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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 email@example.com Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Organization for Womens Freedom in Iraq (ppg) 2. Text of Allawi address to Congress (Hassan) 3. From Riverbend (Hassan) 4. IRAQ- Most deaths linked to coalition (ppg) 5. Must read... / THE BUSINESS OF TERROR (Hassan) 6. Eccentric ally in Green Zone (John Churchilly) --__--__-- Message: 1 From: "ppg" <ppg@DELETETHISnyc.rr.com> To: <email@example.com> Subject: Organization for Womens Freedom in Iraq Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 12:05:33 -0400 Organization for Womens Freedom in Iraq http://equalityiniraq.com/ Radio interview today with Iraqi woman, Lydia Ratna in Iraq: "US is supporting the tribal Islamicist clerics who are forcing women back into black veiling, using police to harass women in the streets if they are not fully veiled." "Allawi himself heads such a tribe permitting four veiled 'wives'. Under Saddam women were permitted secular dress and occupations. Under US occupation, things are far worse for women." "Iraqi women are trying organize, but cannot travel to meet in the unsafe streets.. few telephones yet." http://equalityiniraq.com/htm/lyndia270504.htm Women's Rights in Iraq, LYDIA RATNA IRAQI WOMEN'S WEB SITE: http://equalityiniraq.com/ --__--__-- Message: 2 Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 00:40:22 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Text of Allawi address to Congress To: CASI newsclippings <firstname.lastname@example.org> An excellent example of deception, from an agent of the best in the field: the CIA, MI5, Mossad and some 12 others... http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/09/23/allawi.transcript/ _______________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today! http://vote.yahoo.com --__--__-- Message: 3 Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:13:22 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: From Riverbend To: CASI newsclippings <email@example.com>, iac-discussion <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/ Friday, September 24, 2004 Liar, Liar... I was channel-surfing yesterday evening- trying to find something interesting to watch. I flipped vaguely to Al-Arabia and Bush's inane smile suddenly flashed across the screen. Now, normally, as soon as I see his face, I instantly change channels and try to find something that doesn't make me quite as angry. This time, I stopped to watch as Allawi's pudgy person came into view. It's always quite a scene- Bush with one of the alledged leaders of the New Iraq. I prepared myself for several minutes of nausea as Bush began speaking. He irritates me like no one else can. Imagine long nails across a chalk board, Styrofoam being rubbed in hands, shrieking babies, barking dogs, grinding teeth, dripping faucets, honking horns – all together, all at once – and you will imagine the impact his voice has on my ears. I sat listening, trying not to focus too much on his face, but rather on the garbage he was reiterating for at least the thousandth time since the war. I don't usually talk back to the television, but I really can't help myself when Bush is onscreen. I sit there talking back to him- calling him a liar, calling him an idiot, wondering how exactly he got so far and how they're allowing him to run for re-election. E. sat next to me on the couch, peeved, "Why are we even watching this?!" He made a jump for the remote control (which I clutch to shake at the television to emphasize particular points)- a brief struggle ensued and Riverbend came out victorious. You know things are really going downhill in Iraq, when the Bush speech-writers have to recycle his old speeches. Listening to him yesterday, one might think he was simply copying and pasting bits and pieces from the older stuff. My favorite part was when he claimed, "Electricity has been restored above pre-war levels..." Even E. had to laugh at that one. A few days ago, most of Baghdad was in the dark for over 24 hours and lately, on our better days, we get about 12 hours of electricity. Bush got it wrong (or Allawi explained it to incorrectly)- the electricity is drastically less than pre-war levels, but the electricity BILL is way above pre-war levels. Congratulations Iraqis on THAT!! Our electricity bill was painful last month. Before the war, Iraqis might pay an average of around 5,000 Iraqi Dinars a month for electricity (the equivalent back then of $2.50) - summer or winter. Now, it's quite common to get bills above 70,000 Iraqi Dinars... for half-time electricity. After Bush finished his piece about the glamorous changes in Iraq, Allawi got his turn. I can't seem to decide what is worse- when Bush speaks in the name of Iraqi people, or when Allawi does. Yesterday's speech was particularly embarrassing. He stood there groveling in front of the congress- thanking them for the war, the occupation and the thousands of Iraqi lives lost... and he did it all on behalf of the Iraqi people. It was infuriating and for