens. Moqtada al-Sadr orders his Mehdi Army to protect the Sunni mosques in a show of Iraqi solidarity. The occupier insists that everything is going according to plan. But if this is so, then what is the plan?
The recent destruction of the Askariya mosque is full of questions. Although many Iraqis and others were quick to blame the Al Queda in Mesopotamia forces of the elusive al-Zarqawi, his organization's name was on a communique that condemned the attacks and reminded Iraqis that the occupation was the enemy. Like many other observers of the Iraqi situation, I wonder about al-Zarqawi's motives, funding and even his actual existence. After all, from where I sit, it looks like his primary role in Iraq has been to fund sectarian tension between the Shia and Sunni communities in Iraq. However, the fact remains that some group (or groups) in Iraq seem intent on destroying the sense of Iragi nationhood that has existed among Iraqis no matter which religion or religious sect they belong to.
The civil war potential remains great and, from Western accounts, seems to be growing. According to these accounts, such a war would be (or is, depending on the source) between certain Shia factions and certain Sunni factions, with Baathist siding primarily with the Sunni groups. Another perspective is one presented by a US military officer in an article published by the Washington Post on February 25, 2006. I quote: "the hope is that U.S. forces will be able to focus on foreign fighters, while Iraqi security forces take on the native insurgency. But that hasn't happened yet. The hardest fighting, especially in rural areas, still is being done by U.S. troops." Now, if that doesn't sound like a scenario for creating civil war, than I don't know what is. If the makeup of the Iraqi military is primarily Shias, then it might be possible to portray the battle as one between religious sects, but the underlying reality is that the real war would be between those who support the US-installed regime in Iraq and those who don't. In other words, it would be the same as it is now, only with Iraqi forces doing even more of the killing and dying than they are now.
Security and Cheap Xenophobia
The Dubai seaport controversy is nothing more than an excuse for some good ol- American xenophobia. If those legislators and commentators are truly so upset about foreign ownership of US corporations, where was their outcry over the past thirty years? There is nothing new here, folks. If it weren't for the fact that the Reagan administration (and the Congress it worked with) opened up the US banking industry to foreign investment back in the 1980s, the US economy would have crashed a lot harder back then. That's the nature of global capitalism. It's right there in Imperialism 101. The only way that a capitalist economy can survive is by expanding and by ignoring national boundaries when it comes to obtaining cash to continue that expansion. Bill Clinton and his people understood this, as does the Bush administration. Those legislators who are acting so appalled might do well to look at other transnational agreements their very body has passed in the last decade.