Al-sarafiya bridge which, until two days ago, spanned the Tigris in Baghdad, linking Shia and Sunni neighborhoods of the city.
April 13, 2007
"Suicide bombings" are a daily occurrence in Iraq, and are the major propaganda tool used by the US government and its mainstream media to convince the world that there is still some "freedom and Democracy" work to be done by US troops in Iraq. But what if they are a cover for something else?
Read this excerpt from a news report from July 2006:
Violence may bring partition of Baghdad
Iraq's politicians [i.e. Pentagon and Israeli officials] were reported yesterday to be drawing up provisional plans to divide Baghdad into Sunni and Shia halves after a week of bloodshed that has left the government's security plan to pacify the capital in tatters.
The proposal would mean an acceptance that the country could not be held together and would mark a dramatic failure for the American policy of fostering national unity.
The Tigris river, which would become the dividing line between the predominately Sunni districts of west Baghdad and the majority Shia in the east.
Now read this report of an event that occurred two days ago:
Suicide bomb collapses Baghdad bridge At least 10 killed
April 12, 2007
BAGHDAD - A suicide truck bomb exploded on a major bridge in Baghdad early Thursday, collapsing the steel structure and sending cars tumbling into the Tigris River below, police and witnesses said. At least 10 people were killed.
The al-Sarafiya bridge connected two northern Baghdad neighborhoods - Waziriyah, a mostly Sunni enclave, and Utafiyah, a Shiite area. After more than a year of massacres of Sunni and Shia civilians by US-sponsored death squads working out of the Iraqi interior ministry, both Sunni and Shia civilians have fled neighborhoods where they were originally in the majority or where there was a mix of the two groups.
Before the al-Sarafiya bridge was destroyed, nine spans across the Tigris linked western and eastern Baghdad. Now there are eight. How long will they last?
The Tigris river now serves as a de facto dividing line between the mostly Shiite east and the largely Sunni west of the city, with the bridges the only connection between them. It's called "counter insurgency strategy" - divide and conquer.
The reports that a "truck suicide bomb" had been detonated on the bridge came from the US military. No independent Iraqi or other source was able to verify this claim. In fact, AP Television News video showed the bridge broken in two places suggesting two blasts.
Other Iraqi eyewitnesses claim that a US attack helicopter fired two missiles at the bridge, but with the mainstream media parroting only the official US military line that it was "suicide truck bomb" these eyewitness reports are never heard.
The fact is, the al-Sarafiya bridge was built by the British in the early part of the 20th century, so since it belonged to the occupation army, it was theirs to blow up.
Suffice to say that, from now on, it would be wise when reading reports about daily bombings in Iraq to replace the words "suicide bomber" with "US military".
Robert Fisk recently commented on the US military plan for "gated communities" in Baghdad:
Faced with an ever-more ruthless insurgency in Baghdad - despite President George Bush's "surge" in troops - US forces in the city are now planning a massive and highly controversial counter-insurgency operation that will seal off vast areas of the city, enclosing whole neighbourhoods with barricades and allowing only Iraqis with newly issued ID cards to enter.
The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency programme yet mounted by the US in Iraq.
The system has been used - and has spectacularly failed - in the past, and its inauguration in Iraq is as much a sign of American desperation at the country's continued descent into civil conflict as it is of US determination to "win" the war against an Iraqi insurgency that has cost the lives of more than 3,200 American troops. The system of "gating" areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory - again, with little success.
But the campaign has far wider military ambitions than the pacification of Baghdad. It now appears that the US military intends to place as many as five mechanised brigades - comprising about 40,000 men - south and east of Baghdad, at least three of them positioned between the capital and the Iranian border. This would present Iran with a powerful - and potentially aggressive - American military force close to its border in the event of a US or Israeli military strike against its nuclear facilities later this year.
The latest "security" plan, of which The Independent has learnt the details, was concocted by General David Petraeus, the current US commander in Baghdad, during a six-month command and staff course at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Those attending the course - American army generals serving in Iraq and top officers from the US Marine Corps, along with, according to some reports, at least four senior Israeli officers - participated in a series of debates to determine how best to "turn round" the disastrous war in Iraq.
So far, the Baghdad campaign has involved only the creation of a few US positions within several civilian areas of the city but the new project will involve joint American and Iraqi "support bases" in nine of the 30 districts to be "gated" off. From these bases - in fortified buildings - US-Iraqi forces will supposedly clear militias from civilian streets which will then be walled off and the occupants issued with ID cards. Only the occupants will be allowed into these "gated communities" and there will be continuous patrolling by US-Iraqi forces. There are likely to be pass systems, "visitor" registration and restrictions on movement outside the "gated communities". Civilians may find themselves inside a "controlled population" prison.
The senior generals who constructed the new "security" plan for Baghdad were largely responsible for the seminal - but officially "restricted" - field manual on counter-insurgency produced by the Department of the Army in December of last year, code-numbered FM 3-24. While not specifically advocating the "gated communities" campaign, one of its principles is the unification of civilian and military activities, citing "civil operations and revolutionary development support teams" in South Vietnam, assistance to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq in 1991 and the "provincial reconstruction teams" in Afghanistan - a project widely condemned for linking military co-operation and humanitarian aid.
FM 3-24 is harsh in its analysis of what counter-insurgency forces must do to eliminate violence in Iraq. "With good intelligence," it says, "counter-insurgents are like surgeons cutting out cancerous tissue while keeping other vital organs intact." But another former senior US officer has produced his own pessimistic conclusions about the "gated" neighbourhood project.
"Once the additional troops are in place the insurrectionists will cut the lines of communication from Kuwait to the greatest extent they are able," he told The Independent. "They will do the same inside Baghdad, forcing more use of helicopters. The helicopters will be vulnerable coming into the patrol bases, and the enemy will destroy as many as they can. The second part of their plan will be to attempt to destroy one of the patrol bases. They will begin that process by utilising their people inside the 'gated communities' to help them enter. They will choose bases where the Iraqi troops either will not fight or will actually support them.
"The American reaction will be to use massive firepower, which will destroy the neighbourhood that is being 'protected'."
So that's what is ultimately in store for the Iraqi people - mass murder by the US military when they finally realise that they are not fighting "terrorists" or even an "insurgency", but the entire Iraqi people who, like occupied peoples throughout history, will never stop resisting illegal and brutal occupation of their land.
The most disturbing fact however, is that the military and civilian architects of this war have always known this.