maybe the hundredth time this year, I felt rage. Yet another exile thanking the Bush administration for the catastrophe we're trying to cope with. Our politicians are outside of the country 90% of the time (by the way, if anyone has any news of our president Ghazi Ajeel Al Yawir, do let us know- where was he last seen or heard?), the security situation is a joke, the press are shutting down and pulling out and our beloved exiles are painting rosey pictures for the American public- you know- so everyone who voted for Bush can sleep at night. Allawi actually said "thank you" nine times. Nine times. It really should have been more- at least double that number of Iraqis died yesterday... and about five times that number the day before. Looking back on the last month alone, over 350 Iraqis have been killed either by American air strikes, fighting, or bombs... only 9 thank yous? The elections are already a standard joke. There's talk of holding elections only in certain places where it will be 'safe' to hold them. One wonders what exactly comprises 'safe' in Iraq today. Does 'safe' mean the provinces that are seeing fewer attacks on American troops? Or does 'safe' mean the areas where the abduction of foreigners isn't occurring? Or could 'safe' mean the areas that *won't* vote for an Islamic republic and *will* vote for Allawi? Who will be allowed to choose these places? Right now, Baghdad is quite unsafe. We see daily abductions, killings, bombings and Al-Sadr City, slums of Baghdad, see air strikes... will they hold elections in Baghdad? Imagine, Bush being allowed to hold elections in 'safe' areas- like Texas and Florida. The hostage situations are terrible. Everyone is wondering and conjecturing about the Italian hostages. Are they really dead? Is it possible? Seeing the family of the British hostage on TV is quite painful. I wonder if they'll forever hate Iraqis after this. I saw the plea the made on CNN, asking the abductors to be merciful. Dozens of Iraqis are abducted daily and no one really knows who is behind it. Some blame it on certain Islamic groups, others on certain political groups- like Chalabi's, for example. It's hardly shocking, considering our own PM, Allawi, was, by his own admission, responsible for bombings and assassinations inside of Iraq- there is some interesting information here: (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Iyad_Allawi). For those who haven't read it, you really should. Juan Cole's "If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?". - posted by river @ 3:06 PM _______________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today! http://vote.yahoo.com --__--__-- Message: 4 From: "ppg" <ppg@DELETETHISnyc.rr.com> To: <email@example.com> Subject: IRAQ- Most deaths linked to coalition Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 22:17:17 -0400 Sat, Sep. 25, 2004 Most deaths linked to coalition http://tinyurl.com/5ynzt U.S. forces, police killing twice as many Iraqis as rebels are, ministry finds BY NANCY A. YOUSSEF Knight Ridder Foreign Service BAGHDAD, Iraq - Operations by U.S. and multinational forces and Iraqi police are killing twice as many Iraqis - most of them civilians - as attacks by insurgents, according to statistics compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry and obtained exclusively by Knight Ridder. According to the ministry, the interim Iraqi government recorded 3,487 Iraqi deaths from April 5 - when the ministry began compiling the data - until Sept. 19. Of those, 328 were women and children. Another 13,720 Iraqis were injured, the ministry said. Iraqi officials said about two-thirds of the Iraqi deaths were caused by multinational forces and police; the remaining third died from insurgent attacks. While the ministry statistics represent the only official count of the dead, information about cause of death came from hospitals and morgues, reporting what they were told by friends and family. The ministry had no way to verify how many died at the hands of insurgents and how many as a result of military and police operations. The data include an unknown number of police and Iraqi national guardsmen. Many Iraqi deaths, especially of insurgents, are never reported, so the actual number of Iraqis killed in fighting could be significantly higher. During the same period, 432 American soldiers were killed. Iraqi officials said the statistics indicate the extent to which U.S. airstrikes intended for insurgents also are killing large numbers of innocent civilians. Some say these casualties are undermining popular acceptance of the American-backed interim government. That suggests that more aggressive U.S. military operations, which the Bush administration has said are being planned to clear the way for nationwide elections scheduled for January, could strengthen the insurgency. Juan Cole, a University of Michigan history professor who specializes in Shiite Islam, said the widespread casualties meant that coalition forces already had lost the political campaign: "I think they lost the hearts and minds a long time ago." American military officials said "damage will happen" in their effort to wrest control of some areas from insurgents. They blamed the insurgents for embedding themselves in communities, saying that is what endangers innocent people. Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, an American military spokesman, said the insurgents were living in residential areas, sometimes in homes filled with munitions. "As long as they continue to do that, they are putting the residents at risk," Boylan said. "We will go after them." Boylan said the military conducted intelligence to determine that a home housed insurgents before striking it. The airstrikes were "extremely precise," he said. And he said that any attacks by the multinational forces were "in coordination with the interim government." The Health Ministry statistics indicate that more children have been killed around Ramadi and Fallujah than in Baghdad, even though together the two hotbeds of Sunni Muslim insurgency have only one-fifth of the Iraqi capital's population. According to the statistics, 59 children were killed in Anbar province - where Ramadi and Fallujah are located - compared with 56 children in Baghdad. The ministry defines children as anyone younger than 12. "When there are military clashes, we see innocent people die," said Dr. Walid Hamed, a member of the operations section of the Health Ministry, which compiles the statistics. Nearly a third of the Iraqi dead - 1,122 - were killed in August, according to the statistics. May was the second deadliest month, with 749 Iraqis killed, and 319 were killed in June, the least violent month. Most of those killed lived in Baghdad; the ministry found that 1,068 had died in the capital. Many Iraqis said they thought the numbers showed that the multinational forces disregarded their lives. "The Americans do not care about the Iraqis. They don't care if they get killed, because they don't care about the citizens," said Abu Mohammed, 50, who was a major general in Saddam Hussein's army in Baghdad. "The Americans keep criticizing Saddam for the mass graves. How many graves are the Americans making in Iraq?" At his fruit stand in southern Baghdad, Raid Ibraham, 24, theorized: "The Americans keep attacking the cities not to keep the security situation stable, but so they can stay in Iraq and control the oil." Others blame the multinational forces for allowing security to disintegrate, inviting terrorists from everywhere and threatening the lives of everyday Iraqis. "Anyone who hates America has come here to fight: Saddam's supporters, people who don't have jobs, other Arab fighters. All these people are on our streets," said Hamed, the ministry official. "But everyone is afraid of the Americans, not the fighters. And they should be." The ministry began separating attacks by multinational and police forces and insurgents June 10. From that date until Sept. 10, 1,295 Iraqis were killed in clashes with multinational forces and police versus 516 killed in terrorist operations, the ministry said. The ministry defined terrorist operations as explosive devices in residential areas, car bombs or assassinations. The statistics came from 15 of the country's 18 provinces. The ministry said it didn't have information for the three northern provinces: Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah, ethnic Kurdish areas that generally have been more peaceful than the rest of the country. The Health Ministry is the only organization that attempts to track deaths through government agencies. The U.S. military said it kept estimates, but it refused to release them. Ahmed al Rawi, the communications director of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Baghdad, said the organization didn't have the staffing to compile such information. Other independent organizations have estimated that 7,000 to 12,000 Iraqis have been killed since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations. The Health Ministry reports to interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, whom the United States appointed in June. Iraqi health and hospital officials agreed that the statistics captured only part of the death toll. To compile the data, the Health Ministry calls the directors general of the 15 provinces and asks how many deaths related to the war were reported at hospitals. The tracking of such information has become decentralized since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime because both hospitals and morgues issue death certificates now. And families often bury their dead without telling any government agencies or are treated at facilities that don't report to the government. The ministry is convinced that nearly all of those reported dead are civilians, not insurgents. Most often, a family member wouldn't report it if his or her relative died fighting for rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia or another insurgent force, and the relative would be buried immediately, said Dr. Shihab Ahmed Jassim, another member of the ministry's operations section. "People who participate in the conflict don't come to the