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Save the date: June 21, 2003. Jamaat al-Muslimeen's 4th International Islamic Symposium. Greensboro, North Carolina.
It's the anniversary of Allama Iqbal, Poet of the East. Here are a three of his couplets:
Apni millat pur qiyas aqwame maghrib say na kur
khas hay tarkeeb main qaum-e-rasool-e-hashmi
un ki jamiat ka hay mulk o nasab pur inhisar
quwwate mazhab say mustahkam hay jamiat tri
daman-e-deen hath say chuuta to jamiate kahan
aur jamiate hui rukhsat to millat bhi gai!
[Trans: Do not think of your community in terms of the nations of the West
The nation of the Messenger of the Banu Hashim of Arabia is distinct in its organization.
Their collectivity depends on country and race
Your collectivity is solidified by the power of religion.
If you lose hold of your faith-based life, then where is your collectivity?
and if your collectivity is lost, your entire community will be swept away!
Those are the words of Kathleen Christison who has just returned from occupied Palestine. She quoted Hanan Ashrawi that Israel is not just committing daily atrocities, it is determined to DISMANTLE THE ENTIRE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL ENTITY. With Bush's help, Israel is saying to the Palestinians: "You are at our mercy." Ms. Christisan said: When she went to Jenin, she broke into sobbing. It was utterly devastated by the Zionists. They have left nothing behind. The West Bank is dotted with hilltop Jewish settlements, like the fortresess of the crusaders. Israeli roads cut through Palestinian crop lands and olive trees. Soon there will be nothing left to build any kind of Palestinian state on, Ms. Christison concluded. [Source: C-Span, April 18, 2003. Ms. Christison resigned from the CIA in 1979 and for the last 24 years, according to herself, has been trying to regain her humanity.]
Shia Demonstrations
in Iraq Orchestrated by U.S.:
Chalabi & Zubaydi both U.S. Men
Iran-Supported SAIRI Working with U.S. as Controlled "Opposition"
Murder of Al-Khui in Najaf Indicates Undercurrent of Inner-Shia Conflict

Viewers of U.S. TV channels are wondering about "anti-U.S. demonstrations" in Baghdad. Is this indeed a sign of "liberation" that people can demonstrate against the U.S. and be shown doing so on CNN? Thousands of Shia are flocking to Kerbala and getting publicity on U.S. media without any adverse comment about the breast beating which goes on in these ceremonies. Here's New Trend's analysis of the Shia situation in Iraq.

1. The great majority of Iran's Shias are secularized and nationalistic. They supported Saddam Hussain against the U.S. invasion.

1A. Some of these secularized elements were not able to fit into the Baath Party system. They went overseas and gradually started working with the U.S. to help overthrow their own government. Among them are Chalabi and Zubaydi (who claims to be the governor of Baghdad), two Shias whom the U.S. has brought forward to test the setting up of a puppet regime. They are probably expendable.

2. The religious Shias of Iraq were lead by Ayatollah al-Khui, a man of great learning who was also open-minded about the majority of the world's Muslims who are Sunnis. Al-Khui was also acknowledged as spiritual leader by religious Shias outside Iraq, including those in Pakistan and India.

3. The revolution led by Imam Khomeini in Iran brought a powerful rival to Al-Khui's leadership. The victory of the revolution rapidly spread Khomeini's influence among the world's Shia.

4. However, the Iraqi Shia still accepted Ayatollah al-Khui as their leader and under his advice, they did not accept Khomeini's call to rise up against Saddam Hussain. Even when wave after wave of Iranian forces attacked Basra, the Shias of Iraq did not rise up.Al-Khui did not support sectarianism as a political tool. He sensed that it would lead to the Shias being seen as a fifth column in Muslim countries.

5. During the Iran-Iraq conflict small segments of the Iraqi Shias moved towards the Iranian side of the equation. Saddam Hussain saw such moves as treachery and clamped down hard on this segment. Their leader Ayatollah Baqir as-Sadr is said to have been tortured and executed in prison, thus leading to the undying hostility between Iran-backed Shia and Saddam.

