On the Abu-Mahjoob website, this latest poll caught my attention. Don’t worry I know polls on a cartoonist’s website are not scientific. Nevertheless the language got me thinking.
What is wrong with this picture?
Yes, this picture to the right!
Where is Al-Queda and their foreign terrorists?
They might as well have thrown in Kenya as the source of the violence. Are there really American, Israeli and/or Iranian agents on the ground blowing up mosques? Kind of reminds me of the movie Syriana; chaos in the Middle East is in the best interest for America.
So what’s the theory here?
1- The U.S. is trying to increase the violence as an excuse to continue their presence.
2- Israel is trying to increase the violence as an excuse for the U.S. to continue its presence and therefore have the world ignore what atrocities it commits in Palestine.
3- Iran is trying to increase the violence to push the Shia’ into taking over the country and establishing a pro-Iranian regime.
My theory has always been that Zarqawi and his AlQueda thugs are trying to increase the violence to help establish their own rule, kind of like what happened in Afghanistan many years ago.
But at the end of the day who is to blame? The rats that have entered the country or the people responsible for opening the door for them?
Suffice to say, regardless of the latest bloodshed, all parties have a vested interest in continued violence. Oil profit is very high right now and there are a lot of important people in the world making a whole lot of money.
I guess if anyone really wants to blame one particular party it will be subjective. It all depends on where you stand.
Who is this Zarqawi guy anyway? And what’s Al-Queda, exactly?
A friend of mine who’s with me saw this post of yours .. this is what she had to say:
i don’t think it’s al qaeda anymore… it doesn’t make sense for them to target shia’s when there are americans there, i don’t think they’d do that.
America has no interest in staying there longer … the cost is getting too high and i think, they can’t wait to leave.
Iran on the other hand does have an interest. one is getting a pro-iranian govt. and two, is keeping american military resources occupied with what’s happening in iraq so as to reduce the threat of any potential military action on themselves … the more the americans exacerbate the nuclear issue with iran, the more the iranians can use what’s happening in iraq to their benefit.
She would like to know if you’re a poli sci major … if so, what do your grades look like? 😛
Also, don’t forget to tell me who zarqawi and al-queda are?
To Iman’s friend: The notion that Iran is pre-occupying America to prolong an inevitable attack on it’s own soil is a bit of a stretch. The longer the U.S. remains in Iraq the greater the foothold it has to use it as a launching pad on Iran. The former offers both geographical, tactical and the needed resources for such a future attack.
AlQueda are not necessarily in Iraq to battle Americans. In fact most of their actions have been against Iraqis themselves. The majority of hits against American forces have come by way of Iraqi sunnis, ex-army, ex-loyalists, and to a smaller extent the mahdi army. The attacks Alqueda does claim responsibility for involve kidnappings, beheadings, bombings of shia funerals, mosques and hospitals.
By pushing both shia and sunni parties into the abyss of a civil war, creates the perfect environment for AlQueda to gain a stronghold in the chaos which even America will not be able to deal with.
p.s. I do have a Ba in poli sci and my gpa was 3.8
Iman, Zarqawi and Alqueda are the people who bombed 3 hotels last november in Amman, amongst there many other atrocities.
The notion that Iran wants to prolong America’s presence to keep it pre-occupied is not a bit of a stretch but a tactic that many political observers state is a plausible one, so it’s not my own “takhbees” as Jordanians would say. America has troops in Iraq but is increasingly running out of the ability to fund further bases within the region, if you counter-argued that it would be too risky for the Americans to attack Iran it may have served as a better arguement. Given the military facilities in Iran it’s far too risky for the Americans to launch an attack on it, plus it does not make any economic sense to get themselves involved in another military conflict. Not to mention that they place their israeli allies at a huge risk by pursuing such an action. Futhermore, given America’s current economic situation, spending on its military expenses like crazy is not exactly a strategy it cares to pursue, yes, oil prices are at record levels however, that’s not enough to fund America’s increasing budget deficit which is completely reliant on South East Asians … and should the South East Asian central banks ever choose to diversify their holding of bonds then America will be, economically, in deep trouble. So again, engaging in another military conflict does not make economic sense.