hospital. Their families are afraid they will be punished," said Dr. Yasin Mustaf, the assistant manager of al Kimdi Hospital near Baghdad's poor Sadr City neighborhood. "Usually, the innocent people come to the hospital. That is what the numbers show." The numbers also exclude those whose bodies were too mutilated to be recovered at car bombings or other attacks, the ministry said. Ministry officials said they didn't know how big the undercount was. "We have nothing to do with politics," Jassim said. U.S. officials said any allegations that soldiers had recklessly killed Iraqi citizens were investigated at the Iraqi Assistance Center in downtown Baghdad. "There is no way to refute" such stories, said Robert Callahan, a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. "All you can do is tell them the truth and hope it eventually will get through." ------------------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/nation/9754974.htm?1c St Paul Twin Cities Press -- http://tinyurl.com/5ynzt --__--__-- Message: 5 Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 03:50:58 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Must read... / THE BUSINESS OF TERROR To: CASI newsclippings <firstname.lastname@example.org>, iac-discussion <email@example.com> http://mondediplo.com/2004/09/01terror THE BUSINESS OF TERROR The war of a thousand years By Alain Gresh * IRAQ is burning. You could see this as a consequence of superpower arrogance or of the ignorance of the United States about local realities elsewhere. (Fallujah is not a town in Texas, nor is it Marseille during Liberation in 1944.) But at a deeper level the setbacks in Iraq stem directly from the very idea of the war against terror that was launched by President George Bush after 11 September 2001. In the US view each incident in Iraq fits into a certain logic: the attacks in the Sunni triangle must be the work of supporters of Saddam Hussein or of international terrorists linked to al-Qaida; Muqtada al-Sadr=92s resistance is explained by the involvement of Iran, classified as part of the axis of evil; each armed action is further proof that "they" hate western values. As a US corporal in Iraq said: "We have to kill the bad guys" (1). But for every bad guy that the US kills, several more are created each time an apartment block is bombed or a village is subjected to search and destroy operations. There are other far simpler ways of understanding the drama in Iraq. Iraqis are happy to be rid of a loathsome dictatorship and free of the sanctions that for 13 years drained the life out of Iraq. All they want now is a better life, freedom and independence. But the reality is that no promises made about postwar reconstruction have been kept. There are still widespread power cuts, insecurity and increased poverty. US troops gave the final shove to a regime already weakened by the pressure of multiple embargos. Then they allowed the ministries to burn and dissolved the national army, as they had done in 1945 in Japan. But Iraqis have no interest in living under an occupation that they suspect of being interested only in oil and regional strategic domination. The days of colonialism are over. The 1920 revolt against the British has been celebrated in Iraq over the decades and has as strong a hold on the popular imagination as the Resistance and the Liberation have in France. Iraqis share an aspiration to independence with other nations and we do not need to plumb their psychology or their souls, or submit the Qur=92an to detailed analysis, to understand it. The behaviour of the Iraqis is entirely rational and the only solution is a rapid withdrawal of US troops and Iraq=92s return to full sovereignty. A world in black and white The way in which the leaders of a major power read geopolitical developments determines their strategic and diplomatic choices: how will a choice benefit a power? How will its enemies react? Who are its allies in any area? For decades the cold war provided the framework for interpretation in world diplomacy. When something changed somewhere, the first question for strategists, analysts and reporters on both sides was: is this good for the Soviet Union? Or it is good for the US? The consequences of this black and white worldview were clear in two major conflicts in the 1970s - Nicaragua and Afghanistan. In July 1979 the Sandinistas took power in Managua after a long armed struggle that had ended the dictatorship of the Somoza family. They launched a bold programme of social reform, particularly in agriculture. Basic liberties were respected, opposition political parties were permitted and a way was opened for Nicaragua to begin to emerge from its history of poverty and underdevelopment. But that was not how the US saw it: this defeat of a US ally meant the advance of communism and the USSR in the US=92s Central American backyard. The CIA began to arm former Somoza military personnel. From Honduras these "freedom fighters" began an all-out war against the Sandinista regime, including acts of terrorism, while Washington tried to mobilise public opinion