6. Iranian influence did not spread in Iraq owing to the refusal of Al-Khui to take sides and also owing to the arrival of large numbers of Iranian Shia who sought refuge in Iraq after facing torture and clamp downs in Iran following their attempts to bring down the Khomeini regime. [The largest such Iranian group is the Mujahideene Khalq Organization or MKO.]

After Al-Khui passed away, his family set up a foundation in England to carry on the non-political propagation of Shiaism. Over the years, they seem to have gotten close to the British government, particularly to Mr. Blair.

NOW WE COME TO THE EVENTS OF April 9 in the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, Iraq.

It appears that the U.S. has been working with both Al-Khui's people as well as the inheritors of Baqir as-Sadr's line organized in a movement known as SAIRI (Supreme Assembly of Islamic Revolution in Iraq) which is backed by Iran.

Abdul Majid al-Khui appears to have come to Najaf with $3 million from the U.S. government. His work was to meet a Shia supporter of Saddam, Al-Karadi, and to create reconciliation between the Shia who had supported Saddam and those who had been neutral. Al-Khui's supporters handed out money for five days and finally a meeting was held in the Ali mosque where Al-Khui and the pro-Saddam cleric were both there. It appears that the crowd had been infiltrated by SAIRI's people (pro-Iran) who attacked the two clerics and hacked both of them to death.

Our analysis indicates that the U.S. is working on both sides of the Shia spectrum, be it Chalabi's people, al-Khui's people or Iran's SAIRI. It appears that the pulling down of the statues and the looting were all "permitted" by the U.S. forces to gain the support of Shias living in the "Saddam City" district of Baghdad. The looting was a "reward" given to the Shias for their cooperation with the invasion.

The "anti-U.S. demonstrations" are also being "permitted" by the U.S. to giving credence to a loyal "opposition" which is being created. Without U.S. "green signal", the demonstrations would have never made it to CNN.

There is absolutely no question of the U.S. permitting any real opposition. The Ansar al-Islam Kurds were bombed into eternity. The Shia exiles from Iran, the MKO, were also thoroughly bombed and their remnants pursued. The Fidayeen Saddam and the mujahideen from overseas face death without trial or at least arrest and open ended imprisonment.

Iran is dreaming of a sectarian empire. The U.S. has its own designs to attach Iraq to its circle of client states. The Iranian-U.S. romance is on for now.
One Day Iraqis will Put Saddam's Statue Back on its Pedestal
Liberation Deal: American Food for Iraqi Souls

Iraq has now been freed, as Egypt had been freed by its third defeat at Israeli hands in 1973..
Iqra: Iraq Is Free

By: Shahid Alam

Iqra, recite, proclaim, affirm, avow, declare: Iraq is free. Iraq has been freed from ten thousand years of tyranny; freed from darkest infamy; freed from cold villainy; freed from centuries of stasis; freed from nights of searing pain; freed from terrible torture; freed from sanctioned starvation; freed from laser-guided precision; freed from bombs that explode with shock and awe. The whole world was witness to this historical moment. They saw the dark head of the tyrant, the granite head of Ozymandias draped in the fabric of freedom, effaced, his sneer blotted out, his terror nullified, brought down by the force of an armor-clad Bradley vehicle. Iraqis, many dozens of them, cheered lustily. A few even kissed the liberators on both cheeks, in authentic Arab style. The nay-sayers, skeptics, doubting Thomases, Pacifists, prophets of doom, and the patriotically challenged were wrong about America's war in Iraq. The millions who marched in the streets, protesting the war, are now gnashing their teeth. In deep shame, penitent, they have announced that they will march again in the millions, to curse, flog, flagellate themselves for marching against the war that freed Iraqis. This was not a war on Iraq, much less a war against Iraq. It was a war in Iraq: a war for the Iraqis. It wasn't the first time that a great civilizing nation has fought a war in a barbarous land against its homegrown tyrants. Civilized nations have carried this burden uncomplainingly, showing equal dedication in freeing lands of their peoples and, when the occasion demanded, freeing peoples of their lands. It is United States now that carries the torch of freedom, bravely torching anyone who shows the gall to oppose the forward march of the brave and free. Consider the freedoms this war has bestowed on Iraq.

