Many Iraqis believe ’suicide’ bombings done by US to start a civil war
by : Patrick Cockburn, Independent UK
Friday September 16, 2005 - 21:44
Ali Ghazi, also a Shia from the Iraqi deep south. "I believe it is the Americans who are doing this, pretending it is the Sunni, so there will be a civil war and they can control our wealth." Many survivors lying mangled by this morning’s bombs subscribed to a conspiracy theory according to which the US wants to rule Iraq by fomenting differences between Shia and Sunni.... many of those wounded denied there would be a war between Shia and Sunni. Mohammed Abdul Karim, an injured Shia at Noman hospital, pointed out that he was in a Sunni district and the Sunni doctors were doing everything to help him.
by Patrick Cockburn
A suicide bomber sparked Baghdad’s worst day of slaughter since the fall of Saddam 30 months ago when he lured labourers desperate for work towards his van by offering them jobs and then detonated explosives that killed 114 and injured 156 of them.
On a day when more than a dozen co-ordinated attacks thundered across Baghdad from dawn into the late afternoon - claiming 152 lives and wounding 542 - al-Qa’ida in Iraq said it was retaliating against a US-Iraqi operation directed at the insurgents’ northern stronghold of Tal Afar. And as the hours passed with car and roadside bombs shattering the relative calm of the past few days, fears of civil war intensified.
A posting on the internet by al-Qa’ida in Iraq said: "To the nation of Islam, we give you the good news that the battles of revenge for the Sunni people of Tal Afar began yesterday."
Today the carnage continued when 16 policemen and five civilians were killed and about 20 injured when a suicide bomber drove his car into a convoy of police vehicles in Baghdad’s southern Dora district, police said. Together with three other bombings, today’s death toll in Baghdad rose to more than 30.
Just 24 hours eariler, in Aruba Square in the Shia district of Qadimiyah, the crowd cried: "Why? Why? Why," as the dead and dying were carried out. Severed heads and limbs were stacked beside burnt bodies inside the gates of the local hospital, its floor slippery with blood.
"We gathered and suddenly a car blew up and turned the area into fire and dust and darkness," said Hadi, a worker who survived the blast. Along with some 1,500 others he had gone at dawn to the square where labourers traditionally wait to be hired. Most of those who died were impoverished Shia workers from Iraq’s deep south who have come to Baghdad for jobs and sleep rough or in squalid hotels around Aruba.
Oily black smoke rose into the blue sky over Baghdad as more than a dozen bombs exploded across the city throughout the morning. Terror mounted as we heard the detonations. People stayed at home to avoid being caught by the blasts.
Fearing another suicide bomb, police and soldiers stopped vehicles entering Qadimiyah, at the centre of which are the golden domes of a much venerated Shia shrine. But angry and distraught people raced on foot to the nearest hospital to see if friends or relatives were alive or dead.
"Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! God is Great! God is Great! This is a terrible disaster," chanted Sayef Ali Abed as he walked with a nervous gait as if frightened of what he would find at the hospital. "I heard what happened on the radio and came directly because I know my brother was looking for work there. I did not even tell our parents where I was going." In the hospital, Abbas Rada Mohammed, a distraught middle-aged man, was vainly studying a list of the names of 162 injured. "I am looking for my brother. Maybe he is dead or in another hospital."
The people torn apart were not the only ones to die in Iraq yesterday. In a Sunni village 10 miles north of Baghdad near Taji, men dressed as soldiers - and who possibly were soldiers - moved in just before first light and took away 17 men whom they handcuffed, blindfolded and shot. The dead included one policeman and several men who worked as drivers and construction workers at a US base.
One of the many reasons why Iraqis are becoming more terrified by the day is that they do not know if the policemen or soldiers who wake them in the middle of the night truly work for the government or are a death squad.
Another suicide bomb in northern Baghdad killed 11 people as they queued to refill gas cylinders. The attack in Qadimiyah was clearly aimed at killing as many Shia as possible since few Kurds or Sunni would have been present. Along with the other bombings, it was later claimed by al-Qa’ida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Zarqawi also declared war on Shias, Iraqi troops and the country’s government in an audio message on the internet last night. The speaker, whose identity was not immediately authenticated, also said his militant forces would attack any Iraqi they believe had co-operated with the US-led offensive on Tal Afar. "This battle was timed to cover up the scandal of God’s enemy, Bush, in failing to deal with [Hurricane] Katrina," it said.
Tal Afar, a city of 200,000, is an ethnic and sectarian mosaic. About 70 per cent of its people are Sunni Turkmans, sympathetic to the insurgents, and 30 per cent Shia Turkmans supportive of the Shia-Kurdish government in Baghdad. The Iraqi soldiers that stormed the city along with US troops were mostly Kurdish and Shia. The attacks came only hours after Iraq’s President, Jalal Talabani, had stood beside President George Bush at a press conference in Washington.
Sa’af Jabber Ajmi, a Shia labourer from Nasiriyah, lying in the Noman hospital in the Adhamiya district, with shrapnel in his leg, shoulder and back, said: "I thought what happened was a reaction to the Iraqi President’s visit to the US." In another bed was Ali Ghazi, also a Shia from the Iraqi deep south. "I believe it is the Americans who are doing this, pretending it is the Sunni, so there will be a civil war and they can control our wealth." Many survivors lying mangled by this morning’s bombs subscribed to a conspiracy theory according to which the US wants to rule Iraq by fomenting differences between Shia and Sunni.
