Thursday, June 14, 2007

Iraqis Accuse U.S. Of Bombing Shrine

Both Sunnis and Shia say bombing a plot to incite sectarian violence
Steve WatsonPrison PlanetWednesday, June 13, 2007
Both Sunni and Shias Iraqis have accused the U.S. of being behind the bombing the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, one of the holiest Shia religious sites, in order to further incite sectarian violence between the two rival Islamic groups and provide a justification for the American surge.
Sunni Muslim leaders belonging to the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq have questioned how terrorists could get access to the site which has been heavily guarded by about 60 Federal Protection Service forces and 25 local Iraqi police and closed to the public since it was attacked last year in a bombing which many also believed to be the work of US forces.
In a statement on their website the group comments:
After the government forces surrounded the area, the explosion of al-Hadi Mosque performed in Samarra as using the method done last year.
One of the highlights of this terrorist act, many government snipers positioned on the surrounding roofs of buildings in the place from all directions.
The doors of the shrine also closed and nobody was allowed to enter.
The explosion took place this morning under two minarets in a very similar way like what happened to the golden dome more than a year ago, which implies the involvement of apparatus and forces of the Iraqi Government in this new crime.
The group points out that last years bombing took place as groups in the Parliament were joining forces to end the US occupation of Iraq.
The latest bombing of the shrine comes one week after Iraq's House of Representatives passed a resolution giving parliament the final say on the extension the UN mandate for foreign troops in Iraq when it expires at the end of 2007.
Furthermore, as reported by the AP, a 30-member bloc loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr suspended its membership in parliament in the wake of the bombing, saying they will stay away from the 275-seat house until the government takes "realistic" steps to rebuild the Askariya shrine.
The suspension is likely to weaken al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated government and delay the adoption of a series of laws needed to build national reconciliation to reduce violence in Iraq, the report suggests.
The Sunni sentiments that the puppet Iraqi government were behind the bombing were were echoed by Shia religious leader Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammed Ishaq of Najaf who accused US forces of being involved, stating that it was a crime of the "great Satan" engaged in the "criminal occupation of Iraq." In addition, a senior al-Maliki adviser said policemen at the shrine were detained Wednesday and would be questioned as part of an investigation ordered by the prime minister.
The western media and US authorities have of course blamed the attack on "al-Qaida insurgents"
The 2006 bombing that shattered its famous Golden Dome and unleashed a wave of retaliatory sectarian violence that still bloodies Iraq. An indefinite curfew has been announced and violence is once again expected to be sparked.
Last year former CIA analyst and presidential advisor Ray McGovern went on record to state that he believed Western intelligence could have been behind the bombing of the shrine.
It makes absolutely no sense for Sunnis to bomb Shia mosques. It would be akin to Baptists bombing Catholic churches. Sectarian violence, dividing Iraqi society, does not serve Iraqis, either Sunni or Shia. It does, however, serve the occupation forces.
We have previously covered in depth the documented Pentagon programs to stoke violence and civil war in Iraq as a pretext to stay there and build permanent bases and dominate the region.
Just this week it was also revealed that the US is arming its own cadre of Sunni insurgents in Iraq.