First and foremost, this war has freed Iraq of its WMDs. If Americans have not yet found any caches of WMDs inside Iraq, this was expected all along. In the days leading up to the war, the WMDs were smuggled into Syria for safe-keeping. But that only means that Americans will have to go the extra mile, into Syria. And perhaps Syria will smuggle them into Egypt, Egypt into Libya, Libya into Iran, and Iran into Sudan. Is this an Arab conspiracy to hitch a freedom ride on Bradleys and Abrams tanks?

Instantly, the American liberators have turned the Iraqis free to pillage their museums, strip their hospitals, plunder their universities, and loot their homes. The acutely funny Donald Rumsfeld explained that "freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." Quickly, the Iraqis are learning that the gift of freedom comes at a price. And they are eager to prove that their freedom is worth the price they are being asked to pay. If Madeline Albright could sacrifice the lives of half a million Iraqi children for American security, surely the Iraqis too can give up their national treasures for a fleeting taste of freedom.

After years of being locked out, the war has freed Iraq to spread the welcome mat to American Corporations. For thirteen long years, since Gulf War I, American capital was not free to outbid Russian, French and German capital in developing Iraq; it was an unconscionable abridgement of freedom. Now the playing fields have been leveled. The Bechtels, Halliburtons, Northrops, Exxons, Triremes are free at last to claim their pound of Iraqi flesh.

The liberation of Iraq is being unctuously greeted by Franklin Graham's Good Samaritans, the pastoral faction of American capital. Their would-be victims are now free, after years of softening with sanctions and bombings, to receive the good word of the Lord. Even as I write, the Samaritan convoys are converging on Iraq, ready to trade American food and water for Iraqi souls. The Iraqis never knew a better bargain, getting something for nothing.

Iraq has now been freed, as Egypt had been freed by its third defeat at Israeli hands in 1973, to derive the inestimable benefits of normal relations with Israel. After 55 years, Iraqi oil is now free again to flow to Haifa. And, one might add, Iraqi water too. Freed from the threat of Iraq's WMDs, Israelis can now attack the Palestinian problem, the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria , with greater freedom. The pace of ethnic cleansing, too slow for an early final solution, can now be accelerated. Now that Iraq is free, with help from the Americans, the Palestinians can be teleported to the deserts of Western Iraq.

The war has freed another Arab capital from the threat of Israel's Samson option. The five million citizens of Baghdad, once the unimpeded looting stops, can sleep in peace. This is another inestimable gift of the war: an Iraq free from nuclear holocaust. If one counts all the advantages of America's war in Iraq, and I have barely started, history will record this war as the greatest opening in Iraqi history, when Iraqis were freed from the coils of convoluted tyranny.

Once the Iraqis wake to this shattering truth, they will also acknowledge their deep debt to Saddam Hussein. It was his anti-Zionism, his methodical recklessness, his development of WMDs that precipitated the American war in Iraq, the war that freed them. Without Saddam, the Iraqis would still be toiling under some vapid dictatorship, like Hosni Mubarak's, allied to Israel and receiving bribes from USAID. I can imagine a day, once the fog of America's war in Iraq clears, when the Iraqis may restore Saddam Hussein's statue to the high pedestal it occupied in Baghdad's Central Square. And these are the words that American visitors, in shock and awe, will read inscribed on its base: Saddam Hussein/A Brave Iraqi/Serendipitous Architect of Our Freedoms.
M. Shahid Alam teaches economics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. His recent book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations, was published by Palgrave (2000). M. Shahid Alam

2003-04-22 Tue 19:48ct