Iraq: Who’s Bombing Who?

I’ve watched and made little comment on the past two weeks of tumult in Iraq, but have noticed a pattern. Until now, I have kept these thoughts to myself, for even the mere mention of what follows may get me labelled all kinds of ‘anti everything’ that’s American. But before the next attack happens here, I’d like to lay out some speculation on why at least two major bombings in Iraq may not have been the work of Arab extremists.

We’ll start with the truck bomb attack on the United Nations (U.N.) Headquarters at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. Better yet, let’s go back two days before, to the rhetoric we were all hearing on the talking head shows.

All of them (the American politicians) seemed to be in unison about the need for more international help to deal with the Iraq quagmire.

The next day, the United Nations holds a press conference at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. Our Arab source, who is familiar with middle east history and events, told us that the UN mission had been there for years (including during the sanction/inspection regime), and even known as a safe haven for foreigners. No terrorist would ever have a reason to attack this location. Certainly an attack by al-Qeada or some other fundamentalist group would prompt the UN to take more drastic action, at least to defend themselves. It might even bring the UN closer to the U.S. position in Iraq.

And so, if we are to believe our own media and government’s line:

“Terrorists linked to al-queda/ baathist remnants decided to send a suicide bomber with a truck packed with 1000 lbs. explosives at the UN mission, killing at least 23 people”.

Take note: at the time of this attack, there was a UN press conference — with American reporters somehow absent — being seen in countries of our so-called ‘allies’. What would Arab terrorists have to gain by this attack?

Before you say “they don’t like Westerners in an Arab country and they are aiming for ‘soft’ targets”, think again. Despite what we may have forgotten on this side of the world, American and the UN are not on friendly terms at this time, just as they weren’t during the weeks leading up to the war.

If it were up to the UN, U.S. forces wouldn’t even be there.

The answer: Arab terrorists had nothing to gain by attacking the UN mission. There were in fact, Muslim victims as well as Iraqi soldiers guarding the place. But there were increased calls for ‘more UN involvement’ after the attack by many here in the U.S.

NOTE: The ‘causing chaos’ theory doesn’t wash, since there was plenty to go around before the massive bombings started happening. Also, the group that is being blamed has released a statement denying any involvement.

Since then, the UN hasn’t been hurrying to fill the void of their dead officers. In fact, they’ve announced cutting back their staffs even more. This gives America a freer hand in Iraq, without foreign eyes looking over their shoulder.

Before we cover the next, and more deadly attack, we need to discuss a man named Ahmad Chalabi. This U.S. sponsored former Iraqi national who has made quite a name for himself before and during this current conflict. Anyone following the goings on in Iraq know this name pops up at least once a week, to the point where he has all but become the media ‘go-to’ guy when looking for sexy information about Hussein and that baathist party on the run. Chalabi also seems to have inside sources that always know of a coming attack. Strangely, no one seems to ever act on his ‘tips’.

Many Iraqis and most Arabs in the region want Chalabi in jail – or worse. No doubt there is a bullet or car bomb somewhere with his name on it.

Back on July 22, Chalabi was with his other compatriots in New York, begging the UN Security Council for recognition for their un-elected, U.S. picked Iraqi Governing Council , to “…shorten the duration of the interim administration period so that we would be able to constitute an elected government under a constitution to be endorsed by the population in a free election…”. This per Adnan Pachachi, another member of the Governing Council. The UN Security Council response: They welcomed the creation of the Iraqi Governing Council as “an important first step” in Iraq’s transition from occupation to sovereignty, but stopped short of calling it the legitimate government of the country.

Translation: “Nice try, but get lost.”

Here’s what ABC news reported about him shortly after the bombing at the UN Compound in Baghdad:

“…Ahmad Chalabi, a prominent member of Iraq’s U.S.-picked GoverningCouncil, said the council had received information Aug. 14 that there would be a terror attack in Baghdad using a truck bomb against “a soft target.” The council, he said, had warned the United States. “It [the warning] specifically said that this attack will take place using a truck, to be detonated either using a suicide mechanism or electronic detonation,” he said.

Later, Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress issued a statement clarifying his comments, saying it did not warn of an imminent attack on the United Nations and “did not have any specific information related to this criminal act.”

- ABC News – 08.20.03

Interesting, huh? If this were America, Chalabi would have quickly elevated himself to a ‘person of interest’. Instead, all we’re left with is that this may have been an ‘inside job’, and we’re still winning the war on terror, so let’s move on.

New York City, Aug. 26, 2003 – In a heated debate at the UN Headquarters, a UN resolution was hammered out that considers crimes/attacks against humanitarian workers to be considered a war crime. MSNBC reported that just before the vote, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for unanimity saying there was “no issue about which I feel more strongly … than the safety of those brave men and women” serving in danger zones.

It is not acceptable, he said, to continue to let international humanitarian workers “be soft targets” and those who continue to make them so must be sent a message that “impunity for such crimes cannot stand.”, MSNBC reported.

Clearly, Annan was referring to the most recent attack against the UN workers in Iraq. But this is where it gets interesting: The resolution got a unanimous 15-0 vote in the UN security only after a clause in the original resolution was dropped, due to pressure from the United States.

It seems the United States objected to a statement in the original draft declaring that attacks against humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers are considered a war crime by the International Criminal Court, which it feared could lay the groundwork for prosecutions against American peacekeepers and officials by the tribunal, MSNBC reported.

Sure, I know how America feels about that ICC, but in this case (since we’re the good guys) why should we Americans have to worry about being accused of attacks against humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers? Certainly, our forces wouldn’t do such at thing.

Moving On…

August 29, 2003 – 1,550 pounds of explosives were planted in two cars for the Imam Ali mosque. The bombs were detonated as Shiite Muslim cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, and followers were leaving the shrine.

120 are dead, and hundreds more were injured. Quickly, the finger pointing went in the direction of al-Qaida, or “al-Qaida type” fighters. In fact, at the time of this writing, at least 19 suspects to the bombing had been rounded up, with admitted ties to the terrorist group. Muslims killing Muslims.

Makes sense, right?

Actually, it makes no sense whatsoever. Let’s think like Arab terrorists for a moment, shall we?

According to the United States, Arabs have been sneaking over the Iraq border from places like Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia hell bent on causing murder and mayhem to the occupation forces or anyone who sides with them. We are told these Arab terrorists are very religious. But despite all the evil in their hearts, even these “Jihadi” would think twice before detonating car bombs into the midst of Muslims outside one of their most holy shrines, killing fellow devout Muslims – the same people they would need as cover if they are to continue killing the occupation forces.

In fact, they’d think more than twice – they simply wouldn’t do it. It serves no tactical, political, or symbolic purpose.

What also made no sense is how this news story ‘went to ground’ (reduced to low-priority news) so fast on the American news wires. Was Madonna kissing Brittany Spears on MTV more important?

Apparently, it was. Most American media failed to report the GLOBAL outrage that has risen out of the ashes of this bombing. It seems that the UN is now talking about a more active role, but not with the U.S. In fact, if you read between the lines, it’s looking more and more as if the UN security council would favor replacing the U.S. force with UN personnel.

Over George W. Bush’s presidential body, of course.

We (the United States) are quickly losing friends on the UN security council, as if we hadn’t lost enough already. But who cares, since we really don’t like the UN anyway. Russia however, is now backing a U.S. led UN force.

Then up pops that name again, Ahmed Chalabi. He said the incident illustrates the need for the United States to grant more power to the Iraqi Governing Council, which is viewed in Washington as the first step to the creation of a new government.

“Iraqis should have a much bigger role in maintaining security in the country,” Chalabi told Reuters in a telephone interview to the Washington Post from Baghdad. “I propose the creation of an Iraqi security force, a serious one, but we also need to empower the Governing Council quickly.”

Notice how “Iraqi police” have wasted no time rounding up 19 suspects. American authorities have not taken an active public role in the mosque investigation because of Iraqi sensitivity to any U.S. presence at the Najaf shrine, the most-sacred Shiite shrine in Iraq and the third holiest in the world after Mecca and Medina, the Associated Press reported.

Am I saying covert U.S. Forces are behind this bombing? Again, no – slim evidence to support it. But by the same token, there is little evidence (and no motive) to show Arab terrorists pulled off this attack, either. In every attack however, one should always look at who benefits. By the way, no one has yet to mention a suicide bomber here. My guess is it would be hard to convince someone he was going to heaven and meeting 70+ virgins after blowing up hundreds of his fellow Muslims after Friday Prayers.

NOTE: One really doesn’t need a suicide bomber, anyway. Just tell the driver to go park somewhere and wait, while he doesn’t know his vehicle has been packed with explosives. American is being blamed for this attack, due to lack of securing the mosque area. Yet American officials say they don’t want to get close so as not to ‘offend’ the Muslims. Talk about a catch-22.

What if Americans (or their surrogates) were responsible? There was at least one witness who said it ‘sounded like a missile coming in’. But we all know that early statements from on-the-scene witness may later turn out to be false. And with all the security there, and the search for weapons of mass destruction, it seems large quantities of high explosives are floating around Iraq under the nose of the U.S. military and intelligence forces. With all the ambushes at checkpoints, how can this much explosive material get through? Wouldn’t that be something our guys would be looking for when stopping a vehicle? Could it be just a new fashion of fighting this ‘war on terror’?

First of all, we’d never be told, and even if it were proven, and it probably wouldn’t be reported in most of the major news wires. We’d probably hear about it just after the reprisal attack – somewhere.

Second of all, people would be begin asking, “was it the right thing to do?” After all, if our people tracked down the source of the attacks on U.S. and British forces to that location, would such an attack be warranted since it is after all, still a war zone?

I will leave the answer to that question up to the reader. One thing is for sure: The bombing of that shrine represents a new chapter in this ongoing war. The gloves have been taken off. And don’t sit there thinking the other side isn’t planning to strike back. Don’t think there aren’t some out there at least thinking some American covert forces are behind this and possibly the UN attack. After all, who benefits?

Since I began writing this news analysis, more U.S. And British troops have been attacked, injured and killed. More oil pipelines have been ruptured. Remember the good ol’ days when it was all about weapons of mass destruction?

ADDENDUM: Since this article was submitted for publication, It seems Saddam Hussein took a moment out of his busy schedule of evading U.S. Forces to make a tape denying any responsibility of the Najaf bombing. Any communication on the part of the “Ace of Spades” constitutes a security breach when the most powerful forces in the world are on your tail. Believe Saddam or not, he must of thought it was worth it to distance himself from that attack less that 48 hours after the finger was pointed in his direction. Like I said, even the craziest Arab wouldn’t put their name on this one.

The only news that has been consistent in this war is that the Iraqi people are NOT our enemy. No, it’s those still loyal to Saddam or the foreign al-Qaida types. Never the common Iraqi. They just love the occupation, the gun confiscations(of weapons they didn’t have), the late night raids, news that some of their oil may go to Israel via Jordan, and Kosher foods being sold on their shelves. Perhaps if we are so loved over there, the American Media should go around freely and interview some of those ‘oh-so-happily-liberated’ Iraqis on camera – or just give them e-mail..

Yeah – what a way to win the hearts and minds….

Like it or not, we (America) are being blamed for this attack. I’m not saying America is the culprit, or even had prior knowledge (and for the record: I support the troops IF they are truly fighting for the defense of OUR nation and our Constitution).. But it is a safe guess to say that someone or something outside the Arab world is doing as least part the devil’s dirty work in Iraq. And we’d better do something to clear up the problem(s) that seem to be blowing up in our faces (literally).

I would suggest the U.S. officials begin looking into some ‘unusual suspects ‘. Like we said before, who benefits?

For those who think we are winning this war, read the expert from a Sunday Washington Post article about the bombing:

“…U.S. Officials both acknowledge that foreign provocateurs, saboteurs, guerrillas and terrorists have infiltrated Iraq and, given the length of Iraq’s frontiers, that there is little American forces can do about it.

“It’s kind of unrealistic for us to think that we would be able to stop any infiltration coming into this country,” Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said in an interview…

Makes sense, since we’ve done an awful job of preventing illegal border crossings in our own country. And with that statement, this author must conclude that we don’t need more troops there either. That’s what the President and the Pentagon says.

This means we can look forward to more of this in the future — and the reprisals, never knowing who’s really responsible — probably for as long as U.S. Forces are conducting their ‘liberation’, and celebrating our ‘victory’ in Iraq.

And so the war continues. I just hope that hundreds of years from now, when they write about the history of the world, we won’t be listed as ‘the bad guys’, like other despotic regimes throughout history.