As for Al-Qaeda being the source of this mayhem, the reason I feel somewhat reserved about that is simply because I cannot see what they have to gain. It’s quite clear that if a civil war breaks out in Iraq, assuming it currently hasn’t reached that state, that the Shiites will be the ones who will ultimately gain from this given that they are an overwhelming majority in Iraq. If like you say, Al-Qaeda wants to create a Taliban-like regime, they would have a far better chance trying to establish one in another arab country other than Iraq where it can find better access to some Sunni sympathizers… to put it bluntly, it Al-Qaeda has a better chance setting up a Taliban like regime in Jordan than it does in Iraq because quite simply it does not have the type of popularity to sustain such regime…
Time to go home now … 🙂
I personally think the word “Al Qaeda” can no longer be used to refer to the body of one organization that is coherent in its mode of operations.
I think many of the people who say they are members of Al Qaeda, are just people who follow someone who said he was an Al Qaeda member. No one really has proven it to them. That someone usually has been to Pakistan or Afghanistan in the past and therefore a link between him and Bin Laden and the Taliban can easily be established (no matter how insignificant that link is). He in turn will be happy to use that to legitimize himself in the eyes of those who idolize Bin Laden, and someone like the US would be even happier to count him as an Al Qaeda as long as it helps them give the world more proof that an enemy exists out there.
As to who’s really behind the bloodshed in Iraq? I think it’s the individuals who are willing to carry it out. And so far, from reports and eye witness accounts, they’ve all been proven to be Arabs, whether Iraqi or not. And what more proof do we need than the widespread approval of the atrocities that are going on. Whether it is Arab sunni’s that try to defend the bombing of Shia places, or Shia Muslims who approve the attacks on Sunni’s, or whether it is just people who defend kidnappings of foreign (and local) journalists and other workers in Iraq. There are many who approve of this, and a portion of those are actually willing to do it themselves.
So whoever put that poll together must have been living on Mars for the last 3 years, and more importantly must have been way out of touch with what is said on the forums of their very same web site!!!!
I have a strong urge to believe that an Iranian hand is somewhere behind all that; if you take a look from a far angle, you won’t see anybody taking advantages but them. The only other possibility is Israel; it’s a considerable strategy trying to keep Americans swimming in the mud behind their back in Iraq.
And I have another strong urge to reject any opinion to suggest that al-Qaeda is totally out of the picture due to the fact that they wil not gain anything; Al-Qaeda never acted according to strategic blueprints in the matter of claculating their gains and losses, they have excellent agents to run operations, but never had a long-term plan. They, just like Nas said, killed Iraqis a hundred times more than they killed americans.
Hamzeh N.- We must not agree at all with any effort that will try to clear the name Al-Qaeda from those who claim to act as their members, because simply Al-Qaeda itself did not, just like it is a fatal mistake to distinguish between Bin-Laden and Al-zarqawi. Al-Qaeda is a terrorist gang which doesn’t represent muslims under any condition.
Nas — fair assessment, I think. And good article.
Omar — agree. What it boils down to is men with guns who have no conscience in grabbing for power.
Before asking who did the bombing of the shrines in Iraq, we should ask who has the logistical ability to do it. Some facts/estimates:
– All four pillars of the shrine were booby trapped in an attempt to destroy the whole shrine
– Mining each pillar takes 3-4 hours (according to the Interior Ministry)
– Mining four pillars is a 12 hour-man operation
– The shrine has 35 guards on duty at any time
– Only 5 guards were on duty then (raises questions about the rest)
– Samarra (where the shrine is) was sealed the night before by the Iraqi Army and the US Army
– Samarra is a pre-dominantly Sunni city
I personally believe Al-Qaeda doesn’t have the logistics to carry out such an operation. Further, this operation doesn’t carry the stamp of Al-Qaeda – no suicide bomber, no people killed in the bombing.
I think it could be one of:
1. Iran: a message to the USA that it can burn Iraq under its feet
2. USA: to deflect the insurgency from attacking it by inflaming Sunni-Shia infighting
3. Israel: for all the reasons in the world, whether Iran or the USA, it has an interests in Arabs fighting
I believe the claim it is Iran is not credible – we can’t blame Iran for everything that goes wrong under America’s eyes! Lebanon, Iraq, anti-Denmark protests are all Iran’s faults. The Iranians have in the past given more discrete and smarter messages to the USA which both understood very well, like kidnappings in Lebanon.
