Uh oh

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Jimmyeatworld, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    If they thought people were ticked over cartoons...

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=1647792

    SAMARRA, Iraq Feb 22, 2006 (AP)— A large explosion Wednesday heavily damaged the golden dome of one of Iraq's most famous Shiite religious shrines, sending protesters pouring into the streets. It was the third major attack against Shiite targets in as many days.

    Police believed some people may be buried under the debris after the 6:55 a.m. explosion at the Askariya mosque but there were no confirmed figures. The shrine contains the tombs of two revered Shiite imams, both descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Tradition says the shrine, which draws Shiite pilgrims from throughout the Islamic world, is near the place where the last of the 12 Shiite imams, Mohammed al-Mahdi, disappeared. Al-Mahdi, known as the "hidden imam," was the son and grandson of the two imams buried in the Askariya shrine.

    Shiites believe he is still alive and will return to restore justice to humanity. An attack at such an important religious shrine would constitute a grave assault on Shiite Islam at a time of rising sectarian tensions in Iraq.

    A police officer who declined to give his name because he is not authorized to speak to media said armed men, with at least one wearing a uniform, broke inside the shrine before sunrise and seized the five policemen responsible for guarding the site.

    The gunmen planted explosives and fled the area, the officer said.

    Following the blast, U.S. and Iraqi forces surrounded the shrine and began searching houses in the area. The Sunni Endowments, a government organization that cares for Sunni mosques and shrines, also condemned the blast and said it was sending a delegation to Samarra to investigate what happened.

    Thousands of demonstrators gathered near the shrine, waving Iraqi flags, Shiite religious banners and copies of the Muslim holy book, Quran. Shiite leaders in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood called for demonstrations against the blast.

    "This criminal act aims at igniting civil strife," said Mahmoud al-Samarie, 28-year-old builder who was among the crowd in this city 60 miles north of Baghdad. "We demand an investigation so that the criminals who did this be punished. If the government fails to do so, then we will take arm and chase the people behind this attack."
     
  2. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    This is another horrible attack, but I do not believe the terrorists will succeed until they murder the Ayatollah Ali Sistani. He's been such a figure for peace and unity in Iraq, literally singlehandedly keeping the Shia from waging a murderous campaign against the Sunnis in response to these kinds of attacks from the mostly Sunni insurgency.

    Let's hope he never meets this kind of fate.
     
  3. nosarcasm
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    nosarcasm Active Member

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    a murderous campaign is needed to submit the Sunnis.

    Unfortunatly that has proven the only method to work throughout
    history.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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  5. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    I second that assessment, and hold the same feelings.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/2006/02/holy-shia-shrine-bombed-in-samarra.html

     
  7. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    This guy sounds very intelligent and level headed. Good traits to have in a leader.
     
  8. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    Yeah, it's impressive. I wonder is he's be interested in running for Mayor of New Orleans... :banana:
     
  9. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    Here's the view of a U.S. Navy professor. It gives a sense of the complexities of dealing with the Shi'ite/Sunni problem. Saddam played the groups off against each other. Now that's he's gone, we have to take on the problem of how these two groups get along.

    The New York Times
    February 23, 2006
    Op-Ed Contributor
    Sects and Violence

    By VALI NASR
    Monterey, Calif.

    THE bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq, is an ominous development for America, Iraq and the entire Middle East. Just when it looked as if Muslims across the region were putting aside their differences to unite in protest against the Danish cartoons, the attack showed that Islamic sectarianism remains the greatest challenge to peace. It also highlighted the poor job America has done in trying to balance the interests of Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq.

    The shrine is one of the Shiites' holiest sites; they believe that their messiah vanished from the site, to return only on Judgment Day. Thus its destruction is a direct attack on the Shiite faith. It also symbolized the depth of Sunni rage against Shiites for having come to power in the country since the American-led invasion. But perhaps most important, it should serve as a warning to the United States of the rising tide of Sunni extremism in the Middle East.

    The postwar insurgency may have provided the arena for militants from across the Arab world to gather for jihad against America, but it is the centuries-old Sunni war on Shiism that is at the heart of the campaign of death. A full-out sectarian war would, of course, make it impossible to create a viable Iraq. Yet for too long Washington refused to acknowledge the centrality of Shiite-Sunni antagonism to Iraqi politics. Instead, the Bush administration insisted that the insurgency was largely the work of foreign meddlers and Baathist loyalists.

    As the attacks continued over months and years, Washington was finally compelled to contend with sectarian realities; yet its response was to demand that Iraqis bury the hatchet and just get along. On Tuesday, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad publicly threatened the Shiite-dominated party that won the January parliamentary elections, saying that unless it formed national unity government that included Sunnis, it risked losing American financial assistance. He also insisted that politicians with ties to Shiite militias be banned from the Interior and Defense Ministries.

    Among the Shiites, such threats carry an ominous tone; not only because they view their militias as the only force now protecting them from car bombs, but also because Shiites see the overt American push for a national unity government as nothing more than coddling the Sunnis and, worse yet, rewarding the insurgency.

    Shiites also see American policy as unduly influenced by Sunni rulers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, who have been aggressively lobbying Washington for a greater Sunni role in running Iraq. This has led many Shiites to talk of a "second betrayal" by the United States, a sequel to what occurred in 1991 when the Shiites rose up against Saddam Hussein only to be butchered as American forces refused to intervene.

    The United States can no longer take Shiite support in Iraq for granted. The Samarra bombing led the paramount cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to say that if the state couldn't protect them, "the believers are able to do so with the might of God." The ayatollah, who has for three years urged restraint and calm after every car bomb and murder, seems to have reached the limits of his patience. So have his followers: his call for peaceful protest went unheeded yesterday as Shiites attacked Sunni mosques and killed a Sunni cleric.

    This American desire to placate the Sunnis could also hurt our regional ambitions. The White House has reasonable concerns about ties between Iraqi Shiites and Iran; the stated intention is to wean away Iraqi Shiites from Iranian influence. This will not be easy to achieve in any circumstance, but will be impossible if Iraq's Shiites don't trust America's commitment to protecting their interests.

    In the aftermath of Samarra bombing, the American policy of pushing the Shiites to compromise with Sunnis will only backfire. The United States may not feel ready to choose winners and losers in Iraq, but it will find it increasingly difficult and costly not to do so.

    Vali Nasr is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and the author of the forthcoming book "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/opinion/23nasr.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=print

    * * *

    Mariner
     
  10. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    I`m sure everyone, on this board anyway, realizes, that THIS is our worst nightmare.

    Taking the US military on didn`t work for the terrorist, going after the civilian population wasn`t having the desired results. Now the terror groups are playing their ace card, religion.

    The jury is still out on this tactic, but I`ll be honest, I`m concerned. :smoke:
     

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