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Who benefits from the Samarra attack? A short 'history'

Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq

February 26, 2006

Juan Cole (see below two postings of February 24 and 25, 2006 for background) further states:

"As a historian, I try not to comment on things for which I don't have good documentary evidence. It just becomes speculation. I'm at a disadvantage in saying anything at all about what goes on in Iraq, since I am not there and can't see it. I finesse this by trying to make a judicious choice with regard to published accounts in Arabic. I didn't see anything I trusted on this issue."

At one level, Cole's academically 'safe' response is totally in order. On another level, some extra effort to discern and connect the dots behind the glare of the Corporate Media's superficial coverage, especially for a mini-historian, as I may humbly claim to be, would be in order, even though I also "am not there". In the end, the approach does reflect the interests (as in: Regard for one's own benefit or advantage; self-interest), doesn't it?

"The sectarian violence that has shaken Iraq this week has demonstrated the power that the many militias here have to draw the country into a full-scale civil war, and how difficult it would be for the state to stop it, Iraqi and American officials say.
The militias pose a double threat to the future of Iraq: they exist both as marauding gangs, as the violence on Wednesday showed, and as sanctioned members of the Iraqi Army and the police. (emphasis added)
..... The ascent of the militias inside the security forces was quick and quiet. Soon after the Shiite-led government swept into power last spring and Bayan Jabr, a senior Shiite politician, become interior minister, a housecleaning began, in which about 140 high-ranking officials were dismissed and political allies of the Shiites were put in their place, according to several former ministry officials who feared reprisals if they gave their names. In addition, recruitment drives brought hundreds of ordinary Shiites into the security forces, many of whom identified more strongly with their political parties than with the Iraqi state.
By summer, an American government adviser to the ministry, Mathew Sherman, recalled writing in his notes that "the ministry is quickly being infiltrated by militia and by Badr people."
Religious Strife Shows Strength Of Iraq Militias February 25, 2006

"The bombing of a revered Shiite shrine which sparked a wave of violence in Iraq was the work of specialists, Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said Friday, adding that the placing of the explosives must have taken at least 12 hours. (emphasis added)
"According to initial reports, the bombing was technically well conceived and could only have been carried out by specialists," the minister told Iraqia state television.
Jaafar, who toured the devastated thousand-year-old shrine on Thursday a day after the bombing which brought down its golden dome, said "holes were dug into the mausoleum's four main pillars and packed with explosives."
"Then the charges were connected together and linked to another charge placed just under the dome. The wires were then linked to a detonator which was triggered at a distance," the minister added.
To drill into the pillars would have taken at least four hours per pillar, he also estimated."
Iraq shrine bombing was specialist job: minister February 24, 2006

Note: The third eye-witness (see previous posting), who emailed his version of what he saw before the above report, had said exactly that. Since it is in Arabic, I shall translate. "My name is Ahmad Al-Samarrai and I own an Internet Cafe in front of the shrine. The National Guard arrived at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and surrounded the shrine and prevented us from leaving, but we usually sleep at night in our shops fearing theft of the computers. The National Guards and the Americans surrounded the shrine and left by 9 p.m.. They returned about 11 p.m. and strolled around till 6 a.m. on Thursday when all left at 6:30 a.m.. Two explosions occurred, one at 6:40 a.m and the louder one at 6:45 a.m.".
Not to mention that Samarra was/is under curfew from 8:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. every night; and that "... Sand "walls" built around Fallujah and Samarra in recent months have quelled restive insurgent cells. Army commanders in Samarra said the number of attacks dropped drastically after an 11-mile barrier was built around the city." U.S. Troops Build Wall of Sand in Iraq January 7, 2006

"Insurgent attacks in Iraq reached a postwar high in the four months preceding Jan. 20, according to a Iraq progress report issued Friday by the Pentagon.More than 550 attacks took place in Iraq from Aug. 29, 2005, to Jan. 20, 2006, according to the latest "security and stability" report the Defense Department is required to send lawmakers every four months.Speaking to Pentagon reporters Friday, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs said that the survey’s conclusions "were not good," but that "loving us is not what it’s about."
Awareness of the relative unpopularity of U.S. troops "is one of the reasons we want to turn over the battlespace" to the Iraqi security forces, Rodman said. (emphasis added)
Pentagon report: Insurgent attacks hit postwar high February 25, 2006

"In an attempt to end violence sparked by a bombing this week of a revered Shi'ite mosque in Samarra, the Iraqi government imposed an all-day curfew. The ISF are enforcing the curfew through patrols, roadblocks and loudspeaker announcements throughout Baghdad's mixed Sunni and Shi'ite neighborhoods amid one of the worst campaigns of Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
"We have a partnership with two Iraqi army brigades ... and what we have done is we've prepositioned our forces out in that area of responsibility," said Army Col. Jeffrey Snow, whose 10th Mountain Division brigade is responsible for northwest Baghdad. "I want to make clear to everyone that there is no question that Iraqi security forces are clearly in the lead here."
American brigades have embedded advisers among more than 50 Iraqi brigades. Equipped with radios, the advisers can call in U.S. reinforcements if the Iraqis become overwhelmed by demonstrators or attackers. The U.S. Army is launching spy drones to monitor Iraqi troops.
"The Iraqi security forces stepped up and immediately took steps to enhance a security posture within our area," Col. Snow told reporters at the Pentagon via a teleconference. "Our forces are postured as a quick-reaction force."
U.S. Forces Ready, Watchful As Iraqis Handle New Unrest February 25, 2006

Who benefits from the Samarra attack?

:: Article nr. 21047 sent on 27-feb-2006 02:22 ECT


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