Near Noman hospital, gunmen killed a police general and other senior officers. When peoplewent to help them there was a second attack by a suicide bomber, which killed three soldiers and three policemen. These secondary attacks, now frequent, make it very dangerous to approach understandably jittery policemen and soldiers after an explosion because they may shoot at any vehicle approaching them.
At least three of the bombs were aimed at US patrols, with one Humvee being destroyed on the airport road, said witnesses. At least two soldiers were badly wounded. One US convoy was attacked just north of the Green Zone and the bomb injured 14 policemen. For 10 minutes afterwards there was the sound of heavy machine-gun fire.
Sectarian strife is increasing. In the mainly Sunni but hitherto mixed districts of Daura and Amariyah in south and west Baghdad, Shia residents have been shot and others intimidated into leaving. But at the same time many of those wounded denied there would be a war between Shia and Sunni. Mohammed Abdul Karim, an injured Shia at Noman hospital, pointed out that he was in a Sunni district and the Sunni doctors were doing everything to help him.
In the midst of this mayhem, Iraq finally agreed a constitution to be voted on in a referendum on 15 October. But it seemed hardly relevant yesterday.
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SO-CALLED DOSSIER
Monday 16 - 15:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The Rotten Apple in The Prince’s Crown
Friday 13 - 18:44by RegisFranck
Christophe Mazurier takes part in the Hero World Challenge
Friday 13 - 11:43
OF WIZARDS AND WASHINGTON AND THE DREARY, UNRELENTING REALITY OF AMERICAN POLITI
Thursday 12 - 15:01by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
Monday 9 - 06:23by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
Sunday 8 - 15:00by Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
DARK DAY DEMOCRACY: THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT
Saturday 7 - 21:41by JACK RANDOM
President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
Saturday 7 - 15:04by President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
THE INSANE CIRCUS NOW GOING ON IN WASHINGTON – A SAD PARODY OF JOSEPH MCCARTHY
Friday 6 - 17:15by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The New Cultural Frontier as shown by Christophe Mazurier
Tuesday 27 - 14:29
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 – Beginning Of The End For Apartheid Israel?
Monday 26 - 23:37by Dr Gideon Polya
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT...A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS TALE
Saturday 24 - 18:00by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Judicially arraign, try and punish climate criminals for 10 million deaths pa
Thursday 22 - 20:02by Dr Gideon Polya
Australia: the social cost of a cashless economy
Thursday 8 - 18:25by Sarah Jenkins
THE PROFOUND DISAPPOINTMENT OF ANGELA MERKEL
Monday 5 - 17:24by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Modern slaves rebel in rural South Africa and win!
Sunday 27 - 19:18by md
Arrivederci Fidel !!! Hasta la victoria siempre companero !!! (video)
Saturday 26 - 10:48by Roberto Ferrario
INDIANA: STATE OF SADISTIC COWARDICE
Tuesday 22 - 21:26by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Pro-Zionist Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) & Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide
Thursday 17 - 00:28by Dr Gideon Polya
Now We Can Finally Get to Work
Sunday 13 - 21:09by David Swanson
AMERICA’S DESCENT INTO FASCISM
Thursday 10 - 23:40by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS ELECTION?
Thursday 10 - 21:28by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Yves Bouvier case shows risks of media abuse
Sunday 6 - 19:56by Bob Boulder
Humane Green Party Dr Jill Stein versus serial war criminal Hillary Clinton
Friday 4 - 21:00by Gideon Polya
Public Apology to Women of the World from The American Republic (Hypatia of Alex
Monday 31 - 15:21by Willam Morgan
YES, THERE WILL BE ELECTION FRAUD, AND ON A GRAND SCALE
Sunday 23 - 18:32by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Hillary Clinton will be first female President 2017
Monday 10 - 17:21by Willam Morgan
Police Shootings: Law, Policy, and Accountability
Thursday 6 - 14:22by William John Cox
AMERICA DESERVES BETTER, BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WORLD DESERVES BETTER
Thursday 29 - 18:02by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Back to School for Fascist Dupont-Aignan
Thursday 15 - 11:32by Nouveau Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes
The Presidency: Character Matters
Friday 9 - 15:06by William John Cox
WHY HILLARY IS THE PERFECT PERSON TO SECURE OBAMA’S LEGACY
Tuesday 30 - 18:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Remake of Ben Hur in 2020 planned by new motion picture studio
Friday 26 - 15:50by Wallace
THE CASE FOR DONALD TRUMP
Monday 22 - 19:32by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IS DEAD
Thursday 11 - 06:42by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
DONALD TRUMP AND THE GENIUS OF IDIOCY
Friday 5 - 00:47by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
FOOLING MOST OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME IS WHAT AMERICAN POLITICS ARE ABOUT,
Friday 29 - 18:13by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A message of your fellow striking workers from France
Tuesday 12 - 20:49by Info’Com-CGT
The Right to Vote, Effectively
Friday 8 - 22:20by William John Cox
Fourth of July Lies
Sunday 3 - 19:41by June C. Terpstra