Meet the resistance

Meeting Resistance” is a new documentary by Steve Conners and Molly Bingham. The film is a collection of interviews with various members of the Iraqi resistance, and it is very informative. I would suggest that each of us should take and American, better yet a Republican, to see this film. Americans, more than anyone else, need to see who the members of the resistance are and what is their level of sophistication as far as training and equipment is concerned. There is an important issue that came up in an event in D.C., where Steve Conners took questions from the audience, and it is also mentioned in the film.

Steve Conners was describing his view that Iraqis do not see the sectarian difference amongst themselves in the same manner as the mainstream media is portraying it in the US. Mr. Conners said he had to apologize to Iraqis for asking them if they were Sunni or Shia, and he had to explain to them that his question was for the purpose of his documentary, lest they take umbrage. The most common response given by Iraqis to him was simply “I’m Iraqi!” Many of the people he interviewed would explain to him that half of their family is Sunni and the other half Shia; therefore, the distinction was not important.

Towards the end of his talk, a woman in the audience asked about the roots of the sectarian violence in Iraq. Specifically, she asked if Mr. Conners thought it was possible that the sectarian violence was fueled by US, UK, and their allies. Steve Conners response was that he did not think the military would be involved in such acts because the soldiers are honorable and either would refuse or leak the details to the media. I agree with Mr. Conners. However, there is another possibility that needs to be taken into account.

First of all, the idea that US and UK would like to see Iraq break apart has valid historical precedence. In fact, this has been their standard strategy around the world and especially in the Middle East. All one has to do is to perform a simple experiment. Find maps of Middle Eastern natural resources and ethnic population distribution from the WWI era, and then superimpose them on top of a map of the current boundaries. When the era of independence came, the Western colonial powers did their best to divide up the resources as much as possible amongst nations with weak governments, which will always have to depend on external support for their existence. Divide and conquer! The West has perfected this strategy.

If history is not enough to convince you, there is also the amendment purposed by Senator Joe Biden to partition Iraq into three autonomous regions. The plan was approved overwhelmingly by the US senate. It was also overwhelmingly rejected by Iraqis. Interestingly, in the classic form of propaganda, the amendment was advertised as “unity through autonomy!” It rings true of Orwellian doublethink. “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” and thanks to Senator Biden, sectarian fractionation is unity! This is the latest gift from the West to the people of Iraq.

There are other reasons why it’s likely that Iraq’s sectarian violence has hidden roots. First of all, the divide between Sunni and Shia Islam is not the same as the differences between the various denominations of Christianity. The divide in Islam is more rooted in who would rule the Muslim world. Whereas Shia Islam believed that the descendants of the prophet should rule, Sunnis believed that the role should be fulfilled by the caliphate.

Unlike Christianity, there is only one version of the Quran. The bible on the other hand, has three major versions: the Protestant Bible, the Roman Catholic Bible, and the Eastern Orthodox Bible. These are not merely different translations. They contain different number of books. The Quran is treated differently than the Bible. Practicing Muslims would not touch the Quran, unless they have done their ritual purification. Every Quran that I remember from my childhood had a piece of folded paper in it, because touching the actual words was to be avoided. Hence, the piece of paper was used to follow the word as one read them. Sunnis and Shias pray to the very same Quran and revere it in the same manner. They also share the same exact calendar for marking religious festivals and holy days. Again, this is not the case in Christianity. Orthodox calendar is not the same Gregorian calendar used in the West.

My point is that for a Sunni to blow up a Shia mosque, or vice versa, is far more sacrilege than is being shown in the mainstream American media. A mosque has copies of the Quran in it. It is decorated by sacred religious texts, which carry the same value for a Sunni and a Shia. So, should we not look at other culprits when it comes to key triggering event in the Iraqi saga, such as the bombing of the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra? To this date, no significant, impartial investigation of that bombing has been undertaken. The phrase “key events” is important. A few critical bombings in holy sites were all that was needed to ignite a wave of sectarian violence in Iraq.

This takes me back to Steve Conners comment, and as I said, I agree with him completely. The American military personnel are honorable and would not engage in such horrendous acts. They are just misguided by corrupt political leaders. However, they are not the only forces in Iraq. There are 168,000 US personnel in Iraq currently. In addition, there are also over 60,000 foreign private military contractors. The most notorious of these is Blackwater, with a solid record of not giving an iota of concern about Iraqi lives and religion, be they Sunni or Shia. Erik Prince, Blackwater’s CEO, has made billions from the Iraqi carnage. His company employs ex-military and paramilitary mercenaries from all over the world, especially South America, often from organizations and governments with dismal human rights record. In South America, the record of these organizations includes murdering priests and nuns. It’s not exactly clear what standards are used in hiring personnel by these private mercenary armies. There is no oversight or public scrutiny into their operation. Therefore, if private security contractors can employ ex-members of organizations which have killed Christian priests, why would it be farfetched that they could also find men who would be willing to dress as Iraqis and blow up mosques?

I’m not asserting that everyone hired by private military contractors in Iraq has a checkered past. However, the right person could be found to blow up a mosque (or church!), for the right dollar figure, and when an army of mercenaries is roaming Iraq unchecked, they should be as suspect as the Iraqis.

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Meet your Persian Love Today!
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