BAGHDAD - Many Iraqis are now beginning to see the rising sectarian violence
as part of a larger plan to partition the country.
"Americans want to alter the shape of our cities, dividing Iraqis into
ethnic and sectarian groups living separately from each other," Khali Sadiq,
a researcher in statistics at Baghdad University, told IPS.
"They are not doing this directly, but they have obviously given room
to militias and Iraqi forces to do the job," he said. "We are more
than halfway towards a sectarian Iraq."
A recent report has raised further suspicions that there is a U.S.-backed plan
to partition the capital city, and possibly the country along sectarian and
According to the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report issued by the White House
July 12, "The government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress towards
enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous
The report also states that the U.S.-backed Iraqi government formulates "target
lists" of Sunni Arabs. These lists are compiled by the Office of the Commander-in-Chief,
which reports directly to U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The report says fabricated charges are brought to purge Sunnis from the Iraqi
Samarra, 60 mi. north of Baghdad, seems to be one of the current targets of
this demographic change. The bombing of the shrine of al-Askari in February
2006 ignited a sectarian wave of violence that swept Iraq. Shia clerics in Baghdad
and other Iraqi provinces who are supportive of the occupation began to speak
of a need to change the city from predominantly Sunni to predominantly Shia.
Shula and Hurriya in western Baghdad and most areas on the eastern bank of
Tigris River are now purely Shia after years of killings by death squads. It
has been known for over a year now that Shia death squads have been operating
out of the U.S.-backed Ministry of Interior, often in the guise of the Facilities
Protection Service (FPS).
The FPS was created under extraordinary circumstances. The U.S. occupation
authorities and the Iraqi leaders working with them set up several new army
and police forces under the supervision of the Multi National Forces (MNF).
It was decided that each ministry could establish its own protection force away
from the control of the ministries of interior and defense.
The FPS was established April 10, 2003, the day after the fall of Baghdad,
under Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) order 27.
This document states: "The FPS may also consist of employees of private
security firms who are engaged to perform services for the ministries or governorates
through contracts, provided such private security firms and employees are licensed
and authorized by the Ministry of Interior."
GlobalSecurity.org, a U.S.-based security research group, says: "The Facilities
Protection Service works for all ministries and governmental agencies, but its
standards are set and enforced by the Ministry of the Interior. It can also
be privately hired. The FPS is tasked with the fixed site protection of ministerial,
governmental, or private buildings, facilities, and personnel."
But evidence has emerged that this and other police forces have been taken
over by Shia militia.
Capt. Alexander Shaw, head of the police transition team of the 372nd Military
Police Battalion, a Washington-based unit charged with overseeing training of
all Iraqi police in western Baghdad, has said: "To be perfectly honest,
I'm not sure we're ever going to have police here that are free of the militia
Shaw said about 70 percent of the Iraqi police force had been infiltrated,
and that police officers are too afraid to patrol many areas of the capital.
Many Iraqis today believe this is part of an intentional plan to divide Iraq
along sectarian lines.
"They [death squads] evicted many of our good Sunni neighbors and killed
many others," Abu Riyad of the predominantly Shia Shula area told IPS.
"We protected them for a while, but then we could not face the militias
with all the support they had from the Iraqi government and the Americans. It
is a terrible shame that we have to live with, but what can we do?"
On the other hand, many Sunni Iraqis seemed unwilling to evict their Shia countrymen
– for a while. But people in one mixed area of Baghdad described strange developments.
"It is true that our neighbors did not evict us, but then the Americans
swept the area and local fighters had to disappear from the streets," Hussein
Allawi, a Shia who lived in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood told IPS. "A
group of masked strangers then entered the town right under American soldiers'
eyes. Only then did we realize that we must leave, and that our good neighbors
could not help us any more."
Many such stories are told around Baghdad.
"We had to leave our house in Isskan in the western part of Baghdad,"
Dr. Fadhil Mahmood, a Sunni, told IPS. "A Shia friend of mine telephoned
me to leave the house instantly because he heard some people were heading there
to kill me and evict my family."
Mahmood said that his neighbors later told him that death squads arrived half
an hour after he left his home.
(Inter Press Service)