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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to email@example.com. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. BBC TRANSCRIPTAnalysis: Iran's influence in Iraq (ppg) 2. Iraq: The Moon is Down, Again! (Hassan) --__--__-- Message: 1 From: "ppg" <ppg@DELETETHISnyc.rr.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: BBC TRANSCRIPTAnalysis: Iran's influence in Iraq Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 14:06:38 -0400 Analysis: Iran's influence in Iraq An official Iranian delegation is in Baghdad at Washington's request to hel= p resolve the impasse between the US occupation authorities and Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr. Middle East analyst Dilip Hiro says this underlies the influence that the predominantly Shia Iran has on the neighbouring Iraqi Shias. The Iranian influence is exercised through different channels - a phenomeno= n helped by the fact that there is no single, centralised authority in Iran. The different centres of power include the offices of the Supreme Leader an= d the President; the Majlis (parliament) and the judiciary; the Expediency Council; and offices of the Grand Ayatollahs in the holy city of Qom, and their social welfare networks throughout the Shia world. It was the decision of Grand Ayatollah Kadhim Husseini al-Hairi - an Iraqi cleric who had gone to Qom for further theological studies 30 years ago, never to return - to appoint Moqtada Sadr as his deputy in Iraq in April 2003 that raised the young cleric's religious standing. The more senior Ayatollah Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), is even more beholden to Iran. He is the leader of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), which was established in 1982 in Tehran by the Iranian government. He returned to Iraq after spending 22 years in Iran. Shia militia Sciri's 10,000-strong militia, called the Badr Brigades, has been trained and equipped by Iran. Ayatollah Hakim underscored his continued closeness to Iran on 11 February, the 25th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution. Opening a book fair in Baghdad, sponsored by the Iranian embassy, he praised the Vilayat-e Faqih (ie Rule of Religious Jurisprudent) doctrine on which the Iranian constitution is founded. Sooner or later, the Americans will be obliged to leave Iraq in shame and humiliation Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei Then there is Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most senior Shia cleric, who is now being routinely described by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) as a moderate, even pro-Western, even though he refuses to meet eithe= r the CPA chief Paul Bremer or any of his envoys, limiting his contacts strictly to IGC members. Ayatollah Sistani was born and brought up in the Iranian city of Mashhad, and despite his 53 years in Iraq, speaks Arabic with a Persian accent. Most of his nine charitable ventures, primarily providing housing for pilgrims and theology students, are in Iran. So too are the four religious foundations sponsored by him. Increasing influence Outside official circles, there are signs of growing Iranian influence amon= g Iraqi Shias. The religious foundations run by pre-eminent clerics in Iran are funding partially the social welfare services being provided to Iraqi Shias by thei= r mosques at a time when unemployment is running at 60%. Iran's present co-operation with Washington is a tactical move. They want t= o help stabilise the situation in Iraq to facilitate elections there so the Shia majority can assume power through the ballot box, and hasten the departure of the Anglo-American occupiers If there is any day-to-day Iranian involvement in the workings of the Sadr network in Iraq, it is in the sphere of social welfare. There is no need for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard to train the militiamen of Sadr's Mehdi Army since all Iraq males have received three years of military training under the Baathist regime and the country is awash with small arms and ammunition. Also, Iranian Shias are pouring into Iraq, which has six holy Shia sites, across the unguarded border at the rate of 10,000 a day. They are thus bolstering the Iraqi economy to the tune of about $2bn a year= , equivalent to two-fifths of Iraq's oil revenue in 2003. Covert activities Then there are covert activities purportedly sponsored by Iran. Soon after Saddam's downfall, some 100 "security specialists" of the Lebanese Hezbollah arrived in Basra, at the behest of the Iranian intelligence agency, according to the Anglo-American sources. Since then two groups of Iraqi Shias calling themselves Hezbollah have emerged, one of them allegedly sponsored by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, with its headquarters in Amara and branches in other cities. This is widely seen as a move to establish an Iranian intelligence infrastructure in Iraq. However, such a network can hardly compete with its Anglo-American rival. Until a few days ago, conceding any role to the Islamic Republic of Iran ha= s been anathema to the George Bush administration. It is hell bent on seeing that the Iraqi politicians refrain from declaring Iraq an Islamic republic. Paul Bremer publicly announced that if those writing the transitional constitution made any such move, he would veto the document. But present signs are that a large majority of Shias, led by Ayatollah Sistani, favour an Islamic entity of some sort for Iraq. About half of Iraq's Sunnis are also believed to support this. Tactical co-operation Iran's top officials are aware of this. They are aware too of what the US occupation authorities have done in Iraq. Their present co-operation with Washington is a tactical move. They want to help stabilise the situation in Iraq to facilitate elections there so the Shia majority can assume power through the ballot box, and hasten the departure of the Anglo-American occupiers. "America accuses other countries of intervening in Iraq and provoking the Iraqis, but it clear that the crimes committed by the occupying forces and their insulting behaviour toward Iraqi youth and women are the cause of the Iraqi reaction, whether Sunni or Shia," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Al= i Khamanei said in a speech delivered recently on state radio. "Sooner or later, the Americans will be obliged to leave Iraq in shame and humiliation." Dilip Hiro is the author of Iraq: A report from the inside . His latest boo= k is Secrets and Lies: Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and after . Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/3629765.stm Published: 2004/04/15 16:55:51 GMT =A9 BBC MMIV --__--__-- Message: 2 Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 08:59:48 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Iraq: The Moon is Down, Again! To: CASI newsclippings <email@example.com> http://www.independent.org/tii/news/040423Marina.html April 23, 2004 Iraq: The Moon is Down, Again! By William Marina* Art, films and literature often offer insights that help to explain human situations perhaps better than does history. My favorite book on the integral interaction between occupiers and those being occupied, is John Steinbeck=92s The Moon is Down (1942), shortly thereafter made into a film starring Cedric Hardwicke, Lee J. Cobb and Henry Travers. I first saw the film in the 1950s, but it is not shown these days. It is a story about the German invasion of a small town in Norway in 1940 and the developing reactions of the inhabitants as the Nazis seek to insure that the mines nearby continue to send coal to the Third Reich=92s war machine. Readers this year may be tempted to replace the term =93Norway=94 with =93Iraq,=94 =93coal=94 with =93oil,=94 and =93Germany=94 with the phrase =93Coalition.=94 The story even has a =93fifth column=94 Ahmed Chalabi-like character, who sets up the town for an easy occupation, imagining he will be dearly beloved by the people. The central confrontation of the book, however, is between Mayor Orden and the German officer in command, Col. Lanser, a Wehrmacht veteran of occupied Belgium over two decades earlier. Lanser urges cooperation rather than violence, which will lead, he warns, inevitably to more violence on the part of the Germans. Woven through the plot are the increasingly violent acts of =93the people.=94 Early on, Lanser=92s mind wanders back to a friendly, old , gray-haired Belgian lady who killed 12 Germans with a 12 inch hat pin before she was caught and shot. He still retains the hat pin at home. Of course, the violence begins at once, and the Germans retaliate on a much larger scale on the Norwegian people. At the same time, many of the German troops, yearning to go home and for some companionship, begin to develop various symptoms of psychological stress. The Germans, like imperial conquerors back to the Romans and beyond, sought to legitimatize their occupation in the eyes of the people. They understood that quislings wouldn=92t work in the long run. John Lukacs devoted a large part of his book, The Last European War: September, 1939-December, 1941, (1976) to demonstrating how they failed in a attempt to establish legitimacy over the nations of occupied Europe. =93Legitimacy,=94 to paraphrase, Franklin D. Roosevelt, =93Ah, there=92s the rub!=94 Incidentally, the movie version of the book opens with a quote from Roosevelt using the resistance of Norway to explain the meaning of W.W.II. At the end, the quisling, having obtained authority from the Nazi command in Oslo, orders Col. Lanser to execute the old Mayor and the town doctor if the people begin to use the dynamite, dropped by parachute by British airplanes, to destroy the mine. As the explosions begin, the two are executed as the Mayor repeats an old speech he used many years before - the last words of Socrates to the Athenian people. It is clear the occupiers, despised by the people, are in for a long and bloody time ahead. In a New York Times op-ed piece (4/11/04), =93Nasty, Brutish and Short,=94 Thomas Friedman, mentions the word =93legitimacy=94 four times and flip-flops on whether it can be bought with cash or compelled with force before finally concluding that the U.S. cannot do so. He adds that with all of the retaliatory killing, =93we have a staggering legitimacy deficit.=94 I wonder if legitimacy is something you can have in gradations as he suggests. Either one is an occupier, or one is not! As reported in The London Telegraph, (4/11/2004) among our major partners in the so-called =93coalition,=94 the British senior officers, speaking anonymously, have already expressed a growing sense of =93unease and frustration,=94 about American tactics in the occupation. Part of the problem, a British officer said, is that Americans tend to see the Iraqis as =93untermenschen,=94 the term for =93sub-humans.=94 He continued: =93The US troops view things in very simplistic terms. It seems hard for them to reconcile subtleties between who supports what and who doesn=92t in Iraq. It=92s easier for their soldiers to group all Iraqis as the bad guys. As far as they are concerned Iraq is bandit country and everybody is out to kill them.=94 British rules of warfare allow troops to open fire only when attacked and to use the minimum force necessary and at identified targets-not a massive use of firepower in urban areas, as do the Israelis on the Palestinians and now American troops on the Iraqis. In short, The Moon is Down again. ________________________________________ *William Marina is Research Fellow at the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., and Professor Emeritus in History and International Business at Florida Atlantic University. For further articles and studies, see OnPower.org. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! 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