and its allies against what it perceived as a totalitarian threat in Central America. Cuba, and to a lesser extent the USSR, increased aid to the Sandinistas. Nicaragua was caught in an East-West trap. The relentless pressure of the US and the impoverishment of Nicaragua by economic sanctions led to the Sandinistas=92 electoral defeat on 25 February 1990. Whereupon the US lost interest in Nicaragua and dropped its former prot=E9g=E9s. The country sank back into poverty. But it was never going to be communist. Afghanistan is even more telling. In April 1978 its government was overthrown in a communist coup even though it was an ally of the USSR. The new authorities began a harsh programme of radical reform in this conservative country and met strong resistance, particularly in the countryside. Washington began to arm the mujahideen resistance. In December 1979 the Soviet army invaded and changed the leadership. The international community was quick to condemn this as a colonial venture. But the US and the West chose to see it as proof of the USSR=92s hegemonic intentions and confirmation of the Kremlin=92s centuries-old schemes for gaining access to warm seas - the Gulf. The incoming Reagan administration in the US saw it as a chance to give the Red Army a bloody nose, even if that meant an alliance with the devil. With the help of Pakistani and Saudi secret services it began to arm the extreme fundamentalist forces to the detriment of the moderate opposition. It opposed all attempts at political and diplomatic settlements by the United Nations and deliberately prolonged the conflict (2). We know the result. The Soviets decided to withdraw from Afghanistan. But having won, the US then lost interest in Afghanistan and the radical Islamist networks that it had helped create with the help of Osama bin Laden. Left to its own devices Afghanistan lapsed into civil war until in 1996 it fell into the hands of the Taliban. We now know that, far from being part of major expansion plans, the Soviet decision to intervene in Afghanistan was taken by a divided political bureaucracy that was concerned that a bordering country and traditional ally should not fall into the hands of extremist Islamists. We also know that, despite its appearance of military power, the USSR was in reality incapable of threatening the world, let alone dominating it. But in the West the Soviet threat was always cited when it was needed to mobilise public opinion. In 1983, two years before Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in Moscow, the French political commentator, Jean-Fran=E7ois Revel (with his usual perspicacity) declared the imminent demise of the world=92s democracies, as they were incapable of resisting "the most threatening of those external enemies, communism, which is a present-day variant and fully developed model of totalitarianism" (3). In reality that "fully developed model" had only a few years left to run. Of course the East-West approach to reading geopolitical developments had a certain reality. Both the US and the USSR were defending their interests as major powers. But the collective political destiny of individual countries was more than just an international chessboard on which the White House and the Kremlin made their moves - Washington unrepentantly supporting dictatorships in Latin America and Suharto in Indonesia; and Moscow intervening brutally in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). This over-simplification underestimated any national realities that didn=92t easily fit and all the other threats that humanity faced: environmental degradation, chronic poverty and the spread of new diseases, notably Aids. The world finally emerged from the cold war. The US had won but the same challenges remained; as did the same causes of instability. A new enemy The collapse of the Soviet Union orphaned not only the US and western military and intelligence services, all deprived of the enemy that had justified their existence and sanctioned their bottomless budgets, but also the strategic research centres that had believed in Moscow=92s strategic superiority to the extent of predicting a Soviet invasion of western Europe. Where could they find a replacement for the evil empire? In the 1990s the American academic Francis Fukuyama predicted the end of history, proclaiming the definitive victory of western liberalism and its extension over the entire planet. The theory proved popular. A section of the conservative right, those who had opposed any detente with the USSR and any understanding with Gorbachev, began to seek a new strategic enemy. They announced that, even though the US now had no rivals, it was threatened by obscure forces even more dangerous than communism: terrorism, rogue states and weapons of mass destruction. In a parallel development, analysts and journalists diagnosed the growing power of a new adversary, Islam, with a strong ideology and a potential power base of more than a billion people. In 1993 Samuel Huntington of the US popularised the phrase "clash of civilisations" (4). He wrote: "It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilisations. The clash of civilisations will dominate global politics." But this remains speculative, since none of these doctrines was able to gather a consensus among the elites. It took 11 September to instil the idea that the West was again engaged in a world war to be taken as seriously as had been the cold war and the second world war. Traumatised by the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, US public opinion rallied behind the war against terror, a war in which, it was proclaimed, "you are either with us or you are against us". But what is this new enemy that has replaced communism and Nazism? Is it terrorism? Terrorism is a method of political action, not an ideology, and we would be hard put to find a common thread between the IRA, the independence fighters of Corsica and the Aum sect. Is it al-Qaida? But surely fighting that is more a matter of policing than military mobilisation (see Al-Qaida brand name ready for franchise,). What about rogue states? Not only is it nonsense to link North Korea and Iran as the axis of evil, it is also hard to see how their regional threat matches that of the Soviet Union in its prime. At war with =91barbarism=92 Nevertheless the idea that is taking shape through carefully targeted ideological campaigns is that of a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West. With the exception of North Korea and Cuba all the countries that are currently targeted by the US - Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan - are Islamic: unconditional US support for Israel=92s Ariel Sharon confirms the bias. As President George Bush put it, civilisation is at war with barbarism. To which Osama bin Laden replied: "The world has been divided into two camps: one under the banner of the cross, as Bush, the head of the infidels, said; and another under the banner of Islam." If this theory is true, then no accommodation is possible. "They hate us" - not because of anything that we do but because they reject our ideas of liberty and democracy. So there is no point in prioritising any of the injustices that afflict the Islamic world. This view necessarily leads matters towards war. It views every conflict as a clash of civilisations, a conflict which is never-ending and without solutions: the struggle of the Palestinians, a terrorist bombing in Java, the resistance in Iraq, an anti-semitic incident in a high school in Paris, an inner-city riot in a European city - all are seen as evidence of a general offensive by Islam. We are engaged on all fronts, including the domestic front, in a world war. General William "Jerry" Boykin, formerly of Delta Force, the US army=92s anti-terrorist unit, was appointed in June 2003 as the deputy undersecretary of defence with responsibility for intelligence. He is an evangelical Christian who once told a congregation in Oregon that radical Islamists hated the US "because we=92re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judaeo-Christian . . . and the enemy is a guy named Satan" (5). On another occasion he said: "We in the army of God, in the house of God, the kingdom of God, have been raised for such a time as this." During the fighting against Islamic warlords in Somalia he had , said: "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol" (6). The general offered a few excuses for his utterances, kept his job and was able to use his talents in exporting the prison system created in Guan t=E1namo Bay to Iraq: we know all about the results of this (7). The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, defended him at the beginning but the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, then stepped in to say: "This is not a war between religions. No one should describe it as such." How are we supposed to believe that when we read the statements of tortured Iraqis, who were forced to renounce their religion (8)? All =91savages=92 Islamophobia is rampant in the media despite occasional protests. Ann Coulter is a popular rightwing commentator in the US. She is regularly invited on such radio and TV news programmes as Good Morning America and The O=92Reilly Factor. In her view France will be taken over by Muslims within 10 years. She once said: "When we were fighting communism, OK, they had mass murderers and gulags, but they were white men and they were sane. Now we=92re up against absolute savages . . . We=92ve been under attack by savage, fanatical Muslims for 20 years. It wasn=92t al-Qaida that took our hostages in Iran, it wasn=92t al-Qaida that bombed the West Berlin discotheque which led to Ronald Reagan bombing Libya." When the interviewer commented that Libya was an Islamic country, she said: "You can make the argument, but I just keep seeing Muslims killing people" (9). Italy=92s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said on 26 September 2001: "We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation . . . a system that has guaranteed wellbeing, respect for human rights and - in contrast with Islamic countries - respect for religious and political