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Neither Civil War Nor Sectarian Violence. It's Ethnic Cleansing Before the Partition of Iraq

By Hassan El-Najjar

Al-Jazeerah, December 6, 2006


For more than three years, US politicians and journalists have been using the term "violence" to refer to the war between US occupation forces and Iraqi resistance groups.

During the first half of 2006, they started using the term "sectarian violence" to refer to attacks conducted by perpetrators, who are described as Shi'is (they use the derogatory term Shiite) or Sunnis.

During the second half of 2006, some of them started wondering whether the war in Iraq is "sectarian violence" or "civil war."

After the Republican defeat in midterm Congressional elections this year, more voices dared finally to describe the US war in Iraq as "civil war."

Whether the terms used are violence, sectarian violence, or civil war, the goal is distracting the American people and the world from the truth.

What is going on in Iraq right now is neither civil war nor sectarian violence. The presence of foreign occupiers makes the war between the occupier and the occupied, between the invader and the invaded.

The US occupation forces have recruited Iraqis to fight the Iraqi resistance. This is an Iraqization of the war, like what happened in Vietnam, when the US used south Vietnamese to fight the resistance (the Viet Kong).

Using collaborators from the invaded population is an imperialist tactic to decrease casualties of the invading forces but it never succeeded in crushing the resistance. Lessons from history are numerous but the neo-con don't read history.

The German occupiers used the Vichy government against the French resistance. The French imperialist government used Algerian collaborator army against the Algerian resistance. Israeli imperialists used Sa'ad Haddad and his army of collaborators in South Lebanon. The US used the South Vietnamese to fight the Viet Kong resistance. And now the US is using Shi'i and Kurdish recruits to fight the Iraqi resistance to the US occupation.

This imperialist tactic never worked in the past and is not working in Iraq, even Rumsfeld admitted it.

The US-recruited forces took several forms, like army, police, death squads, and militias. But because they have been recruited by the occupying forces, they are part of these forces.

As a result, it's neither a civil war, nor a sectarian violence though majority of US recruits are Shi'is and Kurds, ultimately fighting on the side of the US occupation forces against the Iraqi resistance.

What has been going on in Iraq from day one of the illegal US invasion of Iraq, in March 2003, has been an Iraqi resistance to the US invasion and occupation.

It is very simple but US politicians and journalists are still playing dumb. They want to say it is anything but resistance to the foreign invasion.

The French resisted the German invasion during WWII. The Vietnamese resisted the US invasion in the 1960s and the 1970s. The Palestinians have been resisting the Israeli invasion and occupation since 1948, and particularly since 1967.

The danger on Iraq and the United States is represented by the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq, not by the resistance to the occupation.

In 2003, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. It didn't have links with Alqaeda (the two official reasons the Bush administration used to justify its illegal invasion of Iraq).

The whole world now knows that the real reasons were benefits for the military industry, oil industry and Israel.

The US occupation of Iraq is wrong and illegal. Correcting it is by ending it, not by inventing new excuses to stay in that country and fight the war by proxies.

Apparently, the new shift to the term of "civil war" is another spin to justify staying in Iraq "until victory," which is apparently dividing the country into better-controlled three mini states: Kurdish North, Shi'i South, and Sunni Middle.

The battles raging in Baghdad everyday are nothing but ethnic cleansing to drive Shi'is and Sunnis to specific areas suitable to the partition.

If Democrats are truly different from Republicans in Congress, then they should stop the ongoing ethnic cleansing now.

The question is how can they do that?

Simply, the perpetrators are mainly the Shi'i militias of Badr and Mahdi Army, together with the police death squads of the Interior Ministry. All of these belong to the US-backed ruling Shi'i alliance. They are on the US payroll.

The US is in direct control over the Iraqi armed forces, including those of the Interior Ministry. The US is also in indirect control over the Shi'i militias because of its backing of the ruling Shi'i alliance.

The Democratic Congress has to press and scrutinize the Bush administration to stop the campaign of ethnic cleansing, perpetrated by the US-backed Shi'i ruling alliance.

Only then, the process of the partition of Iraq can be stopped. Otherwise, we'll be witnessing just the first few years of sixty years of global war (as Wolfowitz said once) perpetrated by the US and its NATO allies to control the planet and its resources.

All indicators show that the US will be the loser in such "permanent war," as the national debt deepens ($8.7 Trillion right now), and as the resistance from the invaded nations becomes stronger.

Actually, the US global rivals, such as China and Russia, will be waiting for the right moment to provide invaded nations with military support, just like they did in Vietnam, to make sure that the US-led NATO alliance does not win.

Is this what Americans want? Wars, death, destruction, and hostility?

If the answer is No, then, ethnic cleansing in Iraq must be stopped now, before it is too late, when the Shi'i militias and Interior Ministry death squads no longer listen to US commanders.

What about the purported Sunni groups (Ba'athist resistance, Alqaeda, Islamic resistance, etc.)? Who's going to control them? Are they going to stop fighting?

Simple answer:

Resistance by definition is a reaction to the invasion and occupation of a nation.

When the US occupation of Iraq ends, the resistance ends too. Period.


Yesterday, the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, published a news report about a study conducted by the Iraqi Southern Research Center for Strategic Planning.

The Center study concluded that about 400 Iraqis are killed daily in Baghdad alone. The killing is sectarian aiming at cleansing East Baghdad from Sunnis and West Baghdad from Shi'is.