America, on the other hand, has a long history in terrorism, from its assasination attempt at Fadlallah in Lebanon in 1985 which killed 80 civilians, to training Druze militias to assasinate in Lebanon, to allying itself with the Contras in Nicaragua, and supporting Israel today of course…etc. To say the least, Iran’ didn’t kill 100,000 Iraqis in their safe homes and in their own country like the USA.
If anyone has blood on their hands, its the USA, not Iran.
All the parts that you have described in your article have an interest in feeding the violent cycle in Iraq, but the question is who has the biggest interest in such violence? at this time, and taking into consideration what is happening around the world I guess Iman’s friend argument makes sense! Although Iranians act as if they are more than competent to face US, but deep inside they are doing their best to avoid such encounter without losing the water of their face, and their talks with the Russians as well as the recent bombing in Iraq are examples on that.
“America has troops in Iraq but is increasingly running out of the ability to fund further bases within the region”
Who said America funds them? Iraqi oil exports are the only in the world that are not metered. Saudi paid for the bases, Qatar pays for America’s presence. It’s like rent-a-cop, only that he forces you to rent him.
“So again, engaging in another military conflict does not make economic sense”
Why would bombing the shrines get America into another military conflict anymore that it already is in? On the contrary, bombing the shrines will make the insurgency take revenge on the Shia who will in the first place take revenge for the shrines. This will happily deflect the fighting away from the Americans.
The Economic arguement for the war is a weak one. American impotence is more the real reason: America hasn’t won a single war after WWII (Vietname, Korea, Lebanon, Cuba, Nicaragua). Pretty unexpected, but the record is there and let’s hope we’ll add Iraq to the list.
Rami- fair analysis, everything you mentioned about the US is totally true and known, but, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the US is behind those specific actions, I strongly believe that for the time being, the US has no interest in increasing the violence anymore!
Iran does not fear the US as it may appear, the US is not capable of raising a millitary operation against Iran under the current conditions in Iraq, and Iran is aware of that, the obvious interest for Iran is to devide Iraq in a sure attempt to include shia’s territories to its land. What you discussed about Israel is, of course, true and possible.
Hi Rami, allow me to disagree with some of your point.
Fund who?? American troops? If so, then that’s completely wrong. Part of any government spending in this world will always fund defense, that’s fact. With the American government, who pays the troops’ salaries, their food, the shipment of military material, their medical expenses if they’ve suffered injury?? Of course the American government pays for it! How can Iraqi oil pay for it?? American businesses yes profit from oil prices, these businesses support the government but in no way does that pay for a country’s defense. We’re talking economic principles here! Do you think when Princeton economists like Paul Krugman say that the cost of the war in Iraq is running up the deficit, they’re talking nonsense??
Do you really think America can just walk out of Iraq obligation free when a civil war strikes?? American officials have said it, should a civil war break out they’ll sit back and let the Iraqi troops handle it, should it overwhelm them then they’ll have to interfere. Everyday the American troops remain Iraq it costs them like crazy! And again that is fact. Another fact is that American government spending is largely financed through South East Asian economies continually willing to buy American bonds, evidence? When the Bank of Korea wanted to diversify its holding of foreing reserves to include euros, the dollar plumetted and recovered again when the Bank retracted and said it doesn’t plan to diversify anytime soon. Why? because South Koreas are the 4th largest foreign reserve holders in the world and hold $70bln of US treasury debt. Again these are all facts, so ….
ok.. at least we agree here 🙂
I think that IRAN, USA, and some iraqi organizations who are after this civil war in iraq and all are committed. but if this war started?? anybody can tell me what is the effect of this war on lebanon?
Iman’s friend: I am not saying this party is responsible or that one, like I said, all parties have a respective interest in the chaos.
The problem with the Iranian scenario is that it would be more plausible to assume they were responsible for attacking Sunni mosques and funerals. But Shia mosques? And not just any old mosque…but the mosque? It’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. And with Iran its not just about politics, religion is very dominant.
AlQueda might not have an easy time setting up such a regime in Iraq but neither does any other party at this time. Chaos divided by chaos equals chaos. They might not have an easy time but it has a better chance than attempting to do it in Jordan. In a state of chaos even the biggest impossibilities become possibilities. And at this point in time they would find a much bigger resistance to them attempting such a thing in Jordan, there’s nothing to divide except palestinians and jordanians; and both are pretty much in agreement about what they don’t want.
Gulf War I
I think America won that one.