rights." He went on to observe that because of "the superiority of western values" the West would continue to conquer peoples as it had conquered communism even if it meant a confrontation with "another civilisation, the Islamic one, stuck where it was 1,400 years ago" (10). In his book L=92Obsession anti-am=E9ricaine Jean-Fran=E7ois Revel celebrates the fact that Bush and European leaders visited mosques after 11 September, mainly to avoid Arab Americans becoming the targets of unworthy reprisals. He says: "These democratic scruples do credit to Americans and Europeans but should not blind them to the anti-western hatred of the majority of Muslims living among us" (11). Those were his words - "the majority of Muslims". We do not know if he is suggesting that we expel all of them from France. Such statements are echoed in public opinion. The cold war, particularly during the 1980s, didn=92t mobilise people. It was mostly played out at the level of military high commands. Communism had already lost much of its attraction and the red threat no longer provoked witch-hunts. But the war on terror is proving popular. Parts of both western and Islamic opinion are prepared to believe that, behind the present conflicts, civilisations really are clashing. The key divisions in society are no longer between the powerful and the weak, rich and poor, haves and have-nots, but between them and us. The countries of the West should forget the struggle between classes and line up in the battle against the Other. What would be the result? A thousand-year war whose only result would be to bring comfort to the established (dis)order. * Alain Gresh is editor of Le Monde diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East. (1) Quoted in "GIs in Iraq are asking: Why are we here?", International Herald Tribune, 12 August 2004. (2) See Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995. (3) Jean-Fran=E7ois Revel, Comment les d=E9mocraties finissent, Grasset, 1983. (4) Samuel Huntington, "The Clash of Civilisations", (Foreign Affairs), vol 72, no 3, 1993. (5) Los Angeles Times, 16 October 2003. (6) Ibid. (7) See Sidney Blumenthal, "The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib", The Guardian, London, 20 May 2004. (8) See "New images amplify abuse at Iraq prison", Reuters, 21 May 2004. (9) The Independent, London, 16 August 2004. (10) http://news.bbc.co.uk, 27 September 2001. (11) Jean-Fran=E7ois Revel, L=92Obsession anti-am=E9ricaine, Plon, 200 __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers! http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail --__--__-- Message: 6 Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 05:45:41 -0700 (PDT) From: John Churchilly <meso999@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: Eccentric ally in Green Zone To: firstname.lastname@example.org http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/07/31/MNGDM80L0P1.DTL&type=news --------------- Eccentric ally in Green Zone Imam extols U.S., reveres Virgin Mary -- despised by fellow clerics Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer Saturday, July 31, 2004 -------- Baghdad -- Fuad Rashid may be the only Sunni Muslim cleric in Iraq who defends America from his pulpit. Right now, however, he is making Lt. Col. Robert Campbell squirm. Campbell, commander of a battalion in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, visited Rashid's house to discuss neighborhood affairs -- but is starting to look as if he wishes he hadn't. "You don't really believe that, do you?" Rashid cheerfully asked Campbell. "You don't really think you were sent here for democracy? That is so silly." "But sheikh," Campbell spluttered, as Rashid segued into an extended rant. President Bush is "too much," he continued, his eyes twinkling incongruously. The military's Iraqi translators are "all corrupt, bad men." Certain U.S. Army officers are "ugly." And American promises to repair the mosque's electricity generator? "I don't know, lies or what," he said scornfully. Rashid is imam of the al-Qadisiya Mosque, the sole Muslim house of worship in the Green Zone, the 3-square-mile area in the heart of Baghdad that effectively remains under U.S. control. And despite the criticisms he had just leveled, he proudly calls himself the "only imam in Iraq who speaks in favor of the Americans." "I love America," Rashid said, with passion. "Americans are so beautiful." Resplendent in a cream-colored gown and a white gauze turban around his boyish face, the 40-year-old Rashid looks more like a Catholic nun than a Muslim cleric. The similarity is deliberate -- he readily admits that he models himself after Mary, the mother of Jesus. Although Islamic doctrine considers Mary the virgin mother of a prophet - - a status almost as revered in Islam as it is in Christianity -- it is unheard of for a Muslim cleric to adopt Christian-style garb, much less a woman's. Rashid says Mary appeared to him in three visions telling him to follow her. He adopted the style when he was a seminary student in Baghdad in the early 1990s, but it has become more pronounced