Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Who wants a civil war in Iraq?

My friend the Fanonite’s latest entry takes an important look at Iraq’s realities on the ground – check it out. Linking to a Channel 4 documentary, he draws upon Fisk commenting on Australian TV upon the absurdity of Iraqis participating in civil war:

Mo writes:

Robert Fisk has been speaking for some time about an attempt by the occupation authorities to provoke a civil war in Iraq:

The real question I ask myself is: who are these people who are trying to provoke the civil war? Now the Americans will say it’s Al Qaeda, it’s the Sunni insurgents. It is the death squads. Many of the death squads work for the Ministry of Interior. Who runs the Ministry of Interior in Baghdad? Who pays the Ministry of the Interior? Who pays the militia men who make up the death squads? We do, the occupation authorities. I’d like to know what the Americans are doing to get at the people who are trying to provoke the civil war. It seems to me not very much…We’re not hearing of death squads all being arrested…Somebody is operating these people…Is it really the case that all of these Iraqis that fought together for eight years against the Iranians – Shiites and Sunnies together in the long massive murderous Somme-like war between the Iranians and Iraqis — suddenly all want to kill each other?…

We need to look at this story in a different light. That narrative that we’re getting – that there are death squads and that the Iraqis are all going to kill each other, the idea that the whole society is going to commit mass suicide – is not possible, it’s not logical. There is something else going on in Iraq…something is wrong with the narrative we’re being given the press, from the West, from the Americans, from the Iraqi Government.

The Fanonite then reminds us of the incident with the two British snipers caught out:

Lets also not forget the event (which has since been swept under) of the two British SRS men, dressed as members of the Mahdi Army, who were captured with explosives in their car. There had already been talk of the Pentagon employing the Salvador Option to use Shia death squads against Sunnis. The appointment of John Negroponte, who oversaw death squad activity from Honduras in the ’80s, as US ambssador to Iraq did little to allay fears of US designs for instigating a civil war in Iraq. A civil war in Iraq serves the occupations interests in two important ways: one, Iraqi fire directed at each other takes the heat off the occupier; two, it furnishes the rationale for a continued presence of the occupiers who can then claim that their presence is necessary to prevent the civil war – a conclusion reinforced by this documentary.

Meanwhile, Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily report that two in three children in Iraq have simply stopped going to school (IPS/Dahr Jamail). This is not civil war, this is a killing of a country. And the blame rests primarily at the feet of US, UK and Israeli neocons.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"