Perpetrators commit their crimes using car bombs, mortars, motorbikes, bicycles, and guns. They kill in day time with protection from security forces.

In another article, there are stories about Shi'i families forced to leave their homes in Sunni areas, and Sunni families forced to leave their homes in Shi'i areas by militiamen. Despite their plight, they are better off than the ones who are killed daily to achieve the goals of this ethnic cleansing campaign.

About fifty families are forced daily to leave their homes from one area to another. About fifty more families are forced to leave Baghdad as a result of this campaign of ethnic cleansing.

In addition, extended families and neighbors exert pressure on men to divorce their wives from another sect. Thus, many Sunni women have been divorced by their Shi'i husbands, who usually take the children in their custody. Many Shi'i women are also being divorced by their Sunni husbands, who keep children in their custody, too.

The article tells some of these stories, with names of people and their locations.

A third article is about the opportunist Iraqi exiles, who were used by the Bush-Blair administrations to convince the public in the US-UK to accept the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

After completing their role, they and their families are now back in the wealthy London neighborhoods. The article mentioned names and locations of residence of these Iraqis who helped destroy their country. These include Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim Al-Ja'afari, Ahmed Chalabi, Adnan Pajahji, Laith Kubba, and Ali Bin Al-Hussain.

What's going on in Iraq is horrible. The truth has been shielded from the American people. The corporate media has been collaborating with Rumsfeld about how good the war was going. They portrayed the war in Iraq as if it is caused by Alqaeda non-Iraqi fighters. They disinformed the American and European peoples.

What's happening in Iraq now is neither a civil war, nor sectarian violence. Rather, it is ethnic cleansing blunt and ugly. It is part of a plan to partition Iraq into Shi'i, Sunni, and Kurdish mini states. It is divide and rule, blunt and clear.


American patriots in government and outside must find a solution to this dangerous problem of disinformation by the Bush administration. The anti-war movement, and even so-called Think Tanks, which have access to funding, must start getting information independently. They must not depend on the corporate media anymore.

In the past, Al-Jazeerah called for volunteer translation of Arabic media. There were few responses, which would not lead to consistent output. There is no alternative to genuine translation by professional interpreters, which require stable sources of funding.

I call on Democrats in Congress to do the job. A Congressional media offices is needed as soon as possible to solve this problem.

I extend the same call to anti-war groups and members of parliaments in Europe to do the same. There has been a campaign of disinformation about the war in Iraq. It's high time to know the truth.


On daily basis, US and other Western corporate media report on few attacks in Iraq, which usually result in killing less than fifty Iraqis. This has been a disinformation effort to make the war sound like violence between Shi'is and Sunnis.

However, reports from the UN, US military commanders, and Iraqi officials have showed that more than one hundreds Iraqis are killed every day.

Reports from research centers show the number of Iraqis killed daily reaches about four hundred (See: 400 Iraqis Killed Daily in Baghdad Alone, Dividing it into Shi'i East and Sunni West, Most of the Exiled Opportunists Returned to London After Completing their Mission).

This is echoed in results of other studies about total Iraqis casualties, which reached 655,000 since the beginning of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 (See: 655,000 Iraqis Killed as a Result of the US Invasion and Occupation, According to a Study by John Hopkins and Mustansiriya Universities).

Apparently, corporate media have been participant in a concerted effort to cover up the horrors of the US War in Iraq, and make it sound less intense than what it is in reality.

Sometimes, the Western corporate media do not report any war news at all from Iraq or Afghanistan. They even systematically call daily fighting "violence" to make it sound like "domestic violence," not war.

Regarding the purported Iraqi Shi'i-Sunni civil war:

It is inaccurate to describe the war in Iraq as if it is fought between Muslim Shi'is and Muslim Sunnis, as the US and other Western corporate media have been trying hard to do.

It is more accurate to describe it as fought between US-led forces and Iraqi resistance fighters. Even killing civilians is part of the war, as the evidence earlier demonstrated that Interior Ministry death squads and British soldiers were caught either targeting or attempting to target civilians to make the war appear as if it is between Shi'is and Sunnis.

This purported Shi'i-Sunni civil war in Iraq aims at distracting Iraqis and dividing their country into three regions, in preparation for a final partition and dismemberment of Iraq. Previous statements of Iraqi elected officials pointed fingers to death squads of the Interior Ministry.

(41 Iraqi Sunni Pedestrians Massacred in a Baghdad Street, 17 Shi'is Killed in Car Bombs, Interior Ministry Death Squads are Blamed).

Moreover, on September 19, 2005, two British soldiers were arrested by Iraqi police for driving a car bomb in a Basra street. They were freed by British forces before being interrogated by Iraqi police. This incident sheds some light on who might be behind car bomb explosions in Iraq.

(British Terrorist Operation in Basra, Tanks on Fire, Four Iraqis Killed, Two Captured British Undercover Soldiers Freed After Demolishing Prison Hollywood Style).

(British Occupation Forces Suspected Behind Sectarian Terrorism in Southern Iraq: The Two British Soldiers Drove a Car Bomb in Basra)

More about death squads:

El Salvador-style 'death squads' to be deployed by US against Iraq militants


Earth, a planet hungry for peace

 Apartheid Wall

The Israeli Land-Grab Apartheid Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, here separating Abu Dis from occupied East Jerusalem. (IPC, 7/4/04).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python (Alquds, 1/25/03.

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