since his mosque came under U.S. protection after the April 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. Rashid's close-cropped beard is dyed blond, in keeping with his all-white image -- a sign of purity, he says -- and he wears patterned contact lenses. Despite his unorthodox appearance, he is a powerful, eloquent preacher who advocates conservative social values. On one recent Friday, the Muslim Sabbath, Rashid preached to a crowd of about 150 worshipers -- mostly Iraqi government workers, along with several dozen foreign contractors, mainly Pakistanis and Egyptians. With an actor's poise and pitch-perfect cadence, Rashid extolled the benefits of "love and democracy" and condemned "people who want to destroy what others are building" -- a clear reference to the insurgency. But he reserved his biggest lines for the evils of alcohol. "A man who drinks is the same as a man who worships another god," he warned. "His mind will be troubled, he will be an animal, like a pig." After the prayer service, worshipers seemed wowed by Rashid's showmanship. "He is very good," said one Pakistani truck driver. "He has a beautiful voice. " Other Sunni Muslim leaders mention him with scorn. "We don't know him well, but if he is praising the Americans, then he has sold himself to them," said Mohamed Bashar al-Faidhy, spokesman of the Islamic Clerics Association, the nation's main Sunni alliance, which has steadily criticized the U.S. presence and gives tacit support to the anti-American insurgents. Some Iraqis are harsher in their judgments. "If he were anywhere else in Iraq, he would be killed," said one Iraqi man who visited the mosque recently and asked to remain anonymous. "And I would do it myself," he added, saying Rashid "gives a bad example." But Rashid is in the Green Zone, a well-guarded bubble of Americana in the heart of a hostile nation. Protected by U.S. tanks, 20-foot concrete walls and barbed wire, the zone holds thousands of U.S. troops and civilian workers, as well as the sprawling Republican Palace, where administrator Paul Bremer once ran the occupation and now U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte has his headquarters. Lawns are clipped and well-watered, women jog the streets in T-shirts and shorts, signs advertise hip-hop and salsa dance nights, and the only worries are the occasional incoming mortar round fired by insurgents outside the zone. The compound also includes the homes of top Iraqi officials and Iraqi government offices. U.S. officials say they have no immediate plans to return the zone to Iraqi control -- a source of resentment for many Iraqis who see it as a symbol of continuing U.S. occupation despite the transfer of nominal sovereignty a month ago. The al-Qadisiya Mosque is a striking ultra-modern building with sail-like wings, like the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It was built in the mid-1990s as the favored mosque of Hussein's presidential office, and its worshipers once included some of the regime's most powerful officials. Before the war, Rashid was the assistant to the mosque's pro-Hussein imam, his main task singing the five-times-per-day call to prayer. After the war, the chief imam fled, and the Americans promoted Rashid to the No. 1 spot. Rashid speaks near-fluent English, which he says he learned by watching videos of his three favorite movies, "Gone With the Wind," "Love Story" and "The Bodyguard." "I love what's her name -- Whitney Houston? She is so beautiful, so pure. She is like (the Virgin) Mary, very clean." Now, as Islamic conservatism gains strength throughout Iraq, Rashid revels in the fishbowl-like isolation of the Green Zone, and he avoids contact with other Muslim clerics. Whether he would be accepted at any other Iraqi mosque is an open question, he admits. "I'm more honest than the other imams," he said. "They like to lie, they are full of hate, they try to make trouble." Rashid lives next door to the mosque in a comfortable home surrounded by fruit trees. He has been married for five years to a woman 20 years his junior, although they have no children -- a rarity in Iraq. During Campbell's visit, Rashid deflected Campbell's attempts to discuss a petition by local Iraqi residents for a loosening of the Green Zone's strict security policies. Instead, he unleashed a barrage of criticism at his countrymen. "Iraqis are all animals, 95 percent are looters," he said, referring to the wave of theft from government facilities after Hussein's regime fell last year that still continues on a diminished level. "The people is monkeys," he said, his grammar faltering as the words came out in a rush. Campbell, who considers Rashid a "good friend," could hardly get a word in edgewise. "I like American freedom," Rashid went on. "I would like to go there soon, you know?" E-mail Robert Collier at email@example.com. --------QQQQQQQQQQ---------- http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/07/31/MNGDM80L0P1.DTL&type=news __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we. http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk