As you know, some two hundred people were killed in anti-Shiite terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Karbala yesterday, and forty more Shiites were killed in Quetta, southwest Pakistan, in an intersectarian sniper attack; fighting in Pakistan between Sunni and Shiite terrorists has killed thousands of people since the early Nineties. Yesterday was the Shiite holy day and more than a million pilgrims met in Karbala only to be attacked by suicide bombers. The Americans believe that Abu Musab Zarqawi, Osama's man in Iraq, is behind the two Iraqi bombings. Of course Al Qaeda had connections with Saddam, and of course they're one of the organizations spreading terror in Iraq.
Beirut Bob Fisk has a piece in today's Vanguardia called "Toward a dark, sinister Iraq." The thing about the Vangua is that it sells 200,000 copies a day, well more than twice what the Independent does, and so the Vangua is probably the largest diffusor of Mr. Fisk's peculiar ideas in the world. The thing about the Independent is that regional American newspapers like the KC Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Dallas Morning News have at least five times its readership, and even minor Midwestern papers like the Wichita Eagle-Beacon and the Topeka Capital Journal outsell the Inde-fuckin'-pendent.
No, I don't believe the Americans were behind the butchery yesterday in Baghdad and Karbala, despite the accusing cries of the Iraqi survivors of the massacre.
Gee, thanks, Bob, that's generous of you. You know, I don't think the Americans planted bombs that killed 200 Shiite Iraqi civilians who were practicing their religion, either.
However, I am very worried that Iraqi exile groups think that this might set off what the Americans want: a fear so intense regarding the possibility of a civil war that the Iraqis will sign on to whatever plan the United States might lay out for Mesopotamia.
Oh, so the bombing serves American interests, does it? Coulda fooled me. I thought the object of the bomb was to scare the shit out of the Shiites, who have always felt oppressed by the Iraqi Sunnies, and warn them away from cooperating with the Americans.
Anyway, Bob is reminded of the actions of the French in Algeria; he claims they incited the different Algerian factions to fight among themselves and so half a million people died--and Ireland, where Bob claims that the Brits, through the Protestant terrorists, pulled off three terrorist attacks in 1974 in order to divide and conquer. Now, why do these terrorist bombings remind Beirut Bob of these horrible things the French and British allegedly did? Beats the shit out of me, unless of course he IS saying the Americans were behind them for the same reasons that motivated the French and the British.
Nevertheless, the attacks yesterday in Baghdad and Karbala show a clear coordination. The same brain is behind both. But is it a Sunni brain? When the spokesman for the occupation forces suggested yesterday that it was an Al Qaeda job, he must have known what he was saying: Al Qaeda is a Sunni movement and the victims were Shiites. It isn't that I don't think Al Qaeda is capable of perpetrating such a bloodbath, but I wonder why the Americans are so insistent about the Sunni-Shiite theme and why they are interested in emphasizing the possibility of a civil war.
Oh, so the Americans ARE trying to foment a civil war, says Bob. Well, let's see then: Bob insinuates that the bomber might not have been Sunni. Now, these things do occasionally happen: some Shiite terrorist gang might have decided to pull of the killing in order to make themselves look live victims and gain international sympathy. That would be damned cold-blooded of them, though, to blow up their own faithful. And, if the Shiites weren't behind it, then, who was? Cui bono? The Americans, says Bob.
We are entering a dark and sinister phase of the history of Iraq in which dark and sinister events will take place.
WHAT THE FUCK??!! Saddam Hussein is in prison and Iraq is free. A few recent events at random: Oil production is up to 1990 levels. The schools are open. The markets and shops are open. There's plenty of food. The hospitals are open. People's wages have been dramatically increased. They've unblocked the irrigation canals that Saddam let silt up. The Shiites can freely practice their religion. And 25 Iraqi Fulbright Scholars, including women, are off to study in the United States. Oh, yeah, you don't have to be worried about being arrested or tortured or killed anymore. And with Uday cold meat, when the soccer team loses an international match, the players don't have to be worried about being beaten bloody anymore. We are entering a time of hope now that son-of-a-bitch Saddam has been overthrown. How can the end of one of the most brutal dictatorships ever in world history be the entrance to a "dark and sinister" time? Only in Fiskland.
Nevertheless, the occupation authorities, who really should contemplate a civil war as the worst-case scenario, keep screaming "Civil war!" in our ears. I can't but be worried. Above all, when the attacks make this idea reality.
I used to know a girl who when offended or angered would look at you scornfully and snarl, "Eat my fuck!" If I ever meet Beirut Bob, that's what I'm going to tell him. Then I'll ask him how he paid for his house.